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In Parshas Emor, the Torah details all the various Jewish holidays. In fact, Parshas Emor is the Torah reading for many of the days of Yom Tov. We are taught "and you shall bring an Omer of the first harvest to the Kohen" [Vayikra 23:10]. Nowadays, when we fulfill the mitzvah of "counting the Omer," we enumerate "Today is so many days in the Omer." What do the words "in the Omer" mean? [It is actually one word in the original Hebrew.] "In the Omer" refers to the number of days in the count from the second day of Pesach when the Omer offering was brought. Due to our sins, we no longer bring an Omer offering. This, in fact, is the reason
May 3, 2014 3 Iyyar, 5774
Rabbi Frand on Parshas Emor
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that some of the early commentaries give for not reciting a "She'hechiyanu" [the blessing 'who has kept us alive' recited upon reaching a momentous milestone] when performing this mitzvah. This bracha is not recited over a 'sad' mitzvah and, in a sense, this is a 'sad' mitzvah. Every day of the Omer counting we remind ourselves that we do not have a Beis HaMikdash and so an Omer offering was not brought this year. The Medrash on the parsha quotes Rabbi Yochanan who says "Do not let the mitzvah of Omer be trivial in your eyes, for through this mitzvah Avraham merited to inherit the Land of Canaan." Rabbi Yochanan then quotes verses in Parshas Lech-Lecha as support for this linkage: "And I will give to you and to your seed after you the land in which you dwelled, the entire land of Canaan, for an everlasting inheritance and I will be for them a G-d. And the L-rd said to Avraham 'and you shall keep my covenant, you and your seed after you for all generations'" [Bereshis 17:8-9]. At first glance, this Medrash appears to be disjointed. It first talks about the mitzvah of offering the Omer mentioned in Parshas Emor and then it quotes verses in Parshas Lech Lecha that seem to be talking about Bris Milah. What is the connection between the mitzvah of counting Omer and the mitzvah of Bris Milah? To make matters even more confusing, Reish Lakish responds to the statement of Rabbi Yochanan in the Medrash by saying "Do not let the mitzvah of
Times Candle Lighting Friday mincha Hashkama Parsha Shiur Main Shul Beit Midrash Gemorah Shiur Mincha Shabbat ends Sunday May 4 Mon., Thurs. Tues., Wed., Fri. Mincha 7:34 pm 7:00 pm 8:00 am 8:30 am 9:00 am 9:15 am 6:30 pm 7:30 pm 8:43 pm 7:30/8:30 am 6:35/7:45 am 6:45/7:45 am 7:35 pm
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Seudah Shlishit is sponsored by Ellen & Mitchell Siegel In memory of her father Morris Givner, z”l
26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck, NY 11023 (516) 487-6100
Shaabbat Announcements Parshat Emor 5774
Omer be trivial in your eyes, for through this mitzvah G-d made peace between man and his wife." The idea alluded to by Reish Lakish is that the Omer offering is brought from barley flour. Barley flour is also used in the case of the Sotah offering, which is used to corroborate the guilt or innocence of a woman suspected of being unfaithful to her husband. Here, too, it seems like a far-fetched linkage between the Omer offering and marital harmony. Clearly, this enigmatic Medrash needs explanation. What is the connection between the Omer offering, getting the Land of Israel, circumcision, and the mitzvah of Sotah [the suspected wife]? Rav Shimon Schwab explains the connection. The Talmud refers to barley as "animal food." Humans eat wheat products. What is the significance of the fact that the Omer offering is brought from barley? The Torah is teaching us a lesson that explains the essence of all of Torah. Man has the capability within himself to take that which is worthy for animals and to elevate it and make it into an offering of sublime spiritual dimension. This is what Judaism is all about -- living the life of a human being, but at the same time elevating every mundane and physical activity into something holy and spiritual. This is what the Omer offering symbolizes. The mitzvah of Bris Milah teaches a similar lesson. We make a sign of holy covenant in the very part of the body that can symbolize the animalistic nature of man. We sanctify the organ that represents raw passion, to show that even that aspect of our lives can be made holy. When G-d told Avraham that he is being given the Land of Canaan on condition that he 'keep the covenant.' G-d was telling the first Jew that the Land of Canaan is not meant for decadent people. The Canaanites were chased out precisely because they
Great Neck Synagogue Shabbat Activities Program 26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck , NY 11023 Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Ian Lichter, Assistant Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Wolf ,z”l, Rabbi Emeritus Zeev Kron, Cantor Eleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor Emeritus Rabbi Sholom Jensen, Youth Director Zehava & Dr. Michael Atlas, Youth Directors Mark Twersky, Executive Director Rabbi Avraham Bronstein, Program Director Dr. Scott Danoff, President Harold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board Dena Block, Yoetzet Halacha 516-320-9818
lived an animalistic existence. "I am giving you this land because I expect that you will elevate even your physical life into a matter of spirituality." Finally, this is also the relationship to the Sotah sacrifice. The reason why the Sotah brings a barley offering rather than a wheat offering is because "she did an act fit for animals - by her brazen behavior - so too her offering is from food fit for animals." We tell her to take this "animal food" and elevate it into an offering, to symbolize that from here on in, she too must begin to elevate her life as well. This is the common denominator between Omer, Milah, and Sotah. All of them demonstrate the Jews' ability and obligation to take a life that tugs us down to this world and try to elevate it into a holier life.
