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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter
Parashat Vayakhel-Shabbat Shekalim-Mivarchim Adar II

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
Annual Melaveh Malka 2019
Project Connection Update
Amazon Smile
Eruv Check- In
Kollel Korner
Davening Times
Candle lighting 
5:21 pm
Shir HaShirim 5:16pm
Mincha 5:31 pm
Shabbat starts 5:41  pm
Shacharit 8:15 am
 Mincha 4:56 pm
Shabbat ends
6:32 pm

Regular Weekdays

7:45 am
Monday, Thursday
6:15 am

 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
6:30 am 

Sunday- Thursday
5:31 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  
NOT meeting March 6th
Personalities in the Bible
Motza'ai Shabbat during the winter
see you next year!


Male Member Shiur
Pele Yoetz
contact Shlomo Mizrahi 



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
During office hours, Mrs Sror can be reached directly at

Office hours are Monday-Friday 9:15 am - 1:15 pm.

Use the regular 773-465-5274 to leave a message for Rabbi Raccah or for Mrs Sror outside of office hours. This number will not be answered during construction and is voicemail only.

This Week at Ohel Shalom
Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!

Mazal Tov to our friends, Dr. and Mrs. Julian Ungar, and to our office manager Ayelet Sror, on the upcoming wedding of their daughter and sister, Aliza to Sasha Gutfraind from Toronto.  Mazal Tov to Sasha's parents, Michael and Miriam Gutfraind. May the young couple merit to build a Bayit Ne'eman BiYisrael!

Kiddush and Seudah Shilisheet Sponsorship
This week's Kiddush is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Avraham Moalem in memory of Avraham's parents,  Ezra ben Dena and Avraham and Madeline bat Muzli. May their Neshamot merit an Aliyah. The Kehillah thanks the sponsors for their generosity.
This week's Seudah Shilisheet is sponsored by Mr. Yosef Miller in memory of his grandfather, David ben Mordechai. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah. The Kehillah thanks Mr. Miller for his generosity.

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.  

Rabbi Raccah's Wednesday Night
Parashat HaShavu'ah Shiur

Rabbi Raccah's Parashat HaShavu'ah Shiur will NOT meet next Wednesday, March 6th. BE"H the Shiur will meet the following Wednesday, March 13th.

Rosh Chodesh Adar II

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mivarchim Adar II. Rosh Chodesh will be for two days beginning on Wednesday evening, March 6 through Friday evening, March 8. MiShenichnas Adar Marbim B'Simcha!!

Geshem Fund Appeal

Each week's newsletter contains a small section about the Geshem Fund - the Kehilla's Chesed Fund. This fund is administered by the Rabbi alone, and provides aid to members of our Kehilla who are facing financial challenges. The holidays always place an additional stress upon the Geshem Fund to help people celebrate with joy and dignity. As of now, the Geshem Fund holds no fundraising events, so funds are raised by the Rabbi alone. Please help us help others! Donations can be given to the Rabbi, any of the Kehilla officers or to the office. If you make the check out to Ohel Shalom, be sure to note Geshem Fund in the Memo line so that the funds will be properly allocated. Thank you! 

Purim Cards to Help Support the Geshem Fund

With Purim around the corner, consider honoring a friend with a Mitzvah instead of some more candy/Chametz. You can come pick up some elegant Purim cards, which will support the Geshem Fund. Cards can be purchased at $18 for 10 cards or individually $2 each. Checks should be made out to the Geshem Fund with "Purim cards" written in the memo. If you are interested in these beautifully designed cards, please contact Ayelet in the office.


Purim is just around the corner! See below for more information.   
Lost and Found
This stroller has been sitting in the entrance of our Beit Kinesset for quite some time now. If you know who it may belong to please have them claim it as soon as possible. If the stroller is not claimed within two weeks from today it will be considered hefker and will be disposed of.

