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.
Shir HaShirim 3:54pm
Mincha 4:09 pm
Shabbat starts 4:19
Shacharit 8:15 am
Mincha 3:34 pm
and during Chanukah
Late Arvit following Kollel
Wed 8:30pm (Hebrew)
Thurs 8:00pm (English)
Rabbi Moshe Miller
Sundays after Mincha/Arvit
Father and Son
Torah and Chamin
Thursday 8 pm
Rabbi Yosef Asayag
Monetary Issues in Halacha
45 min. before Mincha (Hebrew)
Nachat on Shabbat
Boy's learning program
45 min. before Mincha
Men and Women
Personalities in the Bible
Motza'ai Shabbat during the winter
BE"H Dec 22
Year - $2400
(127 sold - 133 left)
New Set of Artscroll Talmud Yerushalmi
$35.00 for Talmud Yerushalmi
ONLY ONE LEFT
Siddurim Shaarim Ba'Tifilla
20 New Talitot
(4 sponsored - 16 left)
Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!
Mazal Tov to
David Devora and Chana Sivola on their upcoming wedding this
Sunday, December 9th. May they merit to build a Bayit Ne'eman BiYisrael.
Mazal Tov to our friends,
Yoel and Malky Reifer on the Bar Mitzvah of their son,
Benzion Matityahu. May he continue to grow in Torah, Mitzvot, Chupah and Ma'asim Tovim!
Mazal and Biracha to
David and Sarah Ruth Dulin
on the Birit of their baby boy,
! Mazal Tov to siblings Shimon Eliyahu, Chana Yael, Daniel Moshe and Gavriel Yosef! Mazal Tov to grandparents, Michael and Miriam Dulin!
We wish the entire family a big Mazal Tov! May he grow to Torah, Chuppah and Ma'asim Tovim.
Barech Alaynu in Amida
Began Tuesday Night
Tuesday night, December 4th, we began to say the longer Barech Alaynu in the Amida. We BE"H continue saying this form of the blessing until Pesach.
Rosh Chodesh Tevet begins on
Friday night, December 7th through Sunday evening, December 9th
. Chodesh Tov!
One of the very popular features of the Sephardic COmmunity Kollel is the Thursday night Chamin and Learn program. About a Minyan of teenage boys gather to learn with our Kollel Director, Rabbi Yosef Olstein and enjoy and scrumptious Chamin!
Personalities in the Bible Shiur Schedule
Rabbi Raccah's fifth shiur in the series will take place BE"H Motza'ai Shabbat, December 22nd beginning at 7:30 PM.
New Shiur Series with Rabbi Kalman Worch
The Illinois Center for Jewish Studies and the Sephardic Community Kollel are happy to announce the next class in the new series of monthly classes for men with Rabbi Kalman Worch. The Shiur will take place BE"H on February 5th. Topic and more details to come.
This week is the second annual Shabbat Hatzalah to raise funds for Hatzalah's annual budget. Listed below are just a few of Hatzalah's many accomplishments.
To make a one-time donation or to sign up for monthly donations
Chanukah Party Recap
This past Sunday marked the Kehilla's annual (Pre) Chanukah party. The dozens of members and friends who attended thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and, of course, the wonderful buffet. There were beautiful arts and crafts projects for the children.
In addition, Rabbi Raccah's much-loved Chanukah question was back. The children (up to the age of 15) were awarded $1 for every answer Rabbi Raccah accepted for the famous Beit Yosef's question. The question: If there was enough oil in the flask for one day, then the miracle was only for 7 days. Why do we celebrate 8 days? The potential money-earner opportunity created a palpable excitement among the children, and groups could be seen huddling together sharing possible answers. (See one example in the pictures below). BA"H about two dozen children participated, and B"H Rabbi Raccah gave out a lot of money! Children stood patiently in line awaiting their chance to present their answers and get a big payday.
This year the Rabbi's question was dedicated in memory
and as a Zechut for the Telshe Chicago Rosh HaYeshiva HaRav Avraham Chaim Levin ZT"L.
Personalities in the Bible Shiur Schedule
During the winter, in conjunction with the Ner Foundation, Rabbi Raccah delivers a series of Shiurim on Personalities in the Bible. BA"H this winter is the 21st season. The Shiurim are thought provoking. Unless otherwise announced, the Shiurim begin at 7:30pm. The schedule is subject to change, so be sure to check back here.
The fifth shiur will BE"H take place BE"H
Motza'ai Shabbat, December 22nd beginning at 7:30 PM. THe title for the Shiur is "Yaakov, Rachel and Leah: The Depth of the Complexities"
October 27 וירא Beginning at 8 PM
November 17 ויצא Beginning at 7:30 PM
November 24 וישלח
December 1 וישב
5. December 22 ויחי
6. January 5 וארא
7. January 19 בשלח Beginning at 7:45 PM
8. January 26 יתרו Beginning at 7;45 PM
9. February 2 משפטים Beginning at 7:45 PM
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.
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 Ayelet 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.
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
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 Mrs. Elana Moalem for November 5 - December 5 for the Zechut of a Refuah Shelemah for Chana bat Elka. May she merit a full recovery.
A month of learning has been sponsored by Mr. Joseph Younes for November 15-December 15 in memory of his father, Habib Younes ben Luna V'Shlomo Habib. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Alvayor for December 2-9 in memory of his father, Yitzchak ben Eliyahu and Tzafira. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Yehuda Tzur for December 3-10 in memory of his mother, Naomi bat Mazal. May her Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored by Mr. Marcel Theboul for December 5-12 in memory of his father, Yosef ben Menashe. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A month of learning has been sponsored anonymously for the month of December. The Kollel thanks the patrons for their generosity.
