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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter
Parashat Ki Tetze 5779

Contact Us

 Ohel Shalom 


Check out our new and improved website at 

To determine if the Eruv is operational either click on the phone number link below, or call
 1-773-74-ERUV-2 (743-7882) after 2pm every Friday afternoon or every Erev Yom Tov.

Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
Office Contact During Construction
This Week at Ohel Shalom
Project Connection Update
Introducing Morashah
Amazon Smile
Eruv Check- In
Kollel Korner
Davening Times
Candle lighting 
6:44 pm
Shir HaShirim 6:39  pm
Mincha 6:54 pm
Shabbat starts 7:04 pm
Shacharit 8:15 am
 Mincha 6:19 pm
Shabbat ends 7:52  pm

Regular Weekdays

Daily Selichot began this past Monday morning. Selichot is 45 minutes before Shacharit  
7 am Selichot
7:45 am
Monday, Thursday
5:30  am Selichot
6:15 am  

 Tuesday,  Wednesday, Friday
5:45 am Selichot
6:30 am 

Sunday- Thursday
6:27  pm
Late Arvit following Kollel 
10:00 pm

Regular Shiurim  

Rabbi Aharon Raccah
Ben Ish Chai Halachot
After-Weekday Shacharit


 Open Seder  
Rabbi Olstein
Parasha Shiur
Wed 8:30pm (Hebrew)
Thurs 8:00pm (English)
Father and Son  
Torah and Chamin
Thursday 8 pm   
Rabbi Yosef Asayag
Monetary Issues in Halacha
 Shabbat Afternoon
45 min. before Mincha (Hebrew) 
Ateret Chaya 
Simcha Hall  

 Nachat on Shabbat
Kids learning program
1 hour before Mincha
Men and Women

Ner Foundation 
Rabbi Raccah   

Parashat HaShavu'a
Wednesdays at 8:30pm  

Personalities in the Bible
Motza'ai Shabbat during the winter
see you next year!


Male Member Shiur with Rabbi Raccah

Pele Yoetz in English
contact Shlomo Mizrahi
Yalizu Chasidim in Hebrew
contact David Ben Abu 



Seuda Shlishit






Breakfast Fund

Day- $15 

Week- $75 

Month- $250 

Year - $2400  


Fish Fund

$20 month 


Hamin Fund

Monthly contribution 



Chair Sponsors

(127 sold - 133 left)

$20 each  


New Set of Artscroll Talmud Yerushalmi  

$35.00 for Talmud Yerushalmi




Siddurim Shaarim Ba'Tifilla

($15.00 each) 


Chumash w/simanim  

($20 each) 

20 New Talitot  

(4 sponsored - 16 left)

$75.00 each 


Office Contact Info During Construction
Our remote office is in transit again. At the moment, there is  no direct number to reach our new Office Manager, Mrs. Devorah Zirkind. Please bear with us for the duration of the construction. You can, of course, leave messages on the regular number 773-465-5274 for the Rabbi and Office Manager. Also, you can email the office at

This Week at Ohel Shalom
Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!
Mazal Tov to David and Jenny Nadoff on the birth of a new grand-daughter, Eliana, to Avichai and Aviva Mitchell in Israel. Mazal Tov as well to siblings, Ori, Ahava and Aviad Mitchell. Mazal Tov to the aunts and uncles and to Aviva's parents, Menachem and Gail Fishbein, and the great-grandmothers, Barbara Mandelbaum, Beverly Mitchell, Jeanette Nadoff and Ruthe Fishbein. May she grow to Torah, Chuppah and Ma'asim Tovim.
Seudah Shlisheet Sponsorship
Seudah Shlisheet this week is generously sponsored by Mrs. Minoo Ehrenpreis in memory of Yechezkel ben Moshe VeChanum A"H. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

Kollel Has B"H Resumed

B"H the Kollel has resumed and with it the 10pm late Arvit. Come and join us learn!


Just a reminder that Selichot has begun. Daily selichot takes place 45 minutes before Shacharit during the week. Please stay tuned for info on the Community Selichot to take place on Sept. 22nd.

New Ben Ish Chai Halachot Mini-Shiur

Our new Assistant Rabbi, Rav Aharon Raccah has quickly implemented a new Shiur. This is a 15 minute mini-Shiur in Ben Ish Chai Halachot following weekday Shacharit. The participants learn the Halachot from the Ben Ish Chai for that week with a discussion of the views and opinions of other Sephardic Poskim. People are B"H enjoying it and asking for more!

