Welcome to the weekly newsletter of Igud HaRabbonim, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, in which we share news for and about members, including communal news, announcements, publications, Divrei Torah, press releases and media mentions.
In this newsletter:
• JP Luach Sukkos 5781
• Chaplaincy Commission Update
• Divrei Torah: Sukkos
• Upcoming Yahrtzeits 15 Tishrei-22 Tishrei
• Chief Rabbi David Lau: Siyum HaShas Greetings
• 5TJT: Bring Terrorists to Justice
Please let us know about your family simchos and l"a aveilus, book publications and career changes or milestones, so we can share as chaveirim our life events. Send updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, erev Sukkos: Aside from our usual erev Shabbos and erev Yom Tov preparations, we have to make sure that the sukkah we will use is finished and ready to accommodate us for fulfilling the mitzva of eating and sleeping in the sukkah. This is also the last opportunity to acquire the Four Species: esrog, lulav hadassim and aravos. These should preferably be of exceptional quality – mehuddarim – but have to satisfy, at the very least, the minimum requirements qualifying them as kosher to fulfill the mitzva (see Orach Chayyim 645-650, Hilchos Lulav).We light candles at 6:17 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.) – that is 18 minutes before shekiah (sunset) – and recite Lehadlik ner shel Shabbos ve’shel Yom Tov as well as Shehecheyanu.
Mincha: Usual weekday tefilla followed by Kabbalas Shabbos. Nusach Ashkenaz say only Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbos, and Nusach Sefarad say, in addition, Mizmor LeDavid and the first two and last two stanzas of Lechah Dodi. All conclude with Mourner’s Kaddish. (Bameh Madlikin or KeGavna is not said.)
Maariv: Usual Shabbos service with additions for Yom Tov as found in the Machzor. The Shemoneh Esreh is that of ShaloshRegalim (with additions for Shabbos). At the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh the chazzan and congregation recite Va’yechulu, and then the chazzan says the BerachaMe’ein Sheva, followed by Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori (Sefarad have said LeDavid Hashem Ori following Mincha) and their respective Mourner’s Kaddish recitals.
In congregations where it is the custom to recite Kiddush in the synagogue after Maariv, Kiddush can only be publicly recited in synagogues where a sukkah is available.
Eating in the sukkah: Upon returning home we do not tarry but go straight to the sukkah (lest it rain later on). We recite the appropriate Ushpizin (“guests”) invitation to welcome to our sukkah the seven faithful shepherds of the people of Israel – Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon and David HaMelech. On each of the seven days one of them is the “guest of honor” leading the others, starting with our Patriarch Avraham on the first night.
We start the Kiddush with Va’yechulu and proceed with the Kiddush of Yom Tov with inclusion of Shabbos. We say four berachos:Borei pri hagafen, Mekaddesh HaShabbosveYisrael ve’hazemanim, Leishev basukkah, and Shehecheyanu.
On the first night one is dutybound to eat in the sukkah even if it involves tza’ar (pain). This does not apply on the other nights and days, when one who is extremely uncomfortable (due to rain, or extreme cold, etc.) is relieved of this obligation. (See Orach Chayyim 640:4 and Remaad loc., who qualifies this halacha; see also Rema 639:2 regarding sleeping in the sukkah.)
If it rains on the first evening (and the rain is such that it is not likely to stop) we make Kiddush in the sukkah, we wash (for bread) and eat a kezayit (olive-size) piece of challah in the sukkah, and then return to the house to eat the rest of the meal. (Commenting on a discussion regarding how long one is required to wait for the rain to stop, the Mishna Berura, 0.C. 639:5, notes that it is proper to wait no longer than until midnight.)
In Birkas Hamazon we add Retzeh (for Shabbos), and Ya’aleh VeYavo and HaRachaman hu yakim lanu es sukkas David hanofales during all seven days of Sukkos. Each meal (or snack) requires the blessing of Leishev basukkah as well as the appropriate berachos for the various foods.
Shacharis: Usual tefillos of Shabbos and Yom Tov for PesukeiDeZimra. At conclusion of Nishmas the chazzan starts with HaKel (not Shochen Ad). During the recital of Birkos Kerias Shema we say Kel Adon and LaKel asher shavas because of Shabbos. The Shemoneh Esreh is that of Shalosh Regalim with references to Shabbos, followed by complete Hallel. (We do not take the Four Species since it isShabbos.)
In some congregations (Minhag Sefarad, as well as some Ashkenaz customs) the Aron Hakodesh is opened after Hallel, and Hoshanos (Om Netzura) are recited. (Nusach Sefarad now say Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbos, LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective Kaddish recitals). The chazzan says Kaddish Tiskabbel.
