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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter
Parashat Vaera-Mivarchim Shevat 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.

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In This Issue
This Week at Ohel Shalom
Project Connection Update
Personalities in the Bible Shiur Schedule
Amazon Smile
Eruv Check- In
Kollel Korner
Davening Times
Candle lighting 
4:13 pm
Shir HaShirim 4:08pm
Mincha 4:23 pm
Shabbat starts 4:33 pm
Shacharit 8:15 am
 Mincha 3:48 pm
Shabbat ends
5:24 pm

Regular Weekdays

7:45 am
Monday, Thursday
6:15 am

 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
6:30 am 

Sunday- Thursday
4:23 pm 
Late Arvit following Kollel 
10:00 pm

Regular Shiurim  

 Open Seder  
Rabbi Olstein
Parasha Shiur
Wed 8:30pm (Hebrew)
Thurs 8:00pm (English)
Rabbi Moshe Miller
Tomer Devorah
Sundays after Mincha/Arvit  
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
Boy's learning program
45 min. 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
Next Shiur
January 5th



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
Mazal Tov (Again)! 
Mazal Tov to  Shay and Batia Savy on the one year anniversary of the Bar Mitzvah of their son,  Binyamin Velval, who will BE"H read the Torah this Shabbat. May he continue to grow in Torah, Mitzvot and Ma'asim Tovim! 
Kiddush Sponsorship
Kiddush this week is sponsored by the Savys in honor of the one year anniversary of Binyamin's Bar Mitzvah. Mazal Tov! The Kehillah thanks them for their generosity.

Lev Avot - New Kollel Program
The Sephardic Community Kollel is pleased to announce the new Lev Avot Program by which Kollel fellows will partner with fathers  to prepare them for what their children are taught (Hebrew studies) at school. The Kollel will work closely together with the schools, Rabbeim and fathers to make sure the children will have the proper learning support from their homes and make sure the parents feel comfortable with their children's learning advancement. Please contact our dedicated Kollel Director, Rabbi Yosef Olstein for more details.  

We Need Help Before the Construction Starts

BE"H the construction on our Learning Center and Executive Offices will start within the next weeks. However, we must clear the building out before the construction starts. Mr. Meir Pierce is heading the building preparation effort. Please speak to him to learn how you can help.

Lost & Found- Tallitot Edition
Several tallitot were found in the Beit HaKinesset with no markings on them. If you are missing a Tallit please speak to Chanoch Raccah. Tallitot not claimed by January 15th will be considered hefker.
Refuah Shelemah and Name Change 
We have been informed that Mr. Mordechai Bitton, father of our friend and member Mr. Tomer Bitton, has had his name changed. His name is now Mordechai Zev ben Tamar. Please join us in praying for a full and speedy recovery for him.
לרפואת מרדכי זאב בן תמר
BE"H New Learning Group with Rabbi Raccah
to Start Next Week

We are happy to announce that BE"H we will soon start a new learning group with Rabbi Raccah. This group will BE"H meet weekly to learn with him. Due to space constraints, the group will only be open to male members of the Kehillah. If you are a member and are interested, please text Shlomo Mizrahi at 323-274-8178 to receive more information.  
Personalities in the Bible Shiur
BE"H This Motza'ai Shabbat

Rabbi Raccah's next Personalities in the Bible lecture titled " Yaakov, Rachel and Leah: A Deeper Perspective of the Complexities - Part 2" will BE"H be THIS Motza'ai Shabbat, January 5 at 7.30 PM. Please join us! The following Shiur will BE"H be January 19th. Please see below for the full schedule of Shiurim for the season. 

Rosh Chodesh Shevat

Rosh Chodesh Shevat will be one day, starting on Sunday night Jan. 6th and continuing through Monday Jan. 7th. Chodesh Tov!