Learning Group with Rabbi Raccah on Pele Yoetz

Please join us for a weekly learning group with Rabbi Raccah on the Pele Yoetz. This group meets weekly, and is  only open to male members of the Kehillah. For more information text Shlomo Mizrahi at 323-274-8178. 
Yalizu Chasidim Learning Group with 
Rabbi Raccah in Hebrew

Due to the success of the Pele Yoetz Learning Group, Rabbi Raccah has B"H a similar learning group in Hebrew to study Yalizu Chasidim. This group meets weekly, and is only open to male members of the Kehillah. Interested? Contact David Ben Abu for more information.   
Project Conne ction UPDATE

Please Help Us Complete Project Connection

B"H we are filled with joy as we watch the efforts of so many people over so many years taking form. Project Connection was launched in order to provide our Kehillah with the space and facilities that we truly need to continue to expand our efforts to provide a quality Sephardic experience to all those who walk through our doors.

The new Learning Center and Executive Office Building will BE"H offer us:

1) a  new Bet Midrash Learning Center for additional Tefilah and learning opportunities.
2) a  dedicated space for our very successful children's programs.
3) modern and respectable Executive Offices for the Rabbi, Assistant Rabbi and Office Manager to better allow them to do the work of the Kehillah.
4) additional facilities and usages.

Of course, in addition, the Learning Center is connected to the Main Building. This will  upgrade congregational safety because access to the Learning Center will be internal and will not require exiting the Main Building.

Much thought and effort have been put into the design to maximize utilization and beauty. Safety was also very important. Tremendous work and expense went into the many safety features of the Learning Center.
If you have been watching and/or reading the weekly email, you are aware of the consistent progress over the many months of construction. Remember that this was a "full-gut". Completely gutting the building and expanding it to maximize its benefits.

However, as BE"H the project speeds towards completion, we face the bulk of the payments to the different trades doing their work, since these payments come at the completion of work. In order to BE"H complete this very important and historic project, we turn to you to help us complete it so that we can BE"H quickly begin to reap its benefits.

Please consider dedicating an item. B"H, recently additional items have been dedicated, as individuals have stepped forward and, as well, the Rabbi has approached some people.

This is your chance to literally take part in building our Kehillah's future!
Don't miss the opportunity! 

A few things to keep in mind:

1) Items have been set at all price points from as little as $180 and up. This was done intentionally to allow everyone to BE"H participate and be a part of reaching this vital milestone in our history.

2) We are extending the payment period, such that pledges for this campaign are payable over the next two years  (till Rosh HaShana 5782 - 2021) and are separate to all other pledges and charges. The opportunities are on a "first come first served basis" so don't delay!!

3) If you don't wish to dedicate an item, you may simply make a donation towards Project Connection.

4) You may partner with someone to dedicate an item. 
You may inform us of your dedication/donation by emailing the office at or by speaking to the Rabbi or President.

Chazak U'Baruch and Tizku LiShanim Rabot Ne'imot ViTovot! 

Recently Dedicated:
Beit Medrash Furnishings - Aron HaKodesh
Entrances - Building Connection Entrance
Entrances - Rabbi's Office Outside Entrance
Mezuzot - External Entrance - Touhy
Mezuzot - Assistant Rabbi's Office

For a printable version of this flyer click here

Construction Updates

B"H completion is almost within sight. This week the siding for the rear office was completed. The main focus this week was on flooring and painting. The floors on the Children's Level and in the Executive Offfices section were prepped for flooring. Flooring was completed in two offices. Painting was completed in some areas. The HVAC system is almost ready to BE"H be turned on
Floor prepping and two offices with completed flooring 

Floor prepped for flooring and door trims painted
in Executive Offices section

Siding completed on rear office

Rendering of the Learning Center
and Executive Office Suites

Introducing Morashah

An exciting new program is BE"H coming to our community. Please look and listen for more information.

Morashah's Rosh Hashana Fair 
Connecting Sephardic Jewry Past, Present and Future. Sept 22nd at Persian Hebrew Congregation at 12:15 for ages 3-10. Parental participation suggested, babysitting available for ages 1-2. Free with registration, $10 at the door.


