כ' תשרי, 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.


This Shabbos is known as Shabbos Shuva – named after the first words of the Haftara. In the Haftara, the Prophet Hoshea is giving the Jewish people advice and encouragement how they can come close to...


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

Yom Kippur Appeal

The Yom Kippur Appeal is a major source of income for the upkeep and functioning of our shul. The shul has services every morning and evening throughout the year and there are bills to pay in conjunction with the day-to-day operation of the shul. Dues only cover one-half of the shul’s operating expenses. It is therefore imperative that we have a very successful Yom Kippur Appeal. This requires your assistance. Please respond generously. This year, we have once again added special categories for the Yom Kippur Appeal. Donors will be recognized for their contributions. The shul accepts Visa and Mastercard charges and post-dated checks for payments of fees and donations. Contributions can be given on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. 

Yesodei Torah (Torah Founders)

$20/week ; $85/month ; $1000/year 

Tomchei Torah (Torah Supporters)

$36/week ; $150/month ; $1800/year

Bonei Torah (Torah Builders)

$50/week ; $200/ month ; $2500/year

Lomdei Torah (Torah Learners)

$100/week ; $400/ month ; $5000/year

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.


This Shabbos is known as Shabbos Shuva – named after the first words of the Haftara. In the Haftara, the Prophet Hoshea is giving the Jewish people advice and encouragement how they can come close to G-d. He begins with the words, “return Israel to G-d.” We are capable of doing Teshuva – G-d gives us the opportunity to come close to Him. If it was an impossible task – an exercise in futility - the Prophet would have given up on us. He would not say to repent.

However, the Prophet does not give up on us. He tells us to repent with sincerity and we will be successful because the sins that we have committed are not sins of rebellion. Rather, they are sins that are a result of mistakes that we made or of matters that are beyond our control. We must not be discouraged at our prospects. While it is true that we have done some things incorrectly . . . we have done some wrong, we usually don’t do wrong because we want to do wrong – we want to go against the Torah. We are human beings who make mistakes. 

The Prophet Hoshea concludes with the words, “the ways of G-d are proper, and the righteous will walk in them, and the sinners will stumble in them.” Many events happen in the world that we don’t understand. Many good people suffer and we don’t understand. Why do the Jewish people suffer so much? We think that it is not fair – it is unjust. Hoshea tells us that we should not think in that direction. Sinners think along those lines. Righteous people realize that everything is under the direction and supervision of G-d. 

This is a step for teshuva - repentance. We must keep G-d in our minds and realize that He is the source of everything. Keeping that idea in mind will keep us away from problems – religiously and theologically. It is one of the main ideas of this Holiday season. Through our efforts of teshuva, we ask G-d for a good and healthy year.



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.
A Guten Shabbas to All and Thank You for Reading.