Safety Procedures
Please be sure to review the new safety procedures with your family members. An email has been sent out about it. We will only be using the front smaller door near the Beit Midrash to come in to the Beit HaKinesset on Shabbat and we will have greeters at the door. Please do not use other entrances and do not open the door to anyone. We know this may be an inconvenience, but we have been advised by the police that the best way to protect our facility is to limit the amount of entrances into the building.  
Friday Night Oneg Shabbat
BE"H Next Week 
One of the special events that winter brings is the Friday night Oneg Shabbat. Last Friday night (Parashat Shemot), we held the first Oneg Shabbat of the winter at the home of Rabbi and Rabbanit Raccah. The subject matter was the Abir Yaakov, Rav Yaakov Abuchatzera ZT"L. The Rav spoke about him for two hours and there was still much to say!, BE"H next week (Parashat Bo), Friday Jan. 11th, we will hold the next Oneg Shabbat to continue and it will start earlier - at 8pm. Hope to see you there!  
New Shiur Series with Rabbi Kalman Worch 
BE"H Continues

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.
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

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!!

UPDATE: B"H after an excruciatingly long and lugubrious process, we have the construction permit! Construction will BE"H commence within the next weeks. We will need to clear out the house prior to the beginning of construction. For that we will need volunteers. Please look and listen in the Beit HaKinesset for more information on that. B"H very exciting!

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.

For a printable version of this flyer click here

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 sixth shiur will BE"H take place BE"H this Motza'ai Shabbat, January 5th beginning at 7:30 PM. The title for the Shiur is "Yaakov, Rachel and Leah - A Deeper Perspective of the Complexities Part 2."  
1. October 27 וירא       Beginning at 8 PM
2. November 17 ויצא    Beginning at 7:30 PM
3. November 24 וישלח
4. 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

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 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 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 December 6-January 6  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. and Mrs. Yehuda Tzur and Mr. and Mrs. Yehuda Shemer for January 9-16 in memory of Yehuda and Aviva's father, Avraham Rachamim ben Sa'ada. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah. 

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

One Se'ah for Another

Our Sages enacted that one may not borrow a Se'ah (a halachic measure of weight) of wheat from a friend with the intention of returning another Se'ah of wheat at a later time, for the Sages were concerned that the price of wheat may rise in the interim and that would mean that the borrower would be repaying more than he borrowed, thus causing both lender and borrower to transgress the prohibition of loaning on interest (on a rabbinic level). For instance, if one lends a friend ten pounds of flour with the understanding that the borrower will return it in a week's time, this constitutes the rabbinic prohibition of "one Se'ah for another" since it is possible that at the time of the loan, the price of flour was ten dollars and at the time the borrower returns it, the price may jump to twenty dollars. The Sages therefore forbade this.
Assigning Monetary Value
There is, nevertheless, a permissible solution for lending food by weight which is that the borrower stipulates at the time of the loan that the he will repay the lender later with flour worth the same amount as the amount of flour he is lending him now. For instance, using the above example, if ten pounds of flour were valued at ten dollars at the time of the loan, the borrower should tell the lender, "When I return the flour, I will return an amount of flour worth ten dollars." Thus, if the price of ten pounds of flour has risen to twenty dollars by the time the borrower wishes to return it, the borrower will return only five pounds of flour valued at ten dollars, which was the monetary of the flour he borrowed at the time of the loan.
The Poskim refer to this idea as "assigning monetary value to the borrowed object" in which case it will be permissible to lend "one Se'ah" of wheat or flour for another.
Lending a Loaf of Bread
Based on the above, it would seem forbidden for a woman to borrow a loaf of bread from a neighbor with the intention of returning another loaf of bread at a later time since there is concern that the price of bread may rise in the interim, thus causing both parties to transgress the prohibition of loaning on interest. Nevertheless, the Rama writes that the custom is to rule leniently in this regard since people are not usually so particular regarding such small amounts of money (like the inflation of the price of a loaf of bread) and our Sages were likewise not so particular to rule stringently on a matter that is rabbinic in nature to begin with.
Thus, according to the Rama, when discussing amounts of money which are not so significant, there is room for leniency. It is therefore permissible to lend a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk and the like.
On the other hand, Maran Ha'Bet Yosef writes that according to the Rif and Rambam, the prohibition of "one Se'ah for another" applies even with regards to paltry sums since people are particular about any sum of money. Thus, the prohibition of "one Se'ah for another" would apply even to something small like a loaf of bread.
Accordingly, according to Maran Ha'Bet Yosef, whose rulings we have accepted, it would be forbidden to borrow or lend a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk.
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt"l discusses this opinion of Maran Ha'Bet Yosef and quotes the words of the Shulchan Gavoha (authored by Hagaon Rabbeinu Yosef Molcho zt"l) who writes that even according to the Rif and Rambam that lending even something small is forbidden, this applies only in a place where people are particular about the inflation of the price of bread. However, in our times most people are not so particular about this. This is especially true since nowadays, thank G-d, there is much abundance in the world and as a result, even people who are not necessarily wealthy are not particular about the difference in the price of bread during the span of several days. Thus, the prohibition of loaning on interest does not apply here.
Thus, even according to Maran Ha'Bet Yosef, a woman may borrow a loaf of bread and the like from her neighbor with the intention of returning another one at a later time.
Nonetheless, this applies only to something small; regarding a large amount of merchandise, however, this is certainly forbidden, similar to the law of "one Se'ah of wheat for another."


