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Parshat Vayeishev December 20, 2008 23 Kislev, 5769

A Weekly Discussion about the Fundamentals of Jewish Prayer By Rabbi Brahm Weinberg – Rabbinic Intern
Artscroll, 198
Hertz, 141 This inspiring article level of kavana would be to Tosafot (Brachot 13a), think
about tefillah is also be focused on the that shma is no different than
Haftorah sponsored by David and meaning of the mitzvah. any other mitzvah and simply
Artscroll, 1142 Diane Rein in memory of The Shulchan requires a recognition that you
Hertz, 152 Diane’s mother, Aruch, the Code of Jewish are reading it to fulfill your
Mevorchim Chodesh Helene M. Fink z”l. Law rules that in regard to Torah obligation.
Tevet, Molad 12/27 most mitzvoth of the Torah The Rashba, Rabbi
4:10:16 pm Issue # 25 – Kriat Shma we must have just the very Solomon ben Aderet, as well
Rosh Chodesh (Part V) basic level of kavana to as other students of Rabbenu
Shabbat & Sunday
fulfill our obligation. In Yona (Brachot 13a) were
In last week’s contrast, for the first two probably the first to explicitly
Tefilla Digest article we lines of the shma, we are put forth such an argument for
began to discuss the very required to not only recite it dual kavana in the 13th century
Times important idea of with the intent to fulfill our in Spain although it is possible
Hashkama 8:00 am “mitzvoth tzrichot mitzvah but also to have an that the Rambam holds like
Minyan kavana” of the intention even greater level of kavana this as well.
Parsha Shiur 8:30 am or kavana necessary which is not required in They single out the
Youth 8:30 am when performing Torah other realms: One must be shma as a unique mitzvah that
commandments. aware that through the requires a greater level of
Main Minyan 9:00 am
We explained declaration of the shma we concentration and kavana in
Beit Midrash 9:15 am that there are two levels are accepting upon ourselves order to be fulfilled. The
Gemorah Shiur 3:30 pm of kavana that a person the yoke of Heaven – recitation of the shma requires
Mincha 4:05 pm
could have when kabalat ol malchut an unqualified surrender to G-
performing a mitzvah: shamayim. One must say the d as a higher power and
Shabbat Ends 5:20 pm The most basic level of words of the shma declaring recognition that G-d is the
Sunday, 7:30 am kavana would be for us G-d to be the King with an Master of the Universe.
December 21 8:30 am have the intent to understanding of what it is The source of this
Mon. thru Fri. 6:35 am perform the mitzvah act that you are saying and what argument between the
Chanukah in order to fulfill our it means to you (SA 63). Medieval commentators is an
Second Shacharit obligation towards G-d The earlier ambiguous statement of the
Minyan (Daily) 7:45 am without having any idea commentaries do not all Gemara in Brachot (13a)
Mincha (week of 4:20 pm what the mitzvah is all agree with this notion of the which discusses a fascinating
December 21 ) about, or what feelings dual kavana required for the real-life situation: The Mishna
Late Ma’ariv 8:15 pm and thoughts it is meant reading of the shma. Some, says that if a person was
Mon., - Thurs., to evoke. The greater such as Rashi and the reading the words of the Torah
Latest times for
Shema/Shmoneh Esrei Don’t
December 20 9:34/10:20 am forget to
December 27 9:37/10:23 am
First candle
Next Shabbat - Mikeitz of chanukah—Sunday
Candle lighting 4:15 pm
See for
Mincha 4:20 pm laws of chanukah

The Talmud Subjective mitzvoth are ones whose purpose is to concludes. Executive Director Howard Silberstein. you have fulfilled your obligation. the requirement to read the shma. it follows that with regard to the mitzvah requires more kavana than other mitzvoth? of the shma it would be impossible to fulfill the mitzvah While there are many interesting answers to with the basic level of kavana required by other mitzvoth. Chairman of the Board . For Thought to Ponder Great Neck Synagogue 26 Old Mill Road.26 Old Mill Road. NY 11023 (516) 487-6100 Shabbat Announcements. G-d commands us to feel mitzvoth require some level of intention. Great Neck. The purpose of the shma is really to reach the focusing on G-d and the meaning of the mitzvah? inner feeling or intellectual realization of “kabbalat ol As we mentioned earlier. The Torah attached a physical act to these mitzvoth though the act of reading the words was performed. Great Neck. feeling and understanding which is the true fulfillment of Objective mitzvoth are ones whose purpose is this unique mitzvah of shma. The Torah understood that it is hard his or her “heart directed to read. known as “The Rav. to experience something. Once you have done the act then objectively you have fulfilled the mitzvah.” reached the essence of the mitzvah. Rabbinic Intern Dr. purposes of this article I will be referring to Worship Therefore you are required to