We remove two Torah scrolls from the Ark. In the first we read from Parashas Emor(Vayikra 22:26-23:44) and call up seven aliyos (since it is Shabbos). In the second scroll the Maftir reads from Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:12-16). The Haftara is Hineh yom ba (Zechariah 14:1-21). In the berachos after the Haftara we mention both Shabbos and Yom Tov. We say Yekum Purkan (No Kah Keli since it is Shabbos), followed by Ashrei, Yehallelu, etc. and return the Sifrei Torah to the Ark.
Mussaf: Half-Kaddish, then the silent Shemoneh Esreh of Shalosh Regalim with references to Shabbos. In the chazzan’s repetition the Kohanim go up to duchan, but the congregation does not say Ribbono shel Olam or Yehi Ratzon since it is Shabbos. At conclusion of chazzan’s repetition mostNusach Ashkenaz congregations now say Hoshanos (Om Netzura). Chazzan then recites Kaddish Tiskabbel.
We conclude the service with Ein KeElokenu, Aleinu (Nusach Ashkenaz say Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShabbos and LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective Mourner’s Kaddish recitals). Some congregations conclude with An’im Zemiros and Mourner’s Kaddish.
Kiddush: (Kiddush in the synagogue may only be recited if a sukkah is available.) The order of the daytime Kiddush on Shabbos is the following: Veshamru, Zachor, Al ken beirach…, Eleh mo’adei, Va’yedabber Moshe…, followed by the two blessings: Borei pri hagafen (on wine) and Leishevbasukkah.
Mincha: Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon, and we remove one Sefer Torah from the Ark. We read from Parashas VeZos HaBeracha (Devarim 33:1-7), call up three aliyos (Kohen, Levi, Yisrael) and return the Torah scroll to the Ark. Chazzan recites half-Kaddish and all say the silent Shemoneh Esreh (of Shalosh Regalim, with mention of Shabbos). Following the repetition, the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel and we conclude with Aleinu and Mourner’s Kaddish.
2nd day Yom Tov – Motza’ei Shabbos – Candle Lighting: The berachos for candle lighting are Lehadlik ner shelYom Tov and Shehecheyanu. The earliest time to light is 7:15 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.) According to the Gaon Rav Henkin (quoting the Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 296:6), women have to say Baruch Hamavdil bein kodesh lekodesh prior to lighting the Yom Tov candles (from an existing flame). He also rules that it is preferable to wait with candle lighting as well as all preparations for Yom Tov a full 72 minutes after sunset – 7:46 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.), or a minimum of`60 minutes after sunset – 7:28 p.m (N.Y.C. E.D.T.).
Maariv: Usual tefilla of YomTov as found in the Machzor. We add Vatodi’enu in the Shalosh Regalim Shemoneh Esreh since it is Motza’ei Shabbos, followed by Kaddish Tiskabbel by the chazzan. We conclude with Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective Mourner’s Kaddish recitals.
Our Patriarch Yitzchak leads the honored Ushpizin on the second night. Kiddush of Yom Tov, concluding with the blessings Leishev basukkah and Shehecheyanu.
Shacharis – Sunday morning:Pesukei DeZimra, and chazzan chants from HaKel.Birkos Kerias Shema follow the Yom Tov weekday pattern. The silent Shemoneh Esreh of Shalosh Regalim is followed by the chazzan’s repetition.
Lulav and Esrog: We take the lulav (to which three hadassim are bound on the right side and two aravos on the left side – see Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 651:1) in our right hand and the esrog (upside down, the pitom facing downward) in our left hand and recite the blessing Al netilas lulav … in a manner oveir le’asiyasan, that is, before we have physically accomplished the “taking” of the lulav and esrog. We next recite Shehecheyanu with the esrog in an upright position (with the pitom facing upward) and wave the lulav in six directions (see chart – Sequence of Wavings).
We recite Hallel while holding the lulav and esrog, waving at Hodu and Ana Hashem (SEE CHART). At the conclusion of Hallel some congregations (Nusach Sefarad and some Ashkenaz) say Hoshanos (Lema’an Amitach) as found in the Machzor. We put away the lulav and esrog and the chazzan recites KaddishTiskabbel.
We open the Ark and follow the usual text, including the Thirteen Middos and Ribbono shel Olam. We remove two Torah scrolls and read from Parashas Emor (Vayikra 22:26-23:44) in the first scroll, and call up 5 aliyos. We then place the second scroll next to the first one on the bimah [desk] and the Reader recites half-Kaddish. The Maftir reads from the second scroll in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:12-16). The Haftara is VaYikahalu el haMelech Shlomo (I Kings 8:2).