Amazon Smile

Do you purchase items from Amazon? If so, you are in a perfect position to provide the Kehilla with much needed financial support with zero cost or additional effort from you, beyond following a few easy steps just one time.

Amazon has a philanthropic branch called Amazon Smile. All you need to do is sign up (no cost) and select our Kehilla as your charity of choice and Amazon will give the Kehilla 0.5% of all your eligible purchases! There are millions of eligible items.

Please take advantage of this opportunity
and sign up immediately.

Click here to select Sephardic Community Shaare Mizrah as your charity.

The Geshem Fund

It has been very busy for the Geshem Fund. Significant sums of money have been distributed to dozens of people to help with rent, utilities, food and many other purposes. This has depleted the fund. Please help us help those in need.

Please open your hearts and your wallets and make checks out to the order of GESHEM FUND and give to Rabbi Raccah or put in the mailbox of the office or the shul and the office manager will give it to Rabbi Raccah.  As you thank Hashem for all that He has blessed you with, remember the less fortunate who are struggling and in desperate need of assistance. Thank you.
Eruv Check-In
Is the Chicago Eruv up and operational for Shabbat? If you utilize the Eruv, it is your responsibility to check each week before Shabbat if it is up. There are now some new and easy ways to do this.

The Chicago Eruv has set up a website with this information, as well as other pertinent halachot and information about the eruv. The web address is

You can call the hotline on Erev Shabbat after 2pm and listen to the recorded message or sign up to receive a weekly e-mail update on the status of the eruv.

Click here to sign up to have the eruv weekly email update sent directly to you! 
To Determine if the Eruv is Operational either click on the phone number link here, or call 1-773-74-ERUV-2 (743-7882) after 2pm every Friday afternoon or every Erev Yom Tov.


Kollel Korner of the Sephardic Community Kollel
Sephardic Community Kollel
Come learn with the Sephardic Community Kollel from 8:00pm to 10:00pm, Sunday through Thursday. Please contact the Kollel Coordinator, Rabbi Yosef Olstein to arrange a learning partner or to receive information about the Kollel and its programs. Rabbi Olstein can be reached at 773-338-8046 or by email at Sephardic Community Kollel.   
Donations to the Kollel
Donations to the Kollel can also be made via credit card. Please call the shul at 773-465-5274 or email the Kollel for details.
Sponsor Learning in the Kollel
Our Rabbis tell us the great power and merit associated with supporting Torah learning. To that end, consider sponsoring a week or a month of learning in the Kollel.

Examples of sponsorship purposes include: in memory of a deceased loved one for their Azkarah, to merit a Rifuah Shilamah, or to honor a loved one or friend. In addition to the great merit of supporting Torah in our community, your sponsorship will be marked with printed pages noting the intent of your support that are placed in stands on the tables in the Beit HaMidrash for the duration of your sponsorship period. 
Here are the costs for the various sponsorships:
A night of learning -  $52
A week of learning -  $100
A month of learning - $400
The Kollel appreciates the following sponsors of learning: 
A month of learning has been sponsored by Yigal Zino in memory of his father, Shimon ben Aziza. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

A month of learning has been sponsored anonymously for the month of August. The Kollel thanks the patrons for their generosity.

Halacha of the Week
The Chazzan-The Congregation's Representative

Question: In the synagogue where we pray, the Gabbaim (synagogue officials) appointed a Chazzan who is not careful regarding Torah and Mitzvah observance to lead the High Holiday prayers. What should we do?

Answer: The Chazzan who leads prayer services in the synagogue acts as the representative and agent of the entire congregation and must transfer the prayers from the congregation to their Father in Heaven. It is for this reason that the Chazzan must be righteous, a man of utmost integrity, and free of any slander, all year long and especially during the Days of Awe (High Holidays).

Seder Rav Amram Gaon (Volume 2, Chapter 55) states: "It was asked before the scholars of the Yeshiva: May a Chazzan about whom well-based, unsavory rumors have emerged be dismissed and replaced with someone else? They replied: Is this a question? Certainly, Halacha dictates that such a person must be dismissed and replaced with someone more suitable, for the individual acting as the intermediary between the Jewish nation and their Father in Heaven must be righteous, upright, and free of any slander. If he is not, our Sages (Ta'anit 16b) have already said that the verse (Yirmeya 12, 8) 'She has uttered her voice against me, therefore I have hated her' refers to an unworthy Chazzan who leads the congregation in prayer. All this applies to a Chazzan who leads the prayer during the course of the year; how much more so does this apply to a Chazzan on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and other fast days when there is a greater need for increased supplications and mercy."