have the added of the Heart) that there are two types of mitzvoth that kavana of focusing on G-d and the meaning of accepting exist in the Torah: Subjective mitzvoth and Objective His rule and His kingship so that you reach that inner mitzvoth. Vayieishev 5769 and happened to get up to the section of the shma reasons we cannot always understand. Assistant Rabbi Brahm Weinberg. Shalom Axelrod. read” means: Does it mean that the person intended The shma and tefilla (the amidah prayer) are to read it in order to fulfill the mitzvah. These even if a person were reciting the actual words of the mitzvoth have two components to them: They have the shma at the exact right time of day that person would ultimate and essential aspect of the inner feeling. this question. In next week’s Tefilla Digest article we will go in to Dale Polakoff. Cantor Emeritus Mark Twersky. simply to perform an act. You would have The Rav explains (This theory of his is quoted performed the act of the mitzvah. Rabbi greater detail about what that means. in order to help us reach the emotional state and in order It is hard to know what “directs his heart to to concretize the mitzvah in some way. I would like to begin with the If all you did was read the words of the shma for the sake explanation put forward by Rabbi Joseph B. secondary. the concretization of in many different places because it is a principle that the mitzvah. What the Talmud is essentially saying is that to transform our inner beings in some way. kavana. Rabbi Emeritus Zeev Kron. but they still not be fulfilling the mitzvah unless the person also have the external performance like any other knew what he or she was doing. For the mitzvah itself. G-d simply wants right around the time of day when the mitzvah to that act to be performed regardless of what kinds of recite the shma kicked in (either just after sunrise in emotions it evokes within you. but not the he seems to have used in many contexts. Thus. based on this statement of the Mishna.z”l. Ephraim Wolf . if the person you are supposed to. or does it some of the only mitzvoth that belong to the subjective mean that through reciting the words he or she was category. the first step of the mitzvah. the shma Thus.” unless he or she to just pop in to an emotional sate and so it gave us some had kavana the mitzvah would not be fulfilled even help. something. that reach an internal feeling. and you do it for the sake of “directed his heart to read” then the person fulfilled fulfilling the mitzvah. of fulfilling the mitzvah you would have never really Soloveitchik. according to this interpretation. The real fulfillment of the mitzvah happens We must ask a very basic question: Why is it when you reach that inner state of being. the law seems to malchut shamayim” of accepting G-d as the King (this side with those who read the Gemara as saying that concept will be explained further in next week’s Tefilla “directs his heart to read” implies a greater level of article). New York 11023 Begin thinking about what “kabbalat ol malchut 516-487-6100 shamayim” “accepting the yoke of Heaven” is all about. to think something. Cantor Eleazer Schulman. As long as you do what the morning or just after dark at night). unless he or she had objective mitzvah. z”l. President Harold Domnitch. the act itself of reading the shma is really kavana necessary for the shma. that.


To RSVP contact Margery Libin at 466-7336 or email and the entire community for their outpouring of support. 23 Kislev Room. at 1:30pm in the Chalfin Saturday. Norman Rutta. Chief of Ambulatory Care at LIJ and Clinical Associate Susan Goldman for Malia Ring Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 26 Kislev Mahin Aryeh for Marilyn Schwadron THANK YOU H Mr. To keep them deliver. The and/or to assemble packages and deliver them. Sponsors are welcome. will be speaking on women’s health issues. kindness following the death of her mother Bella Lefkowitz Baum. Adults and children 7+ Axelrod . If you are having a simcha and would like to have someone pick up the extra food to Z Thursday. Tov to great grandmother Sabina Geist. Sisterhood presents a Stained Glass Chanukah Workshop with Artist Roberta Flatow. “oops items” and Great Neck Synagogue Hunger Initiative is sponsoring a unused unwanted gifts to give to those who wouldn’t get any gifts at Chanukah “Share The Light” program. David Birnbaum. Mazal Tov to Laura & Elie Cohen on the birth of their SUNDAY BREAKFAST daughter. we will SHARING THE LIGHT DECEMBER 21st be collecting new items. North Shore Lions. 2008. Chanukah Treats will be served. NJ. latkes. Eliezer Noy for Yosef Zargaryan The Hunger Initiative would like to thank Sharon Goldwyn. please call Cindy Hodkin at 516-482-7771 or 317-9632 (before 9:00 please). memory of his mother ray Herman. For directions and additional information. Jack Evan to their children Randy & Daniel Lee and Mazal There will be a ticket hunt followed by the Grand current. On Dec. NSHA PTA FUNDRAISER Harlem Wizards vs. of the and on Shabbat. please call Margery Libin at 242-1928 E Amir Mardkha for Touti Mardkha SCHOLARS KOLLEL I Friday. 