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Parshat Shoftim, 7 Elul 5779 - September 7, 2019

09/06/2019 01:14:24 PM


Shabbat Candle Lighting before: 6:52 PM

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

Community Mikvah open for Leil Shabbat Women’s Tevillah 

Yoetzet Halakhah Sarah Cheses (339) 364-2848 or via email at


RABBI’S MESSAGE: This past week, one of my beloved teachers from my post-high school yeshiva years at Gush (Yeshivat Har Etzion) passed away after suffering with ALS for the past several years. Rabbi Binyamin Tabory zt”l was an amazing pedagogue and exemplary educator. Even when I was no longer in his shiur, Rabbi Tabory maintained a warm and interactive relationship with me, as he did with countless other talmidim and talmidot. I still remember dearly many of the stories and vortlach he shared with me in the Beis Medresh – much more than I remember all the sugyot and lomdishe chakiras from all the various Gemara shiurim I attended. But most of all, I remember his model of sincere concern and warmth for his students. His model has been very influential in shaping the type of rabbi and teacher I myself aspire to be.  A few years ago, I was invited by Camp Moshava IO to be a guest rabbi for a Shabbat. I believe it was Rav Tabory’s last summer at Moshava as Rav Machaneh. WIthout question, the highlight of the Shabbat weekend for me was the opportunity to reacquaint myself with Rav Tabory. Incredibly, he remembered me fully, even conversations we had together, though I had not seen him in over two decades. We sat next to each other at Shabbat dinner and lunch, and it was like we just picked up our Beis Medresh banter  from so many years ago. 

    In life, we have role models and mentors; gate-keepers and door openers; shoftim veshotrim. We have attained our professional accomplishments, personal achievements, and even religious identity, among other aspects of who we are, in great measure because of the influential roles -- both large and small -- that they have played in our lives. Sometimes they are family members, other times teachers and rabbis, often friends, and once in a while even a complete stranger -- what my colleague and friend Rabbi Daniel Cohen calls “Elijah Moments.” 

    This Shabbat, take some time to think about the positive influencers in your life. If they are no longer with us, share your memory of them with people you love. If they are still alive, consider sending them a Shana Tova card or email or call them, and say thank you. But more importantly, think about ways that you yourself can pay their kindness forward.  How can you best become a positive role model and mentor, constructive gate-keeper or door opener, judicious and magnanimous shofet veshoter, for others? 

    Shabbat shalom, Rav Benjie




6:50 PM Minchah/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv 



8:00 AM Hashkama Minyan (Downstairs Beit Midrash) 

9:00 AM Main Sanctuary Minyan.  D’var Torah: Rabbi Benjamin Samuels; Anim Zemirot: Henry Goldstein

10:30 AM Youth Programs:

  • Torah Tots group (1-5 year olds) meet in the small Youth Room downstairs.
  • K-2nd grade group meet in the large Youth Room across from the Beit Midrash men’s entrance.

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Shaarei Family Learning in the Social Hall.

6:40 PM Minchah Youth leyner: Avi Berlove. We resume our Shabbat Mincha Youth laining program this Shabbat.

All youth who would like to participate should contact David Waxman to reserve a spot. 

6:55 PM Seudah Shelishit. Summer learning series: Learning on Two Feet: Lessons from Jewish Travel Experiences. Speaker: Steven Lesser, Topic: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Kotel.

7:51 PM Maariv/Havdalah 


Yamim Noraim Info

NEED SEATS? If you have missed seating selection this week and wish to purchase seats, please contact the office  after Wednesday Sept 11.

CHILDCARE for the High Holidays: As in previous years, our shul is pleased to offer a childcare program for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for children ages 12 months through fifth grade. Please  CLICK HERE for more details of the program and for volunteer opportunities to help with this effort. Your registration is required no later than Sept 12th, 2019.


Click here to order Lulavim.  Deadline to order is Friday, September 13. Questions? Email  or You do not have to order again if you submitted your order to the shul office during the Yamim Noraim seating process. 



Sunday Morning Teen Minyan is back from summer vacation. We will meet every Sunday morning at 8:30 in the Beit Midrash starting this coming Sunday 9/8 for davening and breakfast. All middle and High school girls and boys and their parents are invited to join us. This week we will have festive hot breakfast (high protein/high carbs). For details please contact Hagay Ramati or David Berlove.

Tuesday Sept 10, 7:15 - 8:00 am. Mishna Study with J. David Jacobs, in the Bayit. It is a great opportunity to first engage in text study, or come back to the Mishna as an old friend.  All levels are welcome. We will be continuing with Pe'ah.  

Tuesday, September 10, Tai Chi 7:00 - 9:00 PM in the Youth Room

Daily Halakhah between Minchah and Maariv




** NCSY Opening Shabbat in Newton-  Friday Night-Shabbat, Sept. 6-7. 

Davening & Dinner: 7:00 PM Teen Minyan at Beth El; followed by 8:00 PM dinner at Riesel

home, 50 Morseland Teen Minyan & Shabbat Lunch: 9:30 AM Teen Minyan at Beth El; followed by 12:30 PM Shabbat lunch at Riesel home, 50 Morseland. 


