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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter
Parashat Shemini-Mivarchim Iyar 5777

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.

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In This Issue
This Week at Ohel Shalom
Kollel Weekly Recap
Amazon Smile
Eruv Check- In
Kollel Korner
Davening Times
Candle lighting 
7:19 pm
Mincha 7:29 pm
Shacharit 8:15 am
 Mincha 6:54 pm 
Shabbat Ends
8:29 pm

Regular Weekdays


Monday, Thursday
6:15 am

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
6:30 am 
Sunday -Thursday
7:29 pm
Late Arvit following Kollel 
10:00 pm
resuming BE"H on April 23rd
Regular Shiurim  

 Open Seder  

Rabbi Olstein
Parasha Shiur
Wed 8:30pm (Hebrew)
Thurs 8:00pm (English)
Rabbi Yosef Asayag
Monetary Issues in Halacha
 Shabbat Afternoon
45 min. Before Mincha (Hebrew) 
Ateret Chaya 
Simcha Hall 

Men and Women

Ner Foundation 
Rabbi Raccah 
Parashat HaShavu'a
Wednesdays at 8:30pm   
Personalities in the Bible
Motza'ai Shabbat at 
7:30 pm



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 


This Week at Ohel Shalom
Kiddush and Seudah Shilisheet Sponsorship
The Kehillah would like to thank Yosef Miller  for sponsoring Kiddush and Seudah Shilisheet this week in memory of his grandmother, Miriam bat Tamar . May her Neshama merit an Aliyah.

Shabbat Mivarchim Iyar

This week we will publicize the arrival of the new month of Iyar, which will take place for two days, beginning on Tuesday evening, April 25th through Thursday evening, April 27th. May we be blessed with a good month of health and bracha. 

Birkat HaIlanot

The two fruit trees in the front yard of the office building have B"H appeared to bud. This allows us to BE"H say the Birkat HaIlanot (the blessing upon the blossoming of the trees). The Birkat HaIlanot ceremony will BE"H take place this Sunday, April 23rd, a half hour before Mincha. Men and women are welcome to join us!


This Week with the Sephardic Community Kollel

Kollel will BE"H resume on Sunday, April 23rd. Remember that when the Kollel is on break, the 10pm Arvit does not meet. Please come in and learn though, even if the Kollel is not in session.

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 get started.

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.
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 of the great power and merit associated with supporting Torah learning. To that end, consider sponsoring a night, 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 week of learning has been sponsored for April 19-26 by Yosef Miller in memory of Miriam bat Tamar. May her Neshama merit an Aliyah.    

A week of learning has been sponsored for April  20-27 by Julien Partouche  in memory of his father,  Nissim ben Avraham and Gamara Levana . May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

A month of learning has been sponsored anonymously for the month of April. The Kollel thanks the patrons for their generosity. 
Halacha of the Week  
The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): "And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be." Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the "day following the Shabbat" refers to the day following the first day of Pesach which is a holiday. (This is what is meant by the words, "the day following the Shabbat," i.e. the day following the first day of Pesach which is a holiday, also known as " Shabbaton ." Therefore, on the night following the first day of Pesach following Arvit, we immediately begin counting the Omer.) It is a Torah commandment to count the Omer beginning from the Sixteenth of Nissan until the end of seven weeks, which is a period of forty-nine days.
Counting the Omer-A Torah or Rabbinic Commandment 
Nevertheless, since the Torah also states (Devarim 16, 9), "You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle begins to strike the standing stalks shall you begin to count these seven weeks," which means from the time the Omer offering was harvested and unfortunately nowadays when the Bet Hamikdash no longer stands, we have neither the harvesting of or bringing of the Omer offering. Thus, this Mitzvah of counting the Omer is only rabbinic in commemoration of the services performed in the Bet Hamikdash. Therefore, in the " Leshem Yichud " text customarily recited before counting the Omer, one should omit the phrase, "As the Torah states, 'And you shall count for yourselves'" etc. for the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is no longer a Torah commandment. (Although according to the opinion of the Rambam and the Ra'avaya there is no correlation between the Mitzvah of counting the Omer and the harvesting the Omer and according to them the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is a Torah commandment even nowadays, nonetheless, we do not rule this way and the Halacha in this matter follows Maran Ha'Shulchan Aruch, whose rulings we have accepted, who rules that counting the Omer is only a rabbinic commandment nowadays, for this is indeed the opinion of Rav Hai Gaon, Tosafot, Rosh,  Itur, Rashba, Ran, and others).
One Who Forgets to Count One Day

