Sign In Forgot Password

Parshat Vayikra, 2 Nisan 5780 - March 27, 2020

03/27/2020 12:40:38 PM


Shabbat Candle Lighting before: 6:47 PM

ERUV IS UP! Please check the ERUV hotline at (781) 446-9797

For Women’s Mikvah usage advice, please contact: Yoetzet Halakhah Sarah Cheses (339) 364-2848 or via email at

Solar-Power Production Dashboard, click here: SolarEdge


RABBI’S MESSAGE: Last week, we finished Sefer Shemot with the completion of the Mishkan. This week we begin Sefer Vayikra which teaches us the function of the Mishkan in all its uses: Mikdash - Sanctuary, Ohel Moed - Tent of Meeting, Mishkan - Indwelling House of God. 

When the Mishkan was done, per the Midrash (Tanchuma Pekudei 7; Yalkut Shimoni Pekudei 415), B’nei Yisrael did an audit, which came up short 1775 silver shekels. Moshe Rabbeinu was afraid he would be accused of embezzlement. So they searched, and looked, and then figured out that the auditors made a mistake and didn’t notice the hidden silver sockets - the Vavei HaAmudim - that connect the pillars and beams, and held up the Mishkan structure.

 As rabbi of our Shul, I often am the visible 2x4 of our community (which admittedly is an apt metaphor for me much of the time). But the true heroes of our community are our unseen silver sockets without whom our communal structure would fall. I am so deeply thankful for and inspired by all our kehillah’s usually unseen and often under-acknowledged Vavei HaAmudim - our hidden silver sockets: our officers who govern our Shul, our staff and volunteers that run our office, clean and maintain our building, those who lead our Chesed initiatives, teach us Torah and even Challah Baking, all who advise me in my rabbinical efforts, all who organize and implement our programing from community dinners to our Purim Mishloach Manot, and all those minyanaires who show up day-in day-out.

Together we all build a Mishkan of sanctity and goodness in the midbar (wilderness) of this crisis! Wishing one and all health and happiness, strength and wisdom, and abiding hope, Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom, Rav Benjie 


Seder-in-a-Box Important updates: 1. Our Shul’s “Seder in a Box” program is fully subscribed. Please email me if you wish to be placed on a waiting list: 2. CJP has announced a Seder Plate/Matza/Grape Juice-in-a-Box primarily, but not exclusively, targetting millenials


7:45 -8:45 PM Wednesday Night, April 1

Rabbi Samuels’ (pre-)Shabbat HaGadol Drasha

Freedom Starts Within: Pesach Mitzrayim and Pesach Corona





Parshat Vayikra, 2 Nisan 5780 - March 27, 2020 

Kavod Shabbat: Although we cannot be in shul together this Shabbat, we can create a special atmosphere of Shabbat kedushah (holiness) by cleaning our homes, setting the table, and wearing our special Shabbat clothing.


6:15 PM Virtual Kabbalat Shabbat Live! This week, we will once again be led by Daniel Swartz.
We will be using Zoom this week, and have solved the technical difficulties that compromised last week’s service.

Please daven Minchah in advance. We will begin with brief words from Rabbi Samuels, sing Yedid Nefesh, recite Kabbalat Shabbat through Lekhah Dodi, then we will hang up, women light Shabbat candles, followed by the acceptance of Shabbat with Mizmor Shir LeYom HaShababt and Maariv.

Candle lighting is at 6:47 PM

SHABBAT MORNING  (Parshat Vayikra) 

Latest Shema is 9:41 AM; Sof Zeman Tefillah is 10:44 AM

Keriyat HaTorah: Although Torah reading is a Chovat Hatzibbur - a communal responsibility, we should still endeavor to read the parashah from a chumash, Vayikra 1:1-5:26. This week’s Haftorah is Isaiah 31:21-23. Artscroll and Koren publishing houses have made this week’s parashah and Haftorah available for free:

Minchah: Please remember to daven Minchah (any time after 1:21 PM before sunset) and then later eat Seudah Shelishit before sunset (7:07 PM). If one begins their meal before sunset, one may continue eating after sunset.