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.  

January 5th - Sixth Personalities in the Bible Shiur
January 11th - Friday Night Oneg at the Raccahs 
January 19th - Seventh Personalities in the Bible Shiur
February 5th - Rabbi Kalman Worch Series
February 22-23 - Annual Melaveh Malka Weekend
Community Section
Learn CPR
Chicago Orthodox Student Union 
The Chicago Orthodox Student Union is a new initiative for Orthodox college students, sponsored by Ida Crown Jewish Academy in collaboration with the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel, offering
opportunities for Jewish Learning and Social Events.  
For information about programs and events, please email
For Orthodox College Students - The Chicago Orthodox Student Union invites you to "Meat and Greet!" on Sunday, January 13, 6:00 PM, at Northwestern Hillel, 629 Foster, Evanston, IL 60201.  Meet new people, eat great food!
Questions?  Please email

Shalva Symposium

For more information  click here

Important Information about the Measles and Vaccinations
We regret to inform the community that the Illinois Board of Health has confirmed our community's first case of measles in a vaccinated young child. Unfortunately, an entire playgroup of children too young to vaccinate has been exposed.
This outbreak has underscored the importance of vaccination. 
A couple of facts about measles.
1) Measles is the one of the most contagious diseases on the planet. 90% of those who encounter an affected individual will contract the disease unless they are already immune
2) Measles is a very dangerous disease. 5% of those infected will get pneumonia, 0.1% will get encephalitis (brain involvement) and 1-2 out of every 1,000 infected children will die from measles.
3) People are contagious starting 4 days BEFORE they show any symptoms
4) Children under 4 or 5, who have only received one measles vaccination only have a 90% chance of being immune.
5) Individuals who are fully immunized with two measles vaccinations, still have about a 3% chance of not being immune.
6) For the medically vulnerable (infants, immunosuppressed children and adults, pregnant women, etc.) this is quite literally life threatening
In the meantime, vaccinated individuals may continue to attend school, shul and other public gatherings. Unvaccinated individuals must exercise extreme caution as we do not know how many contagious people are walking around the community at present.
Dr. Adam Aronson M.D  Dr. Irwin Benuck M.D
Dr. Yossi Borenstein M.D Dr. Cathy DiVincenzo M.D
Dr. Cheryl Donovan-Hunt M.D Dr. Steven Goldberg M.D
Dr. Valerie Kimball M.D Dr. Teri Merens M.D
Dr. Michael Rosenbaum M.D Dr. Dov Shapiro M.D
Dr. Edward Traisman M.D Dr. Melanie Thomas M.D
For a printable version of this letter click here. 
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.

Click Here to volunteer or email 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!   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!)