Thus, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt"l  writes (in his Chazon Ovadia-Yamim Nora'im, page 36) that an individual who transgresses Torah prohibitions, such as shaving with a razor, may not be appointed as Chazzan, even occasionally in honor of the Azkara (Yahrzeit, anniversary of death) of a parent. This is especially true if the individual desecrates the Shabbat; even if one does not desecrate Shabbat out of wickedness, such an individual is nevertheless disqualified from serving as a Chazzan.

If the synagogue officials are not so careful with their Torah observance and have hired or appointed such an individual to serve as Chazzan, one should find another synagogue to pray in during the Days of Awe. Maran zt"l  writes (ibid, page 37) that if one cannot find another synagogue to pray in, it is preferable for each member of the congregation to recite the High Holiday prayer services alone at home as opposed to praying in a synagogue where one who is not Torah and Mitzvah observant serves as Chazzan. The responsibility for the sin of disrupting communal prayer services rests solely upon the shoulders of these synagogue officials.

Although there may be room to judge a Chazzan who is not Torah and Mitzvah observant favorably by claiming that he is not acting out of rebellion or wickedness and merely because he is ignorant or uneducated, he is nevertheless unworthy of serving as a mediator and faithful advocate between the congregants and Hashem. Only if such an individual has repented fully and it is noticeable that his repentance is genuine may such an individual be returned to his position to act as a representative of the congregation before their Father in Heaven.



If you have a Simcha occurring within the next few months that you would like to have added to the calendar, please call the off ice at 773-465-5274 or email the office with the link provided in the sidebar at the top of the email.  

Sept 22 - Annual Communal Selichot/Morashah Program
Sept 30 - Oct 1
- Rosh Hashana 
Community Section

Walder Science Carnival
Save the date for Walder Science Center's  annual Community Science Carnival! Sunday, September 15th 12:30 - 3:30 pm. Join us for exciting exhibits, activities, food, prizes, and of course our famous LIVE SCIENCE SHOW for the entire family!  There is no cost to attend and no preregistration is required.
Walder Science Center Community Lecture 
Join us at the Walder Science Center for a community lecture: "The Lessons of Israel's Start-up Society: The Role of Scientific Education in Developing Prosperity and Opportunity" by Dr. Ronen Mir - Wednesday. September 18 at 7:00pm.
Jerusalem Science Contest
Jerusalem Science Contest: 11th and 12th graders are invited to learn and compete internationally with other Jewish high school students exploring Neuroscience and its Judaic relevance. Participants study selected readings and video lectures and compete through a series of 8 exams and a final project. Awards include prize money, a full college scholarship, and a trip to Israel! Sign up/info:,, or 773-649-5360.
September 25, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Croatian Cultural Center 2845 W Devon
Join Alderman Debra Silverstein and the Chicago Department of Public Health for a free flu shot clinic. Everyone 6 months of age and over is invited to receive a flu shot.
 Chicago Chesed Fund
Help A Child Get Ready For The School Year. 
Want to help? Here's how:
  • Drop off school supplies at our warehouse during business hours: 7045 North Ridgeway Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712
  • Arrange your pickup through Second Time Around. 
  • Donate toward new school supplies on our website. (Please specify "school supplies" under "occasion.")
Chicago Chesed Fund
 Government Programs 
Momma Chef's Soup Kitchen

Momma Chef's Soup Kitchen at Congregation K.I.N.S. has opened their doors to feed meals to those in need.

Once a week on Tuesday evenings they will provide a kosher four-course homemade hot dinner, as well as bagged lunches to-go, at no costs to their guests.
Please help to spread the word.. whether it be to volunteer or to invite someone who may be in need of food and a friendly face...  
Tuesday Evenings 6:00 PM
For more info email or call 773-761-4000.  
(Volunteer shifts run from 4:30 pm - 7:15 pm)
To sign up for a shift click here.  
To donate click here.
All food served is Kosher and prepared in a supervised kitchen.

Click Here to volunteer or email for more information.