THANK YOU The GNS Men’s Club Blood Drive this past Sunday was dedicated to a Refuah Shelemah for Rabbi Polakoff. It was especially exciting that Rabbi Polakoff was able to join us in a surprise visit to wish the donors and volunteers well. Everyone enjoyed speaking with him and we all wish him a speedy and complete recovery. We thank the 75 selfless individuals who came to donate in an unprecedented show of support , including a number of first-time donors. We also thank our kind and hard-working volunteers: Amanda Heisler, Kim Lenchner, Sam Levitt, Benjamin Pagovich, Diane Rein, Alexander Rein, Oliver Rein, Sophia Rein, Feri Sedaghatpour, Eliana Wydra, Shawn Wydra and the very special Rebettzin Elaine Wolf. Thank you to Mark Twersky and Dario too for all their help.
WITHIN OUR FAMILY Mazal Tov to Hilly and Charlene Milun on the occasion of the Bar Mitzvah of their eldest grandson, William, son of Ashley and Lisa Milun of Teaneck, NJ.
RABBI TOKAYER Over the next few months Rabbi Tokayer will be a guest Rabbi at GNS. This Shabbat he will be in the Beit Midrash. ROSH CHODESH CIRCLE
Thursday, May 1st 10:30 am Rosh Chodesh Circle will be held at GNS Youth Center for Refuah Shleimah for Rabbi Polakoff. there will be a tehillim reading followed by a lecture by Ferri Sedaghatpour.
SAVE THE DATE The annual North Shore Mikvah Association fundraising shiur for women will take place at the home of Marla and Micah Lemonik 9 Myrtle Drive - On Tues., May 13th at 7:30. The shiur will be given by Rebbetzin Abby Lerner and is entitled, They Said What? The Surprising Rabbinic Attitudes Towards Intimacy. Light refreshments will be served and orchids from "Blooming Flowers" will be for sale with proceeds to benefit the mikvah. Suggested Donation $36.00, Sponsorships - $100, Gold Sponsor - $180.00 The shiur will be in memory of Hadassah Ben Tzvi - if you would like to donate money to help her family, please send a check to the GNS Chessed Fund earmarked for the Ben Tzvi family. For more information SAVE THE NEW DATE: The NSHA Annual Journal Dinner celebrating its 59th year will take place on Mon. evening, May 19th at Citi Field honoring Stephanie & Ruvane Vilinsky, Hannah K. Flamenbaum & Charles W. Segal and Sassoun Sassouni. Those wishing to place an ad, make a reservation or serve on the dinner committee, please contact Arnie Flatow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Business Office at 487-868 ext 2. ROSH CHODESH IYAR CHALLAH BAKE Thur., May 1st at 6pm at the home of Dahlia AbrahamKlein. Come and learn the spiritual significance of challah baking throughout the Omer. As we knead we will focus on a specific quality within ourselves, perfecting areas in our emotions to reach a sacred place for receiving the Torah. To RSVP or to find out more Info, please email email@example.com PARLOR MEETING On May 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm at home of Marcy & Danny Aharon, 20 Beverly Rd. Great Neck, a parlor meeting will be held for Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society RCCS, in memory of our mikvah lady Hadassah Ben Zvi. Speaker Rabbi-Dr. Jonathan Rozenblatt, senior Rabbi and lecturer of RJC– Riverdale Jewish Center.
This coming Monday evening we will be holding our annual Yom Hazikaron/Yom Haatzmaut program beginning at Mincha. We will be honoring all of our members who have served in the IDF at that time. Please let the office know what your rank and unit you were in. Tamir Goodman will be our featured speaker and will return on Tuesday afternoon to give a basketball clinic for children.
Great Neck Synagogue is hosting their bi-annual OHEL Shabbaton, next Shabbos, May 3rd.
On Shabbat, May 9-10, GNS will host a Shabbaton with Manhattan Jewish Experience, a cutting-edge and dynamic program helping Jewish professionals in their 20's and 30's connect with each other, to Judaism, and the community at large. The program will include a Friday night dinner, Shabbat lunches with host families, and an inspirational Seudah Shlishit, along with several opportunities to hear from Rabbi Mark Wildes, MJE Founder and Dir. If you are interested in hosting participants or in being a part of the weekend, please contact Rabbi Bronstein or the synagogue office.
TUE., JUNE 10, & WED., JUNE 11, at 7:00pm: The Mens Club annual Defensive Driving Course will be presented by AARP. The cost is $20 for AARP members and $25 for nonmembers. Take the course every 3 years to save $ on your car insurance premiums and reduce any points you may have . Please contact Jerry Siegelman 516-712-7538 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently soliciting nominees to be considered for the David and Ellie Werber Chesed Award. This is an award presented to a child/teenager from our community who performs chesed in a notable way. Please email Mark Twersky (email@example.com) with the name of your nominee and a brief description of why you think he or she is deserving of this award. All nominees will be considered by the committee, and are confidential.
Y A H R Z E I T
Saturday, 3 Iyyar Gerry Gut for Janine Leonie Gut Herman Kotler for Esther Kotler Renee Krieger for Esther Kotler Francine Mermelstein for Gitla Zimmerman Ellen Siegel for Morris Givner Marcia Toledano for Isidore Karten Sunday, 4 Iyyar Roslyn Dicker for Max Gottlieb Monday, 5 Iyyar Ronald Braun for Robert Braun Aaron J. Eliach for Ruth Eliach Peter Epstein for Isidore Epstein Ebrahim Gabbaizadeh for David Gabbaizadeh Michael Nevens for Sally Nevens Aaron Seligson for Abraham Seligson Roselin Wagner for Reci Prebluda Tuesday, 6 Iyyar Sheila Bachman for Florence Gur Halina Greenwald for Pola Salpeter Ephraim Slonim for Jacob Slonim Sam Yehaskel for Lucy Yehaskel Thursday, 8 Iyyar Fay Smith for Lester Smith Friday, 9 Iyyar Tammy Jampel for Amnon Abramov
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