The Mitzvah of counting the Omer is a Mitzvah during every single day of the counting period, and for this reason we recite a blessing on it before counting every single day.
However, according to the opinion of the Ba'al Halachot Gedolot, if one has forgotten to count the Omer on one day during the counting period he can no longer continue to count the Omer since it is not possible to count by skipping (for if one counts one, two, four, he has counted incorrectly; thus, if one missed counting one day he can no longer rectify this and what he counts from now on is not considered counting at all). Halachically speaking, we hold that even if one has forgotten to count one day of the Omer, he may in fact continue to count the rest of the days for every day is a separate Mitzvah regardless of the other days. Nevertheless, since we always follow the great rule of "when in doubt, do not bless," regarding the blessing we are concerned about the opinion of the Ba'al Halachot Gedolot. Therefore, if one forgets to count one day of the Omer, one should continue to count the rest of the days as usual; however, from now on he should not recite the blessing before counting.
A Child who Turns Thirteen during the Omer

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef  zt"l discusses (in his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 3, Orach Chaim, Chapter 27) the Halacha regarding a child who turns thirteen years old during the Omer period. Since the days he has counted until this point were counted when he was still a child and not halachically obligated to perform the Mitzvot like an adult, his status is similar to one who has not counted the Omer until now and thus does not continue to count with a blessing on subsequent nights. He speaks lengthily and brings a great many sources to support his view. The luminaries of the previous generation debated this matter at length. Nevertheless, halachically speaking, a child who turns thirteen years old during the Omer should continue to count on the subsequent night without reciting a blessing.
The Time for the Counting and the Laws of Women and Counting the Omer 
The appropriate time for counting the Omer is at night; however, if one forgets to count at night, one may count throughout the day without reciting a blessing before counting, in which case one may continue counting on all subsequent nights while reciting a blessing.
Women who count the Omer should not recite a blessing before counting. According to our custom though, women do not count the Omer at all. The reason for this is discussed by the Mekubalim.
Machshava of the Week
by Rabbi David Shamsi
While it is an established minhag to read Pirkei Avot during these  spring and summer months, it is unclear what its title - which roughly  translates to "Chapters of Fathers" - actually means. Nevertheless, I  would like to suggest a new interpretation based on my own life  experiences.
The book primarily consists of ethical sayings from various great  rabbis who lived immediately before, during, and after the destruction  of the Second Temple. Its short "haikus" are a sharp contrast from the  often difficult-to-follow reasoning that permeates the rest of the  Talmud.
Based on this observation, I believe the title of the work actually  means "Chapters for Fathers": Once a hapless yeshivah bachur reaches  parenthood, Pirkie Avot is pretty much the only Sefer he will have the  brain capacity and time to read. 
Just a thought -but then again I  really didn't have that much time to think this through.

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.  

Ohel Sarah- For Women 
Post Pesach Shaimos Collection     
Agudath Israel of Illinois will be having a Post-Pesach Shaimos Collection on Sunday, April 30th,
at 7530 St. Louis (just south of Howard) from 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Charge is based on volume. Only bring things that are truly Shaimos, packed and sealed well to save money. For a copy of Hilchos Shaimos and a convenient Shaimos chart, please call 773-279-8400.  
Shaimos in Oorah Auction
Please be aware that shaimos was mistakenly included in the Oorah Auction Purim book. You may have received the book already or will be receiving it shortly. 
The sefer torah picture on page 6 included pesukim and the shem Hashem. PLEASE DO NOT THROW IT OUT!

