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 4:49pm
Mincha 5:04 pm
Shabbat starts 5:14
Shacharit 8:15 am
Mincha 4:29 pm
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
see you next year!
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)
Kiddush and Seudah Shilisheet Sponsorship
This week's Kiddush is sponsored by
Mr. Yosef Miller in memory of his father,
Shabtai ben David and Miriam. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah. The Kehillah thanks Mr. Miller for his generosity.
This week's Seudah Shilisheet is sponsored by
Mr. Yechiel Abramov
in memory of his grandfather,
Hillel ben Chonum.
May his Neshama merit an Aliyah. The Kehillah thanks Mr. Abramov for his generosity.
Mazal Tov to our friends
Israel and Levana Freund
on the Siyum and the celebration of their son
Shmuel Menachem's Bar Mitzvah
this week! Mazal Tov to the entire extended family.
Mazal tov to
Ofir and Melody (Farah) Tzoubari upon the birth of their daughter Naomi! Mazal tov as well to Melody's parents,
our friends Dr. and Mrs. Behzad Farah. May the young couple merit to see Naomi grow to Torah, Mitzvot and Ma'asim Tovim!
Nachat on Shabbat Time Change
This week the Nachat on Shabbat program will begin 1 hour before Mincha, instead of the usual 45 minutes before Mincha.
New Shiur Series with Rabbi Kalman Worch
Continues THIS Upcoming Week
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
Tuesday February 12th. The t
opic is The Rashash (Rav Shalom Sharabi).
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.
Kehillah General Meeting Voting Upon Assistant Rabbi
After Rabbi Aharon Raccah's visit this week,
the Rabbi and officers of the Kehilla fully endorse him to become the Kehillah's Assistant Rabbi
. An official document to that affect is now being circulated amongst them for signatures. Once that is complete, we will
announce the Kehilla voting meeting for the confirmation of Rabbi Aharon Raccah for the Assistant Rabbi position in our Kehillah The vote will be proceeded by a period to ask questions and discuss this important step. The vote is tentatively set for Sunday, Feb. 17th after Shacharit.
A separate email on this matter will BE"H be sent out soon to the Kehilla membership.
Recap of the Extended Weekend with
Our Assistant Rabbi Prospect
Rabbi Aharon Raccah
Rabbi Aharon and Bracha Esther Raccah's wonderful visit to our Kehillah this past week was B"H a whirlwind of activity.
Wednesday night, notwithstanding multiple cancellations and delays of their flights, the first Shiur in Halacha took place on schedule. It was Polar Vortex night with temperatures challenging historical lows, but in the Bet Midrash B"H a Minyan gathered to hear the Shiur.
Thursday night brought a Shiur in Hebrew followed by participation in the super successful Chamin and Learn Shiur.
Shabbat there was a lavish expanded Kiddush in honor of the visiting couple and Rabbi Aharon shared a beautiful Divar Torah about the power of Shabbat.
Motza'ai Shabat, after the Rav's final Personalities in the Bible Shiur for the season, there was a magnificent Melaveh Malka during which the two Rabbi Raccahs shared stories about the great Rabanim of Porat Yosef. Rabbi Aharon and David Ben Abu sang Piyutim between breaks in storytelling.
Sunday morning after Shacharit there was a breakfast followed by a Shiur about Tefilla in English.
During the entire trip, Rabbi Aharon attended all the Tifilot and served as Chazan as well as Ba'al Koreh. Additionally, he was present each night in the Kollel.
Here are some pictures
Wednesday Night Shiur
(= Polar Vortex Night)
Thursday Night Shiur
Thursday Night Chamin and Learn
Upcoming Melaveh Malkah Shabbaton
We are happy to announce that BE"H our annual Melaveh Malkah Shabbaton weekend will be over the
February 23rd Shabbat. Our guest speaker will be the renowned
Rabbi Paysach Krohn. Rabbi Krohn was our speaker five years ago and his lectures drew the largest audiences. This was part of the calculation in choosing him as the first repeat speaker since we started the Annual Shabbaton Program over a decade ago. Please look for more information about this exciting event.
Project Connection UPDATE
(new info below)
It has been almost a decade since our Kehillah's last major remodel - the Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall. We have known for some time that our growing Kehillah's programming and planned future projects require additional and more specific space. With tremendous thanks to HKB"H, we are pleased to announce that after concerted effort by the Rabbi and the Committee, we are posed to commence a complete remodel of our present office building to allow better usage of the space. The new Learning Center building will contain office suites, a new Beit HaMidrash/Shiur room and a large space for the Kehillah's children. Additionally, there will be a walk-through connection between the Beit HaMidrash building and the multipurpose building. This will permit fluid movement through all three buildings without going outside. To meet the extensive costs of this vital project we are commencing a new Building Campaign. Please find here a page presenting many different dedication categories. The Committee desired that all our members feel that they can participate so there are dedication opportunities that are very affordable. The pledges for this campaign are payable over the next two years (till Rosh HaShana 5781 - 2020). It goes without saying that the pledges towards this campaign are separate to all other pledges and charges. The opportunities are on a "first come first served basis" so don't delay!!
