SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2017
כ"ח אדר, תשע"ז
PARSHAS VAYAKHEIL-PIKUDEI

TODAY'S SCHEDULE

PURIM - BEGIN DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
DAF YOMI
7:00 AM
SHACHARIS
8:00 AM
MINCHA/MA'ARIV
6:55 PM

WELCOME TO CONGREGATION YEHUDA MOSHE

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.

WEEKLY DVAR TORAH

This week’s parsha feels redundant. The materials for the Mishkan – the Tabernacle – and the special clothes for the Kohanim were already discussed two and three weeks ago in the parshios of Teruma...

WORDS FROM LINCOLNWOOD

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...

SHUL ANNOUNCEMENTS

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.

D'VAR TORAH FOR PARSHAS VAYAKHEIL-PIKUDEI

This week’s parsha feels redundant. The materials for the Mishkan – the Tabernacle – and the special clothes for the Kohanim were already discussed two and three weeks ago in the parshios of Teruma and Titzaveh. The Torah should just tell us at the end of those Parshios that Moshe did all that G-d commanded him. Why does the Torah discuss them once again and tell us with a strong emphasis on the fact that Moshe put into action what G-d commanded him and described to him in those parshios?

“And Moshe did as G-d had commanded him.” We read this phrase over and over again because the point can never be reiterated enough. The Torah is teaching us that Judaism is not only a religion of learning. While it is of utmost importance to learn words of Torah – as the Rabbis teach us, “the study of Torah is equal to all the mitzvos” - in Judaism the learning must be complimented with action.  I can learn the laws of Shabbos, Tefillin, Pesach and tzedaka inside out. However, if I desecrate the Shabbos . . . if I don’t wear Tefillin . . . if I eat Chometz on Pesach . . . if I am stingy and avoid giving charity, what have I gained? What has the learning accomplished?

In Pirkei Avos Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa states, “anyone whose good deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom will endure. But, anyone who wisdom exceeds his good deeds, his wisdom will not endure.” Meaning – one’s wisdom is dependent upon his performance and observance of Torah. Wisdom without Torah observance cannot endure. In order to be a part of the Jewish people and a player in its destiny – in order for the Jewish people to be a light to the nations, we must be active participants in the Jewish people. We cannot just sit back, watch the play and be entertained.  We must be on stage as one of the actors in the play. 

The Torah is not a novel that one reads, enjoys and puts back on the shelf. The Torah is a Book of Mitzvos. It tells us what we are not supposed to do and what we are commanded to do. In order to fulfill one’s obligation to G-d and the Jewish people, one must act . . . one must do. I can keep Shabbos by sleeping late, playing monopoly, schmoozing with friends and resting some more just in case those 13 hours of sleep on Friday Night weren’t enough. But, what have I done to make it feel like Shabbos? What have I gained? What have I contributed to the Jewish experience? 

However, if I go to shul and daven, recite Kiddush, eat special meals with my family and study Torah, then I have had a real Shabbos. I am participating in the story of the Jewish people! Eating kosher . . . keeping Shabbos . . . giving tzedaka . . . attending services. . . making a Pesach seder . . . consistent Torah study . . .  that is the only way to maintain our lifeline to the tradition of our forefathers. We read in this week’s Parasha: “Like everything that G-d commanded Moshe, so did the Jewish people perform in their labor. Moshe saw the entire work—that they had done it as G-d had commanded.” May it be our good fortune that this should be our fate—that we will have done as G-d has commanded and that G-d’s presence should rest upon our handiwork.

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WORDS FROM LINCOLNWOOD FOR PARSHAS VAYAKHEIL-PIKUDEI

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.
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