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Parshat Ki Tavo, 21 Elul 5779 - September 21, 2019

09/20/2019 12:49:02 PM


Shabbat Candle Lighting before: 6:28 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

12 AM Selichot this Motzaei Shabbat, preceded at 10:30 PM by a presentation by Dr. Rachel Greenblatt.


RABBI’S MESSAGE: When I turned 40 years old (that was 11 years ago!), I grew very excited. Rabbi Yehudah ben Teimah outlines in his review of the life course that “Ben ‘arabaim lebinah - At forty, one reaches the age of wisdom”(M. Avot 5:21). At last, I would achieve wisdom! I said to myself, maybe I would begin to understand the mysteries of the universe -- from its hidden origins to its unknown future. I would now master the complexities of interpersonal relationships ... even know the mind of God ... and finally understand why a pizza box is square when a pizza is round and we cut it into triangles -- oy vey, my brain hurts just thinking about it!

    At the end of this week’s parashah, Ki Tavo, “Moses called all of Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your very eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, to all his servants, and to all his land, the great trials which your very eyes beheld and those great signs and wonders, but God did not give you a heart to know, or eyes to see, or ears to hear until this day" (Devarim 29:3). The verse seems self-contradictory. It is forty years after the Children of Israel experienced the exodus, with the prior sufferings of servitude and the subsequent miracles of redemption. How is it that only now, forty years later, they are given a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear -- in other words, the wisdom of understanding? Surely, then, at forty, one reaches the age of wisdom!

    The truth is, as we all are wise enough to know, wisdom is less a function of time, and more a product of experience lived and contemplated. Only forty years later at the threshold of the Land of Promise do the people of Israel have enough perspective to understand how they grew into a holy people from the challenges they faced; how they ascended from the depths of despair to the hope of a new destiny.  We too stand at a crossing-point: the end of our year’s wanderings and the beginning anew. Today, we too are given new hearts, eyes and ears to reflect upon the mistakes, failings, lessons, and achievements of the past year. The wisdom gained will help us enter into a new year of great promise. Forty days after Rosh Chodesh Elul, the beginning of our season of Teshuva, we will arrive at Yom Kippur. Ben/Bat ‘arbaim lebinah - At forty (days), may we gain the needed wisdom and understanding! 

    Shabbat Shalom Rav Benjie



This coming Wednesday, the 25th, please note that our parking lot will be closed for the day beginning immediately after morning minyan so that contractors can replace the roof shingles over the social hall.  Once replaced, work will commence on installing our new solar panel arra


While we prepare the shul for the High Holidays, please note:

  • Beginning the week of September 23 through Oct. 5 davening will take place in the Sanctuary.
  •  There will be no Kiddush on Sept 28th and October 5.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!


WELCOME TO OUR NEW  BNEI AKIVA SHLICHOT Hadar Lapid from Yonatan and Shai Bulvik from Lavi.  










Late Maariv






6:40 AM  

6:30 PM


Candle Lighting before 6:28 PM





8:00 AM  

9:00 AM

6:15 PM


Havdalah after 7:27 PM

Selichot at 12 AM (Sunday Morning)




8:00 AM

6:25 PM

8:50/9 PM





6:30 AM 

6:25 PM

8:50/9 PM





6:40 AM  

6:25 PM

8:50/9 PM





6:40 AM  

6:25 PM

8:50/9 PM





6:30 AM  

6:20 PM

8:50/9 PM





6:40 AM  

6:15 PM


Candle Lighting before 6:15 PM




6:30 PM Minchah/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv 



8:00 AM Hashkama Minyan (Downstairs Beit Midrash) 

9:00 AM Main Sanctuary Minyan.  D’var Torah: Gene Fax; Anim Zemirot: Matan Lakein

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.

6:15 PM Minchah Youth leyner: JJ 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. 

6:30 PM Seudah Shelishit. Rabbi Samuels will teach.

7:27 PM Maariv/Havdalah 


Leil Selichot Sat night 9/21 at 10:30 PM at Shaarei. Televising Teshuvah? Yom Kippur on the Small Screen. An audio-visual presentation by Rachel L. Greenblatt, Ph.D. Depictions of religious practice of any stripe are relatively rare in the American televisual landscape. Nonetheless, a few select series have depicted characters’ experience of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Come and prepare for the Days of Awe by sharing clips from, among others: The Goldbergs, Northern Exposure, Entourage, Gossip Girl, and Broad City.