The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles
There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba'al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as "Behag") is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women customarily accept upon themselves the sanctity of Shabbat by lighting the Shabbat candles and were they to light Shabbat candles first, they would then be unable to light Chanukah candles thereafter. Clearly then, Chanukah candles must be lit first. This opinion is quoted by the Tur.
Although we have a rule that the more common of two Mitzvot must be performed first, for instance, in Kiddush of Friday night the "Ha'Gefen" blessing precedes the blessing of "Mekadesh Ha'Shabbat" because it is more common (as explained in the Gemara in Berachot 51b), so too, in our case, Shabbat candles are lit more often than Chanukah candles (which are lit only eight nights a year); would it not follow that Shabbat candles be lit first? Rather, according to this opinion, since it would not be possible to light Chanukah candles after Shabbat candles because lighting Shabbat candles constitutes an acceptance of Shabbat, the Chanukah candles must indeed be lit first.
On the other hand, the Ramban and the Rashba disagree with the Behag's opinion and they maintain that lighting Shabbat candles in no way constitutes an acceptance of Shabbat, and since this woman, and everyone else for that matter, has in mind to light Chanukah candles after lighting the Shabbat candles, according to all opinions she has not yet accepted Shabbat. Thus, they rule that one should first light Shabbat candles and only then light Chanukah candles, based on the rule of performing the more frequent of two Mitzvot first.
Halachically speaking, the ruling on this matter follows Maran Ha'Shulchan Aruch who writes that a woman's lighting of Shabbat candles does not constitute an acceptance of the sanctity of Shabbat, especially if she has in mind to perform work afterwards, for instance, lighting Chanukah candles and the like, in which case she certainly has not yet accepted Shabbat. This applies all the more so regarding the husband of this woman, who is usually the one to light the Chanukah candles, in that he has not accepted Shabbat on the basis of his wife's lighting of the Shabbat candles. It would then seem that the Halacha should follow the ruling of the Ramban that Shabbat candles should indeed be lit first.
However, the Radbaz writes that even though we maintain that one does not accept Shabbat by lighting Shabbat candles, since there is a dispute amongst the Rishonim regarding this matter in addition to the fact that the Mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles is more beloved, it is therefore proper to light Chanukah candles first, even against the rule of the more common Mitzvah coming first. Similarly, Maran Ha'Bet Yosef writes that even according to the opinion of the Ramban and the Rashba that Shabbat candles should be lit before Chanukah candles, one may still light whichever one he chooses first.
Summary: On Erev Shabbat Chanukah, one should preferably light Chanukah candles and only then light Shabbat candles. However, if one accidentally lit Shabbat candles first, one may in fact light Chanukah candles afterwards, for according to the Sephardic custom, one does not accept Shabbat by lighting Shabbat candles. Even according to the Ashkenazi custom that one does in fact accept Shabbat by lighting Shabbat candles, nevertheless, a husband surely does not accept Shabbat through his wife's Shabbat candle-lighting, as we have already mentioned, and he may still light Chanukah candles with a blessing.
December 22nd - Fifth Personalities in the Bible Shiur
January 5th - Sixth Personalities in the Bible Shiur
Important Information about the Measles and Vaccinations
We are writing to update you on the measles virus situation in Chicago. Although we have had many concerned "potential" cases of measles (especially with the increase of chicken pox) as of now we Baruch Hashem do not have any confirmed cases of measles in the Chicagoland area.
With Chanukah here and people traveling, we would like to give over doctors' recommendations on how to keep you and your family safe. Since the measles is still active in other communities, those traveling should take the following precautions:
Any child 6 months or older should receive the MMR vaccine and 6 weeks later the MMR booster.
Any adult born between 1957 and 1990 should confirm with their physician if they are still covered.
What to look out for:
Measles begins with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It's followed by a rash that spreads over the body. The measles virus is highly contagious and spreads quickly through the air with coughing and sneezing. Once an area has been exposed to the virus, it can linger for several hours even after the infected person has left the room.
Refuah311 remains committed to the health and well-being of our community. We are currently working very closely with our medical health professionals in establishing protocol should we need it. If any suspected cases of measles arise in our midst we will notify the community.
If the virus does make its way to the community, Refuah311 will immediately send out a notification with detailed follow up instructions.
If you are concerned that you or a family member has been exposed to or contracted the measles, please contact your doctor immediately.
If you have any questions or need any assistance with your MMR shots, please call the Refuah311 hotline at 773-508-0311
Rabbi Yisroel Matzliach
Nefesh B"Nefesh Aliyah Talk and Fair
Join Nefesh B'Nefesh for the NBN Aliyah Talks and Fair in Chicago on
Tuesday, December 18 from 6:30-10:00pm at the Double Tree by Hilton Chicago North Shore - Skokie, 9599 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie.
This is your chance to have all your Aliyah questions answered under one roof! Six short, TED-like talks on the Israeli Healthcare system, Insurance in Israel, Your Taxes in Israel, Financial Planning for Aliyah, Finding Your Home in Israel and Shipping will be given along with an Aliyah Fair with Israeli vendors and service providers. For more information and to register please visit
Maot Chitim is proud to tell you about another Volunteer Opportunity
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 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...
All food served is Kosher and prepared in a supervised kitchen.
to volunteer or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Gift of Life
Please consider registering to be tested to see if you could be Roni's bone marrow donor. She is from a Yeminite, Moroccan and North African family and only people with Yeminite or combined Yeminite-North African Heritage will likely be the match she needs. A bone marrow transplant is her only cure! Joining the registry is as easy as a simple swab of your cheek. Eligible donors must be between the ages of 18 - 45 and in good general health. Please join the registry today! giftoflife.org/roni Please share this message with others.
(Even if you aren't Yeminite and don't match Roni, you may be able to save someone else! Everyone should be on the registry!)