After the Birkos HaHaftara the chazzan chants Kah Keili, followed by Ashrei and Yehallelu, and we return the Torah scrolls to the Ark. The chazzan recites half-Kaddish.
Mussaf: All say the silent Shemoneh Esreh of Shalosh Regalim. The Kohanim go up to duchan during the chazzan’s repetition, and this time we do say Ribbono shel Olam and Yehi Ratzon. (At the conclusion of chazzan’s repetition most Nusach Ashkenaz congregations say Hoshanos at this point – see Shacharis). The chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel and we conclude the service with Ein KeElokenu, Aleinu (NusachAshkenaz now add Shir Shel Yom [Hayom Yom Rishon] and LeDavid Hashem Ori) and their respective Kaddish recitals. Some congregations conclude with An’im Zemiros and Mourner’s Kaddish.
Sukkah: The text for the daytime Kiddush is Eleh Mo’adei and Va’yedabber Moshe,followed by the blessings of Borei pri hagafen (on wine) and Leishev basukkah.
Mincha:Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon, the chazzan recites half-Kaddish, and all say the silent Shemoneh Esreh of Shalosh Regalim. Following the repetition, the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel and we conclude with Aleinu and Mourner’s Kaddish.
Maariv: The earliest zeman after sunset is 7:12 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.). Later zemanim according to Piskei HaRav Henkin for Motza’ei Yom Tov are 72 minutes after shekiah (sunset) – 7:44 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.), or 60 minutes after sunset – 7:32 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.).
The Maariv prayer (for the first day of Chol Hamo’ed) is the usual weekday tefilla, with the addition of Ata Chonanta and Ya’aleh VeYavo with mention of Sukkos.
Havdala:Havdala is recited in the sukkah. We do not say the blessings for light and spices, but say Borei pri hagafen and Hamavdil bein kodesh lechol, concluding with Leishev basukkah. In the Ushpizin prayer our Patriarch Yaakov Ieads the honored guests.
The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and yeshivas for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapters 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.
From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America Igud HaRabbonim
917-446-2126 email@example.com October 1, 2020
The Rabbinical Alliance of America, The National Council of Young Israel, The Rabbinical Council of America, Agudath Israel of America have all been conveying vital Information to their member Rabbis regarding COVID-19 and all related Rabbinic information. Rabbi Doniel Kramer is always’ sending continuous information to the Orthodox Jewish Chaplains through the Orthodox Jewish Chaplains Roundtable. We are all mispallel not only should this magaifa be eradicated and by being Mekadaish H the focus on our communities will only become positive.
I would like to share with you some thoughts from Einei Yisrael. The Moadim and Hilchos Teshuva from HaRav Chaim Yisrael Belsky zt” l The Ari Hacohen & Miriam Memorial Edition Machon Simchas HaTorah “The Essence of the Moadim Keeping the feelings and thoughts of the Moadim fresh and alive. There are moments during the Moadim when we experience a deep awaking, a feeling of connection, of understanding and wholeness. At those moments we are inspired to strengthen our connection with the Ribono Shel Olom and to work on our Avodah, learning and Mitzva observance.”
“Preserving the Simcha. Returning to what we wrote at the beginning of the sefer ( Einei Yisrael The Moadim & Hilchos Teshuva) the true value of experiencing joy on Yomtov is to preserve those special moments of hisorerus, spiritual awakening, and be able to access them on all days throughout the year. Perhaps there was a moment of great emunah, of ahavas Torah when you felt a tremendous burning love for the Torah HaKedoshah. There are so many different moments, and these are just a few examples, but everybody knows in his personal life which are the things that matter to him the most.
There are even events locked away deep in your memory that can be recalled and these can also become source of inspiration, such as the time you stood under the chuppah, being called for an Aliyah on your Bar Mitzva, the first time you made kiddush as a new chosson, as well as the many moments of joy and connection that you felt on the holy festivals.
These moments are very precious, indeed, they are priceless treasures that should never be lost. As we have explained, the only way to preserve them is by thinking of them, over and over, until they become living joyous part of your everyday being.