25 Kislev for providing a grant for her appearance. will lead a panel discussion following the film.Guest Speaker. Rabbi Polakoff and Rabbi Lerner Emily. & Mrs. 1st grade and up. Hard copies will be available in the office. (Parents. and Raphaela & Isaac Keschner for donating the R Wednesday. help pack or been getting your Shabbat Announcements very late. Mazal Tov to Vera Bernstein on the birth of a grandson born SAVE THE DATE to her children Susie & Robert Schwartz and siblings Jacob & December 18. Volunteer (assemble/deliver): Between 12:00-3:00. Mazal Tov also to Elizabeth Lieberman on the birth Sunday Breakfast is sponsored by Sonia & Ernest Herman in of her granddaughter. DOS YIDDUSH VORT Nachas Fun Kinder? Hear what Shalom Aleichem has to say at Dos Yiddush Vort on Tuesday. let us know. Dr. Mazal Tov to Elana & Jonathan Kroll on the birth of their son. 20. Rabbi per item. T Reuel Shinnar for Miryam Shinnar . son. December 23. Erev Chanukah. and we’ll mail your copy. December 21 is the day! Our new website will be running soon. and Women’s Health at Albert Ernest Herman for Ray Herman Michal Malen for Emanuel Hoschander Einstein Medical School. and $30 at the door. youth program invited. Jill Maura Rabin. ANNOUNCEMENTS RABBI REISMAN SATURDAY NIGHT TELECAST WITHIN OUR FAMILY In the Weinstein Torah & Technology Center Saturday evening 7:30pm. How can you help? SHABBAT ANNOUNCEMENTS Make or buy a holiday food item. If you don’t have internet access. We are collecting and distributing non-food items. 29 Kislev Helaine Helmreich for Harry Gewirtz The Scholars Kollel is meeting at GNS every morning from 8:30 to 10am. Please volunteer by either donating these items and/ Please drop off your used magazines to the Synagogue We are grateful to UJA Y Monday. the Synagogue staff. Collect Chesed hours by helping. Mark Twersky. What is extra to you may be valuable to others! Chanukah related foods and items – such as jelly donuts. $25 per person in SISTERHOOD CHANUKAH WORKSHOP advance. Cider and Sufganiyot will be served. Mazal Tov to Sharon & Mark Twersky on the engagement of their son Daniel to Jennifer Pudles of Lakewood. Due to the way the Post Office is now handling bulk mail. For more info: Dalya Vilinsky 487-1221. Make your very own gift for someone you love. 18th from 6-9pm at GNS. sympathy and mjoymsw@aol. Cantor Kron.gnstorah. We would like to collect all. $18 Paula Minsky and Family would like to thank Rabbi Polakoff. Please send your email address to: mtwersky@gns. are welcome. at the home of Cindy Ludwig. Email address is ckorman@csklaw. cookies. 24 Kislev SAVE THE DATES: SISTERHOOD CALENDAR Jan. With Chanukah and the season of giving upon us. at North Middle School at 7:30pm. All are welcome! For more Al Leiderman for Leo Leiderman info call Roz Wagner 487-9795. or helping to package and deliver these items. Don’t forget to sign Mazal Tov to Rachel & Norman Lee on the birth of a grand- your tickets before Shabbat and bring to shul on the 20th. Thank you for your support! Let’s bring light to those in need. we are sending an email version of the news out each week. Karen Wydra for Evelyn Stein Sunday. Mazal Tov to Bracha & Cantor Ze’ev Kron on the birth of a granddaughter to their children Rivi & Moshe Moskovitz. For more information contact Steve Zuckerman at 652-5266. where the full version of the Pick the time slot that is most convenient for you to drop off food announcements will be available. Faculty and Students) this January 10th. board has decided to stop mass mailing the announcements by the first Food Drop-Off: Between 12:00-2:00. and candles to provide to needy families and MAGAZINES WANTED individuals. Youth Luncheon Dec. 10:30am-Noon at GNS. 7:45pm. www. PARENTS PLEASE PICK UP YOUR CHILDREN AT 4:00pm. Thank you to the Sisterhood of Great Neck Synagogue KOL DITZRICH for sponsoring the luncheon for our children. 13th 8pm . December 21st. we are embarking on the second half of our Initiative. CHANUKAH YOUTH LUNCHEON Mazal Tov to Rabbi Sholom Jensen on his engagement to Chanukah so you may get your news in a timely fashion. head of Henry Dicker for Blanche Dicker Urogynecology. GNS is showing “The Lonely Man of Faith” the story of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. Sunday. 22 Nassau Drive. you may have Email or call Cindy Hodkin if you can donate items. Kol Ditzrich. A Tuesday. 28 Kislev Pauline Loewenstein for Naomi Rutta donate to those in need. such as mistaken purchases. 27 Kislev Stuart Kaufman for Morris Kaufman extra food from their Cheva Brachot to help others. Entire Aksana Mavashev.