Yamim Noraim Info

ROSH HASHANAH HOSPITALITY:  As the chagim are almost upon us, The Hospitality committee looks to make sure everyone has a table at which to celebrate the festive meals.

If you would like to be invited to celebrate with one of the wonderful and warm families at Shaarei for any of the upcoming chag meals or if you would like to offer your table, please contact us. Simply let us know which holiday and meal you would like to participate in.



Please remember to sign your child(ren) up for this year's High Holiday Childcare program.  Offered for all kids ages 1 through 10 (grade 5), we will have snacks, games, a special event for each morning, and some Holiday themed-content.

Please note that children will not be permitted to leave the babysitting area on their own. Please explain this ahead of time to your children and, if necessary, make a point of checking in with your child periodically throughout the day. Programming is being offered all three day times and for Kol Nidre services.

Please use this link to sign up:

The cost is $30 per child for 1 session, $50 per child for 2 sessions, $75 per child for 3 sessions, $100 per child for 4 sessions, with a family Maximum of $150. If cost is a concern, please contact our shul treasurer,  Jon Zandman at to make alternate arrangements. 

For questions, please contact the office or Vicki Cochran (



Sunday Morning Teen Minyan at 8:30 AM in the Beit Midrash for davening and breakfast. All middle and high school girls and boys and their parents are invited to join us. For details please contact Hagay Ramati or David Berlove.

SFL Siyum on Masekhet Taanit Sunday 9/22 10am-12pm at Launch Watertown. Jump, learn, snack! Sign up here.

Beginning of the year Group Leaders MeetingSunday, 9/22 3:00 PM-5:00PM at Shaarei in the Bayit. Mandatory for all current and interested group leaders. Please email Jonah Hassenfeld with any questions.


Monday  7:20—8:00 AM Daf HaShavua Yerushalmi on Monday morning this week with Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels.  



Mishna Study with J. David Jacobs in the Bayit. Sept 24, 7:15 - 8:00 am 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.  

Join Ma’ayan for a 3 classes with Rachel Sharansky Danziger called “The Ushpizin and Us” at Shaarei Tefillah, Last class: Tuesday September 24 at 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM. Although the classes are thematically connected, each class can also be taken individually. This class is open to women only.


Tai Chi 7:00 - 9:00 PM in Social Hall with Danny Wyschogrod. Beginners welcome. 


Daily Halakhah between Minchah and Maariv




Next meeting will be in November when we will discuss the book Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. Contact for more information.


National Book Club:  Sign up now to join  and to reserve your book. Shaarei is participating in the Jewish LIves National Bookclub as a group. See the flyer in the atrium for details. We will be reading two books this year. In the Fall: Martin Buber a Life of Faith and Dissent by Paul Mendes-Flohr. Livestream event Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:30 p.m. In the spring: Moses: A Human Life by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. Contact for more details.


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.



Sign up TODAY for year 2 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.


Save the date for our first Community Dinner!  On Friday night, November 8, 2019 


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.



The NCSY Jewish Leaders Program is now accepting applications. Deadline is Sept. 25. Find out more at:

The Book of Life?  Facing the Yamim Noraim While on a Fertility Journey, Wednesday, September 25, 8:00-9:30 PM. The High Holidays can be one of the hardest times of year if you are struggling to grow your family. Join Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys and the New England Yoetzet Halacha Initiative (NEYHI) for a healing workshop webinar before the holidays, connect with others also on a fertility journey, explore Jewish sources that can offer spiritual strength at this challenging moment, and experience healing practices that may offer you some respite.

To enter the webinar, visit:,

Meeting ID: 955-411-300, or join by phone, +1 646 558 8656, anonymously or by name.

Questions? Email here.

Change of Day: Israeli folk dancing for Women & Girls: Wednesday 25 September 2019 at  7:30PM-9:30PM at Beit Sasson, the Sephardic Congregation of Newton (556 Ward St, Newton Centre)  Please contact Judith Aaronson with any questions.

JS&CF Family Table - 8th Annual Ride for Food: A bike ride to support hunger relief. Sunday, Oct 6th, Noble & Greenwood School, 10 Campus Dr., Dedham. How to support FJ& CS Family Table: Join the Family Table ride team, donate in support of a ride, volunteer on the day of the ride. Visit the JF&CS Family Table Ride for Food fundraising page to join the team or donate or call 781-693-5649.


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.


Shaarei Blood Drive: Sunday, October 27, 2019. Time: 9 AM to 2:30 PM. You can help to save lives!  Register here:

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, May 27 2020 4 Sivan 5780