This is how you can always gain a deep sustenance from the Moadei Yisrael, so that even when the chag is over and you have to descend once more to the mundane world, you will still carry these treasures in your heart and mind. These are the special moments of kedushah and connection to HaKadosh Barach Hu that will stay with you until the coming of the Righteous Redeemer, may it be soon and in our days, Amen”
You were probably wondering if I would continue to write about my wife Keila Lutza bas Shalom HaKohen A”H and the response from me is yes. To share with you what it was like, from the very beginning before Yom Kippur would begin, not having the meals together, the preparations for the fast, and of course davening at the Bialystoker Synagogue instead of where we used to daven for Shabbosim, Yom Tovim and the Yomim Nearim. I often would daven at the Bialystoker during the week and at other times even years ago. In fact, when I was learning under the leadership of a professional chazan, I once davened as a chazan at the Bialystoker when I was just about 16 or 17 years old. I never mentioned that I starred as a boy wonder singing at various events and functions, and later on as a chazan even walking down the aisle singing at weddings. I was considered an alto tenor singing professionally. Through the years though, I gave it up, but still love classical musical and all the famous composers of the past. My wife and I loved to listen to music including Jewish classical music, not the loud and fast music that is often similar to secular music scores. There are so many flashbacks, not just about my wife, but about my parents and other family members. But my wife was so special indeed. I was able to separate the feelings for my wife yet knowing her neshama is in a holy place. I hope to continue going on with life with the Aibershta’s help, doing many mitzvos and continuing with life without her in a physical sense, but spiritually. I was thinking what it would be like after techias hamaisim living in Yerushalayim meeting with relatives who are Kohanem such as her father and me as a Levi participating in the holiness of the yom tovim. I’m not sure what it means, but I am able to feel a lot less sadness, knowing and thinking of her as I have mentioned previously in a wonderful, serene, pastoral, warm, nurturing, holy place- not alone, but with so many neshamos she knows and all the other holy neshamos. Yes, I still miss her, but internalizing even more so why and how she felt that I must go on with life, caring for myself, continuing with those things that made her proud and continue to accomplish good things. Knowing she is there for me as my parents have been has been comforting. I continue to pray for her neshama. Davening in a different setting, a different makom has been very meaningful. I have been davening at the Bialystoker Synagogue after my wife was nifteres when the shuls were permitted to have additional congregants at first 10- 12 then 25. The mispallim are friendly and the Morah DAsrah HaRav Zvi Romm very caring. He was a remarkable baal tefilla for the Yomim Nearim with no short cuts in the davening. He is makpid on doing, saying, and giving with his heart with lots of feelings and kavod for one and all. The davening as was the atmosphere, very welcoming and spiritual. The drashos were simply perfect and the tefilos not rushed nor skipped. The shul follows social distancing and mask wearing by everyone and no exceptions. There is a glass partition standing between the person having the aliya and the baal koreh. After the bracha, he steps down to the side and the next person has the Aliyah. I am no stranger to the Bialystoker as I mentioned before. my wife and I went there for various simchas, she attended the Rav’s shiurim on Sunday’s. So, in a sense it was as of we both shared something special together at the Bialystoker even though we did not daven there Shabbosim and Yom Tovim. For 10 years we davened at the shul where I was a rabbi on Henry Street, then for 13 years at the Bialystoker Rehab and shul where I was the rabbi and director of pastoral care and then at the Yeshiva MTJ where there were many meaningful and strong memories. With my wife’s illness progressing, I no longer davened there. I eventually davened at a local shul where I could daven shacharis at home, make kiddush for my wife, pop into the local late Shabbos minyan. Eventually, that too I would discontinue and daven at home. Especially with the Coronavirus, my days at home with my wife became so meaningful and close in so many ways which I shared in more detail in some of my earlier articles. Eventually after my wife was nifteres, well the rest is history. I have been davening at the Bialystoker ever since. Sukkos will have different challenges, but nothing that cannot be met. It is so nice to know wonderful people in my neighborhood who call me every week to hear how I am doing and some other friend as well. One of my chavarim who also happens to be a health care chaplain wife died a number of months ago, and we keep in touch every week. We share notes on what we are doing taking care of ourselves and doing professionally and of course spiritually. We share some cute thoughts about following what our wives want from us. We both try to keep our homes in good condition. He tells me how important it is especially the kitchen and living room in case his wife comes for a visit. I have also been asked how I have been eating, we share that too. In fact, almost everyone wants to know that as well as what, I am doing every week. I really think that is swell and enjoy sharing what. I am doing. I guess, I want to tell everyone – see, I can do it, I’m doing aok and I can really manage not just to survive, but have a meaningful life – just as my wife wanted me to. She was my biggest fan, supporter, and a great mentor. Well aside from some tasty items from East Side Glatt on Grand Street of the LES, I make all my meals and try to eat healthy foods. I have made different types of roast chicken, vegetable kugels brown rice kugels, vegetable souffles, different types of fish (very little oil of if any ) OK I will stop here, Yes one more great items, low fat no sugar added cheese cake.