B"H work on both floors is in full gear. You may have noticed that some of the windows on the west (Sacramento Ave) side have been removed. As well, the opening on the east side that will BE"H serve as the connection point between the two buildings has also been started. Also the large tree on the Touhy side walk has been removed.
At this time,
you may want to dedicate an item. As you can see, B"H many items have already been taken. The Rabbi and Committee still have not begun fundraising efforts so this is your chance.
UPDATE: B"H the Washing Station - Lower Level has now been generously sponsored.
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 January 7-February 7 for the Zechut of a Refuah Shelemah for Chana bat Elka. May she merit a full recovery.
A week of learning has been sponsored by
Mr. Shabtay Cohen for February 4-11 in memory of his mother,
Sonia bat Miriam. May her Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored for
February 5-12 in memory of
Hillel ben Chonum. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored by
Mr. Yosef Miller for February 5-12 in memory of his father,
Shabtai ben David and Miriam. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored by
Mr. Yosef Miller for February 5-12 in memory of his grandfather,
David ben Mordechai. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A month of learning has been sponsored anonymously for the month of February. The Kollel thanks the patrons for their generosity.
Kissing One's Parents' Hands on Shabbat Night
Question: Should one kiss the hands of one's parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one's father and mother?
Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would return from the Bet Midrash, he would kiss his father's hands. Rashi there explains that it was customary among people that when one left the synagogue, one would kiss the top of the hands of one's parents and those greater than him. The holy Zohar (Parashat Lech-Lecha) states that Rabbi Elazar son of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, as well as all other students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, would kiss his hands. Similarly, the great Ari z"l would customarily visit his righteous mother's home every Shabbat night, kiss her hands, and she would subsequently bless him. Clearly, Rabbeinu Ha'Ari discovered a reason for this according to the Kabbalah that there is a great benefit in kissing one's mother's hands and receiving a blessing from her, especially on Shabbat night.
In his Sefer Sha'ar Ha'Kavanot, he explains the reason for this according to the Kabbalah; the Mekubalim stress the importance of this matter and write that one should kiss the hands of one's parents on Shabbat night, especially one's mother's hands. Even if one does not reside with them in the same house, nevertheless, if it is possible for one to go visit them and request their blessing, it is proper to do so. Rabbeinu Ha'Ari indeed taught this to this to his disciple, Rabbeinu Chaim Vital. Similarly, Maran Ha'Chida writes in his Moreh Be'Etzba that when one kisses the hands of one's parents, one should have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah of honoring one's parents and when one kisses the hands of one's mother, one should also have in mind that there is a mystical reason for doing so.
There are varying customs as to when is the proper time to receive one's parents blessing: Some do this after reciting "Shalom Alechem" prior to reciting Kiddush while others customarily do so after Kiddush is recited. Our custom is to kiss one's parents' hands (if one is in the same house as one's parents) after Kiddush is recited, after tasting some wine. At this point, the parents bless their sons and daughters with whatever they desire. Following this, Netilat Yadayim prior to the Shabbat meal is performed.
Ashkenazim customarily do not implement all of these honorary measures as they are not at all accustomed to hand-kissing, although it is indeed an ancient custom. Similarly, they do not kiss the hands of their sages; rather, they suffice with a handshake and a blessing. Nonetheless, even according to their custom, parents should take care to bless their children every Shabbat night, as Hagaon Harav Yaakov Emdin attests in his Siddur that this is indeed the Ashkenazi custom. However, Sephardic Jews customarily kiss their parents' hands and they should not neglect this custom, for it has deep and important roots. Rabbeinu Eliyahu de Vidas (a student of Rabbeinu Moshe Cordovero), the saintly author of Reshit Chochma (Sha'ar Gidul Banim), has already warned that all parents should train their children when they are young to kiss the hands of their parents as well as the hands of great and pious individuals. (See Sefer Shulchan HaMa'arechet, page 56, who quotes the words of several Acharonim regarding this matter.)
- Rabbi Kalman Worch Series
February 22-23 - Annual Melaveh Malkah Weekend
Life Unexpected 5th Annual Women's Symposium
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.