You can tear out the page or just the picture in the corner and put it in your sheimos box. You can also drop it off at the Oorah office or mail it to:
Oorah att Sheimos
1805 Swarthmore Ave
Lakewood NJ, 08701

We'd appreciate your publicizing this information to others it may be relevant to. We apologize for the mistake and for any inconvenience.

Rabbi Chaim Reichman
Director of TorahMates
Oorah Inc 
1805 Swarthmore Ave 
Lakewood New Jersey 08701 
United States

Yom Yerushalayim Art Contest

Click here for PDF of rules.

Click here for entry form.  
Many families struggle, but this family is collapsing beneath a combined weight of daily stressors and astronomical medical expenses. Drained of money, drained of hope, the parents forge ahead. Both are hard-working employees, and with tight budgeting, they can nearly cover their elevated basic expenses - but any extra need can become a catastrophe.

All of their children are diagnosed with ADHD, with a multitude of requirements. In addition to ADHD, one sweet child has also been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (ASD), a form of autism. This child needs numerous services, including a full-time shadow in school. Scheduled doctor visits, therapists and support group appointments for the family come to about ten appointments a regular week, with frequent trips back and forth to various offices. This is besides for other periodic and vital appointments.
Facing these difficulties and a grueling schedule, both parents are overwhelmed to the point of mental illness and heart failure. About thirty bottles of medication are dispensed to this family on a monthly basis.

Due to these myriad medical needs, it is crucial for the family to have a superior insurance plan to cover all the services, both in the mental and medical health fields. The state in which they live provides very few services for special need children. Insurance costs are exorbitant, while the deductibles and premiums just keep increasing every year.

This year, in order to save money long term, the family had to switch insurance plans in December. Their deductible of $7800 started in December, for a second 2016 deductible, and another $7800 needed to be paid in January for the 2017 deductible. The HSA funds that were meant to cover one deductible went to several root canals the family had last year, leaving only $3000 left to pay for the deductible. Due to all of the constant psychological and medical needs, this means that after all claims are submitted, the deductible will be close to fully met in December. This year it will cost the family nearly $14,000, of which $11,000 has yet to be raised.

However, there are so many other essential expenses that must be met. The child diagnosed with ASD needs to attend a special needs camp in the summer. Besides for giving some respite to the family, the experience gives him much-needed support. The cost of this camp, including traveling expenses and tips, equals $9,000. The same child needs braces in order to have healthy, presentable teeth. Another child in the family will also need braces, but with braces being about $5,000 per child, this seems like an impossible feat.

In addition, the precious child with ASD is becoming bar mitzvah this year. The parents would like this to be a memorable event, for they are not sure whether the boy will be able to get married. This might be the only simcha of his own that this boy ever experiences. Yet there is no money to cover even the cheapest bar mitzvah, let alone a decent wardrobe.

Tuitions are owed to the school because the parents cannot afford to pay.

The overall financial stress, as well as the multitude of crucial family needs, has sent the father to the hospital five times in the last six months. He has spent thirty days in the hospital over the past half a year, unable to cope with the stress, which is affecting him both physically and mentally.
PLEASE open your hearts and pockets and help this family in their crisis. In the merit of helping them regain financial and emotional stability, Hashem should ensure that you never have to beg money from other people.
Thank you very much.
Tizku L'mitzvos. 
This campaign is endorsed by
Rabbi Efraim Friedman Rav of Mekor HaChaim
Rabbi Efraim Twerski Rav of Khal Chassidim

Donations can also be made via phone or check:

Congregation Khal Chasidim
c/o Rabbi Efriam Twerski - Chesed campaign
6634 N. Mozart St.
Chicago IL 60645
Congregation Khal Chasidim is a 501(c)3 organization.