א' תמוז, תשע"ז


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Congregation Yehuda Moshe is an Orthodox synagogue located in Lincolnwood, Illinois meeting the diverse needs of our Jewish community. In addition to twice-daily Minyanim, we offer adult classes, a fully functional Mikvah, and a variety of events throughout the year. We have classes that appeal to the needs of everyone young or old, beginner or Torah scholar. Our congregation is made up of diverse individuals with wide-ranging backgrounds. Our goal is to warmly welcome and spiritually inspire our members, our guests, and the entire Jewish community. Most of the community is enclosed within an Eruv (Please contact the Shul office or click on the Eruv link along the left side of this page, for current Eruv information). Whether you're just visiting our area or considering a move to Lincolnwood or South Skokie, come spend a Shabbat with us. We're confident you'll find the experience spiritually enriching, warm, and just plain fun. New members of all levels of observance are always welcomed. We are centrally located, just 5 blocks from the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore, and we're just 15 minutes from Downtown Chicago or 15 minutes from O'Hare Airport.


Jealousy is an age-old element of the human and the cause of major strife in this week’s Parsha.

Korach and his men went up against Moshe. Korach objected that the two highest positions among...


This week’s Parasha of Bechukosai begins with a series of assurances regarding the prosperity and security of Israel. They are but conditional guarantees, for G-d promises that rains shall water...


Donation Opportunities

There are several ways that one can contribute to our shul and at the same time honor a special occasion or the memory of a loved one: 

1) A day of learning the Daf Yomi: $20/day; $125/week; $500/month; $5000/year

          Torah study is the best thing one can do for another person – either in their honor or memory (e.g. for a birthday or a yahrzeit). The merit of the Torah study is credited to the donor and to the person in whose honor or memory that it is learned. 

2) A day of learning in our Shabbos classes: $20/class; $75/month; $750/year

  1. Gemara class given by the Rabbi before Mincha
  2. Parsha Class given by the Rabbi after Maariv on Friday Night (winter only)
  3. Maharal class given by Dr. Koenigsberg before Mincha

3) Seuda Shlishis: $75/standard Seuda Shlishis; $125/delox Seuda Shlishis

                           A delox Seuda Shlishis adds lox and parve cream cheese. 

4) Breakfast Club: $40/breakfast: Sunday morning after Shacharis 

5) Tree of Life: $180/leaf: commemorate a special occasion such as a birthday, Bar/Bas-Mitzva, wedding or anniversary.

6) Memorial Board: $250/plaque

Torah Class Sponsorship

Thank you to Lois Cohen for sponsoring the Shabbos afternoon classes in memory of Bernie –Ben-Tzion ben Harav Avraham Ya’akov Hakohein. May his memory serve as a blessing to all of us.

One Word at a Time

Please remember to select a ½ hour period between 6 AM and 11:00 PM to make an additional effort to abstain from Lashon Hara. The morning time slots have filled. There are some late afternoon and evening slots available. May the merit of our efforts assist Ronnie Slovin for a continued recovery.

All Occasion Cards

We have beautiful cards that can be purchased for a donation to the shul. The cards can be sent for a celebration or in honor of another person. Please see Geri Jankelovitz or call the office for more information.


Jealousy is an age-old element of the human and the cause of major strife in this week’s Parsha.

Korach and his men went up against Moshe. Korach objected that the two highest positions among the Jewish people, the leadership and the Kohein Gadol, were held by Moshe and Aharon, who were brothers. 

Now, Korach was a great scholar. He was a very religious man. So, what brought him to this dispute with Moshe? Didn’t he understand that Moshe being the leader and Aharon the Kohein Gadol were G-d directed appointments? 

Rashi provides us with the answer. By the command of G-d, Moshe had appointed Elitzafan ben Uziel as the prince over the family of Kehas, one of the three families of the Tribe of Levi. Korach became jealous. He said to himself: My father was one of four brothers. The oldest brother, the firstborn was Amram. His two sons, Moshe and Aharon are the king and Kohein Gadol. Who should get the next position of greatness, the position of prince for our whole family of Kehas? Is it not I who comes from the next oldest brother, Yitzhar? Yet, Moshe appointed Elitzafan, the son of the youngest brother, Uziel. So, in response to feeling cheated, Korach gathered 250 men together and presented Moshe with a halachik question intended to disprove Moshe’s authority.

Their question was regarding the obligation of Tzitzis for an all-woolen blue garment. Moshe responded that the garment was obligated for Tzitzis. Korach and his men laughed at Moshe’s answer. They said that such a garment is exempt because one blue thread is sufficient for a regular garment. So, an entirely blue garment certainly does not require Tzitzis. They said that Moshe was illogical and his answer was made up from his own imagination, rather than the word of G-d. Therefore, in Korach’s mind, Moshe’s appointments of Aharon and Elitzafan were also made up and not the word of G-d.