** Saturday Night Ice Skating-  Saturday, Sept. 7, 9-11pm at Daly Rink - 10$ to register 


** Emtza  (middle school) Opening BBQ-  Sunday, Sept. 8, 5-7pm at the Riesel Home (50 Morseland) - 10$ to register:


Zhug! Monday night, Sept 16, 7:30-9:00 PM. at Shaarei Tefillah. Spend an evening learning the secrets of preparing Zhug (Yemeni Hot Sauce) and Humus with George Kirby. Ingredients will be provided. Please RSVP - Co-sponsored by Beit Sasson & Beth El-Atereth Israel.


Elul with Ma’ayan 

** Join Ma’ayan for a 3 part class with Rachel Sharansky Danziger called “The Ushpizin and Us” at Shaarei Tefillah, Tuesdays September 10, 17, and 24 at 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM. This class is open to women only.


**Ma'ayan Annual Elul Lecture sponsored by the Cohn/Novich family in Memory of Rabbi Reuven Cohn z"l on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm at Shaarei Tefillah.  The lecture "The Other Side of Teshuva: Forgiving Others" will be given by Laurie Novick.  The event is free and open to the entire community. This evening of learning in memory of Rabbi Reuven Cohn z"l, a long-time teacher, friend and

supporter of Ma'ayan and Jewish learning. For questions email Donations in his memory are welcome.


Book Group: It’s back to school and back to Book Group time!  Our next meeting will be on Monday, September 16th at 7:30 when we will be discussing Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. This will be at a member's home. Please RSVP to Roz and to me and Paulette Korn. If you need a ride, please let us know.  We will not meet in October but have chosen to read Inheritance by Dani Shapiro for our November meeting.  


SIGN UP TODAY for YEAR TWO of ME’AH being held at Shaarei. Is your registration up to date before the fall semester begins? The fall semester is scheduled to begin on Monday, October 28, 7-9”30 PM. Dr. Alan Verskin will be teaching a Medieval course. The winter/spring course begins on Monday, February 3, 2020. Dr. Jacob Meskin will be teaching a Modern course. To register for Year Two of Me’ah Classic, held at Congregation Shaarei Tefillah in Newton, please go to the following link :

NEW ME’AH STUDENTS: If you were unable to join us for the first year, there is an option to join the group for year two (Medieval and Modern Jewish history). In order to graduate from the Me’ah course we would help you connect with a year one class (Bible & Rabbinics) the following year.

Click here to learn more about the Me’ah Program- A Journey Through 2,000 years of Jewish History.


Leil Selichot Sat 21 at 10:30 PM at Shaarei. Televising Teshuvah? Yom Kippur on the Small Screen. An audio-visual presentation by Rachel L. Greenblatt Ph.D.


Shaarei Blood Drive: Sunday, October 27, 2019. Time: 9 AM to 2:30 PM. Register here:


COMING SOON National Book Club: we will be participating in the Jewish Lives book club next year, as a group. See the flyer in the atrium for details and look out for more info on buying books and discussions coming soon. Contact for more details.


FAMILY TABLE: Shaarei Tefillah’s Family Table program continues to partner with JF&CS in providing critically needed food and Jewish holiday items to more than 500 households each month.

We have been assigned to provide 40 boxes of Whole Grain Pasta and 40 boxes of Whole Grain Cereal each month. Drop off anytime at the Family Table bin in the entrance lobby of the shul. 

Please consider volunteering in the rewarding experience of packing and distributing groceries for those in need on behalf of JFCS Family Table. The scheduled upcoming Sundays are: Sept. 22, Oct 27, Nov 17, Dec 15; Jan 26, 2020, Feb 23, Mar 15, Apr 5, May 10, June 7, July 12.

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.



Israeli Folk Dancing for Women & Girls will celebrate Elul with dancing Monday, 9 September 2019 at  7:30PM-9:30PM at Beit Sasson, the Sephardic Congregation of Newton (556 Ward St, Newton Centre). 


Rofeh International BBQ Buffet Extravaganza - 7th Annual Appreciate Night, Tuesday September 10, 7:00 - 9::00 PM, Young Israel of Brookline, 62 Green St. Celebrate our dedicated volunteers who

support the many patients and their families from around the world, throughout the US, and in our local community as they seek medical treatment in Boston. 

Register by Wed. September 4th at, Seating is limited.

Silent Online Auction. Red Sox Fan Prize for 4 Private “on-field experience” with noted Red Sox official historian Gordon Edes:


Hadassah Boston: LOST AND FOUND: The Unusual Jewish Community of Madagascar. Thursday, Sept 12. Join  Hadassah Boston for a very special program about Kulanu,  an international organization that helps isolated and emerging Jewish communities in Africa, Asia, South America, and around the globe.

At Temple Emeth, 194 Grove St. Chestnut Hill. Cost: $18, RSVP by clicking here .


Elul with Ma’ayan Beyond the Whale’s Belly: Encountering God in the Book of Jonah, with Rachel Sharansky Danziger. Location: Young Israel of Sharon. Monday, September 23, 8:00 – 9:15 pm. Cost of Course: $20. This class is open to women and men.


Join the Boston community on October 27 for ADL New England’s The Good Fight: A Forum on Confronting Anti-Semitism Today and Tomorrow, an informative and hands-on day dedicated to combating #antiSemitism. Learn more and register at


If you wish to donate a sefer (Siddur, Chumash, Library Book) in honor of or in memory of a person or people, please go to:


Wed, August 5 2020 15 Av 5780