Before 6:15 PM


Kabbalat Shabbat 6:15 PM

CL before 6:47 PM




8:00 AM

9:00 AM

>1:21 PM

>7:50 PM

Havdalah after 7:50 PM

Virtual Havdalah 8:00 PM





6:55 PM


10 AM Virtual Shiur n'Shmear with Avi Rockoff

8:00 PM Daf Yomi





6:55 PM

9:00 PM

8:00 PM Daf Yomi





6:55 PM

9:00 PM

7:00 PM Virtual Tai Chi

8:00 PM Daf Yomi





6:55 PM

9:00 PM

7:45 PM Rabbi Samuels Shabbat HaGadol Drasha


9:00 PM Daf Yomi





6:55 PM

9:00 PM

8:00 PM Daf Yomi





6:55 PM


7:15 AM Daf Yomi 

CL before 6:55 PM



Mechirat Chomet - Sale of Chometz: As usual, you may appoint me as your power-of-attorney agent to sell your Chometz for you this year. Additionally, you may stock-up (without hoarding!) on Chometz supplies before Pesach with the intention to sell them over Pesach so that you have a full pantry upon conclusion of Pesach.  Click here:


Maot Chittim - Charitable Support of those in Need. In most years, there is an advantage in collecting tzedakah and pooling our communal resources for Maot Chittim, and making a donation as a Shul to hunger alleviation efforts for the Jewish community. However, this year, for the sake of expediency and efficiency,  we are recommending that people donate directly to our communal agencies that will provide for this year’s increased needs. Please consider Maot Chittim Donations to the follow organizations and relief efforts:

CJP COVID-19 Emergency Fund - Yad Chesed - JFCS’s Family Table - LEKET Israel

Our Tzedakah community will also be making a contribution to the Newton Relief Fund , in the spirit of the Jewish obligation to support the gentile poor along with the Jewish poor, especially during times of shared danger.


PDF OU Guide to Passover 2020: Download complete guide click here





NEW Emotional and Mental Health Support Opportunity - Monday, March 30, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM. You are invited to participate in a virtual group sharing and information Zoom session with Esther Kletter, LICSW and Rachel Barbanel Fried, PsyD.

This is the third long week without shul, without the sustaining connection of the social fabric of life. It is a time of growth, beginnings, freedom and celebration. Yet it is likely that many of us are worried about how to find the energy for Pesach and are also sad at the prospect of Yom Tov in isolation, without the familiar bustle and family gatherings. We would like to share some insights, tips and strategies with you to:

o Identify early symptoms of distress in ourselves and those around us

o Increase resiliency in the face of these challenges

o Be mindfully and meaningfully present in our lives at this uncertain time


Follow the zoom like


We have set up a number of committees to help support our members whose lives may have been disrupted in recent weeks by the novel Coronavirus Pandemic. These include helping people find (general) medical information, social connections, shop for life's essentials for those in quarantine, support for young families and more. We have created a dedicated page on the shul website, accessible directly here and also from the Shaarei website homepage .

Thank you to all our dedicated and hard working committee members.


If you are experiencing any level of financial need, please contact Rabbi Samuels at or by cell phone (857) 636-8489. All requests will be held with confidentiality.


Additional financial resources:

CJP Warmline (1-800-CJP-9500) may be able to assist you.

With one phone call or by filling out a simple online form, trained Warmline counselors can begin to help you navigate available services across our Jewish community. 

Yad Chesed - Anyone who wants to reach out should email with their full name, date of birth, address, number of dependents and best phone number to be reached.





VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES JF&CS: Taking Action and Staying Together

Family Table: Our friends at Jewish Family & Children's Services are in dire need of volunteers to help at their Sunday distributions in Waltham, Marblehead, and Canton. Their next distribution is in Waltham on Sunday, April 5th  and they need volunteers on-site and to pack and deliver groceries. Click here to sign up.


Write personalized cards to home-bound older adults: 

Another request from JF&CS: In the past, this generation primarily communicated through handwritten notes and letters, so your personally-written note will be particularly meaningful. If you are proficient in Russian, we would love to receive cards written in Russian as well. Please contact Ava Harder for more information at


Deliver meals to older adults and quarantined immigrant families:

Our friends at Jewish Family Service (Metrowest) need volunteers to deliver meals to isolated older adults and immigrant families. Click here to fill out their volunteer interest form.


Donate supplies to hospitals:

Hospitals are in need of sanitizer, gloves, wipes, and more. Click here to fill out the City of Boston's donation intake form.





Ideas for Teaching and Amusing Children:


Teaching Remotely for Grades K - 12 | Free Resources and Strategies:


Tzetchem Leshalom

The Shlichot have returned to Israel.

To honor our shlichot, please send a short video (no more than 15 seconds) saying what you/your children loved about Bnei Akiva or what you'll miss most. 

Videos should be sent to by March 30. 


Pesach Recipe Book

The Shlichot are collecting Pesach recipes which will be collated into our community recipe book. Think about a delicious Passover recipe and email it to the Shlichot at: by April 1st.  Book will be shared with everyone before the Chag.





Find a Hebrew-English version of Daf Yomi at

Are you already utilizing the internet for listening to shiurim podcasts, keep going! 