( all frozen vegetables with good hashgacha). So far, except for one neighbor, I haven’t given anyone samples of my food. In case I didn’t mention it, my family keeps in touch and tabs on me. Maybe they are afraid, I will surprise them with a phone call from some far away exotic place without first telling them. It cannot be Israel, not yet. Boruch H. I have a very supportive family. I recently did a creative project for all the children and grandchildren in the spirit and memory of my wife, their Mommy and Bubby for Sukkos. Something that was very dear to her. This is another way of continuing her mesorah. Anyone who would like to know more can contact me. You might want to know, is all this spiritual uplifting, progress in my life since my wife’ death, a façade, a cover up from something with more sadness. Is it possible for someone to take the direction, I have and continuously take? No, the grief and bereavement are not over yet, but for me I am tremendously grateful to the Aibershta. There isn’t anything in my life that I cannot thank Him enough. Interestingly, I have found my own spirituality even greater than ever before. There are so many variables, that have helped me during my period from the onset of her illness. I know, I could never have done it without her love, her support, her kindness, her understanding, her sensitivity, her tremendous sincerity and so much more. Gee whiz, there goes my tears. But there was so much other support, from family, doctors, but most of all our closeness and wanting to make life work to it’s fullest. The various variables that, I can attribute to my own progress are not for this article alone. I must share that professionally, I have worked in these areas in many significant ways and in the many diverse programs, presentations, I did (I already shared many of my professional accomplishments in previous articles and aside from the spiritual guidance from the Torah world, I still most also acknowledge my readings from other helpful sources. I even have been asked if I want to return to work. Well, I am already working. I am in the midst of working on special programs for the RAA, and keeping my “feet”wet in a professional sense. Most of all, I want to continue in my ruchnius, not just my gashmius. I hope to continue my friendship and good relationship with others, some who I did not mention in this article. I have been told that my articles have been meaningful for others in their search of their own journey. It has been suggested, I give presentations as I have done so in the past, but this time relating, sharing and conveying the essence and meaning of life in a different way. It was also suggested that I put what I have written in a book. Whatever is meant to be, whatever direction will be is entirely up to the Aibershta.
I shared from Einei Yisrael in the beginning of this article, in the part “ Preserving the Simcha” “the true value of experiencing joy on Yomtov is to preserve those special moments of hisorerus, spiritual awakening, and be able to access them on all days throughout the year etc. please read the full part shared in this article before, “there are so many different moments and these are just a few examples, but everybody knows in private, personal life which are the things that matter to him most”. (This book is available in many sefarim and Judaica stores).
There is one person I most acknowledge, my dear and close cousin Dr. Philip or as we all know him by Feitel, Rubin who is an oncologist and hematologist at Maimonides Medical Cancer Center who was our guiding light throughout my wife’s illness from the very beginning, Not only is he a Talmid Chacham, a Ben Torah completing Shas many times over, he has a heart more precious than gold. His kindness and sincerity as well as his medical knowledge and expertise know no bounds.
I truly am mispallel we should all have a gmar chasima tova, a remarkable, spiritual and meaningful Sukkos, and hopefully there should be achdus for Klal Yisrael. We should have many opportunities for Kiddush H . For all those who are lonely, their days should be filled with more brightness, we should not forsake them, do not pity them, just be kind to them. Not overbearing, but in a pleasant way. Being alone can be physically alone or feeling alone. Share your smile, your friendship, your heart in a golden way. COVID-19 is making everything so more challenging. I guess we have to decide how to meet the challenges – for ourselves, our loved ones and for other’s. I am grateful first and foremost the Ribono She Olam for every single thing He does for us, to my parents A”H, my dear wife A”H and my whole family sol zein gezundt. If you are interested in reading any of my articles, please go to the Rabbinical Alliance of America website and go to Chaplaincy Commission update, click on to read just my articles. Of course, you are welcome to read any of the RAA weekly newsletters. I hope you found this and my previous articles worthy of being read. I thank you for permitting me to share from my lens my personal journey with my wife and my continued journey after her demise. I hope they will be helpful to those in their time of need and for others to be of understanding during their difficult and challenging times. “This is not the end, it is the continuation of life”. Thank you. All my very best.
Sincerely Yehuda Blank
The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Rabbis, calls on the Trump administration to bring notorious accused terrorists Hamada and Abu Zayed to justice for the reported murder of Americans in a 1982 terrorist attack in Paris. On August 9, 1982, two Palestinian terrorists — Nizar Tawfiq Mussa Hamada and Walid Abdulrahman…