So, what started Korach on his downfall? Kinah – jealousy – one of the Ten Commandments. Jealousy is an important and recurring theme in the Tanach. The story of Cain and Abel is about jealousy. Both Cain and Abel brought sacrifices. Abel’s was accepted . . . Cain’s was not. Cain was angry. Why? Not because his sacrifice was rejected. Rather, his brother’s was accepted. That was more than he could bear. His brother had something that he didn’t have. Therefore, Cain was the first person in history to come in second place. He was the first person who had to deal with jealousy. He was the first person in the world to commit murder, all because he was jealous of his brother. 

The story of Joseph and his brothers was also replete with jealousy. The brothers were jealous of Yosef because Ya’akov favored him. Yosef had something the other brothers didn’t have . . . the utmost love from their father. The devastating impact of jealousy shows up again when King Saul tried to kill David because many people favored David over him.

Why does the Tanach devote so much space to jealousy? Because the Tanach is the book for human beings and we have to deal with jealousy our entire lives - day after day - year after year, as kids . . . as teenagers . . . and as adults.

One time several years ago, when we were in a restaurant, one of our children – who were much younger then (and so were we) - ordered a kids meal, another ordered the fruit plate. Generally, when we are out with the entire family - which is before Pesach and about one other time during the year - our rule in restaurants is that the drink is water. However, the kids’ meal came with pop and the fruit plate came with frozen yogurt. Once one kid had pop or the frozen yogurt, suddenly, they all needed it. They would have been fine without it. But now, everybody was jealous of each other. Why does she have pop? Why does he have frozen yogurt? 

It’s not the frozen yogurt. It’s not the pop. It’s not having when someone else does have.

It is very clear that jealousy is an age-old problem from the dawn of mankind until today, over the biggest and smallest things. It drives people crazy. I do not have magical answers to change human nature. But, if we understand that this is a problem with which we all deal, perhaps we are at least halfway towards solving the problem. Somehow, we must be happy with what we have – mind our own dinners – not our sibling or neighbors. As we say in our Brachos every morning “we thank G-d for making us everything we need.”



This week’s Parasha of Bechukosai begins with a series of assurances regarding the prosperity and security of Israel. They are but conditional guarantees, for G-d promises that rains shall water the fields, lands will give produce, few shall chase the many and peace will finally grace the Promised Land—“if in my ways you will follow and you observe My commandments and perform them” (Leviticus 26:3). The problem, Rashi identifies, is that the objects of the if statement are redundant. If the fulfillment of the Mitzvahs is covered by the clause ‘observe my commandments and perform them,’ what then is meant by ‘Im Bechukosai Tailachu—If in my ways you will follow?’
Many of the commentators write about the matter, and I would like to augment the existing literature with a theory of my own. First, we must differentiate between the Creator and His creations. The Torah is the L-rd’s creation, and as Rashi explains, we are obliged to toil in the Torah, as it is the source of Jewish identity and continuity. However, there is also the Creator, the One on whose behalf we are commanded to toil. What is our relationship to be with Him?
In June 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War, Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller of Chicago’s Telshe Yeshiva wrote: “As we reflect on the God wrought miracle which we have been privileged to see and the human miracle of this unprecedented unity of the Jewish people, we must not fail to realize that we are approaching the time of Moshiach.” This is certainly one aspect of following in the ways of G-d: recognizing truly miraculous events for what they are. But what about toiling to appreciate the Creator when all appears natural and mundane? This Thursday morning in my father’s synagogue, at the conclusion of the Torah reading, I was assigned to wrap the Torah scroll with a belt—a task known as Gelila. As I attempted to fasten the Torah, I noticed that the Velcro on the belt had ripped, rendering the belt useless. Our trusty beadle dove into the reading table, where unbeknownst to the rest of the parishioners, an extra belt had been stored. I spent another minute with this second belt before I realized that it was sadly too small and also utterly useless for my cause. The beadle then reemerged with yet another belt, and in the fifth or sixth minute of my Gelila, I triumphantly fastened the Torah with ease—too much ease—as the belt slipped to the bottom of the scroll. From nearby, a longtime member and two-time synagogue President was heard to say, “This is the worst Gelila I have ever seen!” We of the Congregation Yehuda Moshe quorum, a cadre of worshipers gathered to speak with the L-rd, chortled with laughter at the comedic ensemble, chuckling at the manifestation of G-d’s sense of humor in a mundane Torah wrapping.
The story is told about Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, better known as the Kotzker Rebbe, who asked his students, “Where does G-d dwell?” His disciples answered, “Why, everywhere, of course!” Responded the Kotzker: “No, G-d dwells wherever we let G-d in.” Living, particularly growing up and finding one’s way in the world, is certainly no easy task. We yearn for meaning and purpose in all of our endeavors, but such stability is only possible ‘Im Bechukosai Tailachu’—when life itself becomes an element of the extraordinary.