For those who were members of our in-person daf yomi group, David Fischer has graciously agreed to teach virtually.

We have created a friendly self-accountability mechanism to motivate people to make the time to continue in their Daf Yomi learning.

Download a daf yomi Whatsapp Chat Group. If you don’t already have the app, go to your App Store on your smart phone and download the app, and then open a free account. Click on this link to join the Whatsapp Chat Group:

“Daf with David” schedule includes Sun-Thurs at 8:00 PM, Friday at 7:15 AM, Motzaei shabbat at 9PM.

SUNDAY March 29

Shiur n'(BYO)Shmear with Avi Rockoff at 10:00 AM via Zoom

Sessions: Mar. 29;  Apr. 19, 26.

לכולם שמות נקרא : Jewish First Names in History, Halacha, Minhag, and Social Practice.

Join Zoom Meeting:

One tap mobile: +16468769923,,203487408#

Dial-in: +1 646 876 9923 US Meeting ID: 203 487 408


TUESDAY March 31

Tai Chi: Join us on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM for an hour of Virtual Tai Chi. We have been working on our seated meditation practice, a helpful skill in these stressful times.

    Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 659 980 052 Password: 024242

One tap mobile +19292056099, 659980052# 

Dial-in: +1 929 205 6099 Meeting ID: 659 980 052




Shaarei Book Club Update: We have chosen our next book. It is: Where the Crawdads Sing,  by Delia Owens.  If you have questions, email them to




Virtual NCSY/JSU

NCSY Online Programs 

We have created multiple different webinars about a variety of topics that will engage our local teens while they're not in school, including a series on Judaism 101, Israel activism, virtual fellowship and more! 

Sign-up today! Find out more at: or email:


List of Youth Programs 

Monday, March 30,  8:00 PM

Judaism 101: Emunah- Does Care About What Happens On Earth? Rabbi Israel Lashak


Tuesday March 31,  8:00 PM

Israel Advocacy Series for Teens: I’m American and Support Israel: Where Do I Fit In? (AIPAC, J-street, JVP) With Daniel Geller

Find out more at: or email: 


Wednesday, April 1, 7:30 PM

Online Fellowship Program for teens: Healthcare Rationing in Halacha 

Pre-registration is required.

Find out more at: or email:

Teens can also fill out the following form to let us know what type of topics they'd like to discuss over the next few weeks:


Schusterman Center for Israel Studies is proud to present the remaining Spring programs online for the entire community.


Tuesday March 31

A Foreign and Grating Language? A talk with Rachel Rojanski about her book Yiddish in Israel: A History, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Rachel Rojanski is an Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Brown University. Her research focuses on the history of  the east European Yiddish-speaking Jewish diaspora from late 19th century to the end of the 20th century, with a special interest in American Jewish history, Zionism and Israel studies.

To join, use this link on March 31st at 12 PM


Thursday April 2

Jewish Nationalism and the Temple Mount: The End-Point of Zionism Seminar with Tomer Persico, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Tomer Persico is the Shalom Hartman Institute Bay Area Scholar in Residence and the Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught for eight years at the Department for Comparative Religion in Tel-Aviv University.

To join, use this link on April 2nd at 12 PM


Monday, March 30

Ma’ayan Pre-Pesach Classes in Hebrew, 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM

Dr. Moria Ran Ben Hai will be teaching this online class in Hebrew.

Session: Mar 30

Cost: $20/class. Open to Women. Sign-up online.



New England Yoetzet Halacha Initiative (NEYHI) of Ma'ayan Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses is available for consultation on questions regarding Taharat HaMishpacha (Jewish law relating to married life) and its intersection with women's health. She can be reached via phone or text at (339) 364-2848 or via email at The best hours to contact Sarah are 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and 8PM to 10PM. For more information and to stay connected, please visit and sign up for the mailing list.



Vilna Shul will present a Virtual Conversation featuring Genie Milgrom: Journey Back in Time: In Search of Crypto-Jewish Ancestors.  Monday, March 30, 6:30 PM. Free but registration is required. Email to register. Online! Email for the Zoom link!

Tracing her family back 15 generations to 1405 pre-Inquisition Spain, Genie Milgrom was able to unravel the web of lies and deceit that her family had spun around themselves in order to survive the Spanish Inquisition. This fascinating story brought her on a journey she could have never imagined. Genie Milgrom served as President of the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies at Colorado State University and as President of the JGS of Greater Miami. Her books, My 15 Grandmothers and How I Found My 15 Grandmothers, have won Latino Author Book Awards. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker.


Thu, October 29 2020 11 Cheshvan 5781