Annual Melaveh Malkah Recap

This past Shabbat the Kehilla held its Annual Shabbaton and its 26th Annual Melaveh Malkah, with Rabbi Paysach Krohn as our guest speaker. B"H the Shabbat was beautiful. Two things stood out about this truly amazing event. The first was the tremendous display of Achdut throughout the weekend. There were so many people that helped to make the weekend beautiful, from the mailing, to the shopping for groceries, flowers and last-minute ingredients, to those who cooked and the many who helped set up the room and numerous others that donated items to the shul so nothing would be lacking. The second was the atmosphere of positivism and happiness that seemed to envelope the entire Shabbat and Motza'ai Shabbat. Often one attends such events out of a sense of responsibility and one finds themselves stealing glances at the clock to seize the moment to leave. Not here. There was a such a sense of peace, happiness, contentment and friendship throughout the weekend. People seemed genuinely happy to be there and hung out long after the Se'udot were over. In fact, some people did not leave the Beit HaKinesset the entire Shabbat day! Rabbi Krohn certainly contributed to this with the feeling of camaraderie that he exuded.
The Friday night Se'udah was sold out with about 160 participants. The food was B"H plentiful and delicious, and featured delicacies prepared by Shimon Ben Abu, Moshe Gatenyo and many of the ladies in our Kehilla. Kudos to our chefs, who really went all out and almost worked around the clock to make all the delicious food. There are no words to express our appreciation. The tables were set beautifully, and thank you to the boys that volunteered their time from Ida Crown Jewish Academy and Fasman Yeshiva High School that helped as waiters. Everyone truly enjoyed themselves. Rabbi Krohn spoke briefly at our Seudah about the importance of always keeping Hashem before you but nevertheless remaining joyful. He also spoke about saying Brachot and especially Asher Yatzar while concentrating and standing in one spot.
The first full length Shiur of the Shabbat was titled "Emunah and Faith in Difficult Times." The Shaare Ezra Main Sanctuary was packed, and it was so nice to see so many other members of the broader Jewish community join us for the lecture. Rabbi Krohn gave many examples of having Emunah and told many stories of Hashgacha Pratit. He inspired us never to give up hope and that when we daven to Hashem and ask for help, if we are not "heard" the first time, it just means that we should ask again, as that may just tip the scales in our favor. He shared a personal event as well; commenting on the apparently Heavenly arrangement of events which allowed him to be present in Chicago on Friday morning and serve as the Mohel for twins born to a family member!
The Shabbat morning Tefillah and the lavishly extended Se'udah was B"H also very full.  
For the afternoon Shiur, Rabbi Krohn again spoke to an overflowing audience! The second lecture was titled, "Enhancing Your Life with Reflective Enthusiasm". Living and doing Mitzvot with enthusiasm is one of the best ways to teach our children. It's not just what we say, but when they see how we do the Mitzvot, with Zirizut (like Matzot that must be made quickly), they truly experience what we are trying to teach them.  We also must reflect on what we are doing, hence reflective enthusiasm. Rabbi Krohn always has many wonderful stories to demonstrate his points and once again, those in attendance enjoyed the Shiur tremendously.
A greatly enhanced Se'udah Shilisheet with another D'var Torah by Rabbi Krohn was followed by Arvit, Havdalah and the rush to prepare the Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall for the Melaveh Malkah. B"H in all ways, the Melaveh Malkah itself was amazing: the tables, the attendance, the food and the speaker! This was our first repeat speaker in the history of our Shabbaton lecturers and for good reason! Rabbi Krohn really draws a crowd and so many from the entire community came to hear him. This is one of the main reasons for our Melaveh Malkah, it's not just a fundraiser, but it's a chance for us to show the community what we are about and for the Achdut that we can all share together at a community wide event. Some 250 people came to hear Rabbi Krohn's final lecture that was titled "Bringing Out the Best in Yourself." The essential theme of the Shiur was that one brings out the best in oneself by helping others. He shared many stories of not only amazing acts of kindness, but, more than that, stories of how people invested tremendous thought and foresight into acts of kindness. Stories of how even simple people were able to transform lives with kindness. B"H it was a truly enjoyable evening for all of those who attended, as attested by the fact that many stayed beyond Birkat HaMazon to talk and socialize. Thank you to Adam McKenna for the fabulous pictures that he took. BE"H many of them (so hard to choose from so many great shots) will be going up on the Ohel Shalom website. Check it out at
Thank you again to everyone that helped with this event, from the mailing, invitations and posters designed by Devorah Haggar, to all the behind the scenes planning and coordinating, the cooking and the shopping, all those that bought food and supplies and those that helped with the set-up, we couldn't have done it all without you. Acharon, Acharon Chaviv, thank you so much to Rabbi Daniel J. Raccah, whose tireless efforts on behalf of the Kehillah are beyond mention. Thank you to all who came and participated, we thank you all and look forward to another great year, next year!
The Melaveh Malkah is our Kehilla's primary fundraiser. We thank all of those who contributed towards our Kehilla's continued growth. As well a special thank you to our good friends Gil Gold and Tamir Levy for their kindness. Tizku LiMitzvot!

For more pictures  click here

Please keep checking this spot for upcoming information about Purim and the annual Seudah.
If you would like to help plan and prepare for the Seudah, please contact Elliott Alvayor.
With Purim around the corner, consider honoring a friend with a Mitzvah instead of some more Chametz.

You can come pick up some elegant Purim cards, which will support the Geshem Fund. Cards can be purchased at $18 for 10 cards or individually for $2 each. Checks should be made out to the Geshem Fund with "Purim cards" written in the memo. If you are interested in these beautifully designed cards, please contact Ayelet in the office.   
For a printable version of this flyer click here.

B"H one of the most anticipated events of the year is the Annual Purim Seudah. Please join us for our Purim Seudah on Thursday, March 21st at (tentatively) 6:15 pm. Please call the office to make your reservation by Monday, March 11th. There will be a special Purim carnival and arts and crafts for the children. Hope to see you there!
For a printable version of this flyer  click here

Project Connection UPDATE
(new info below)

B"H work on both floors is in full gear. As well, the opening on the east side that will BE"H serve as the connection point between the two buildings is well advanced. More work was done on the southern end of the building to prepare for the office addition that will BE"H go there. Much work was done on the western side for windows and the new Sacramento Avenue entrance.

The beginning of the cutout for
the new Sacramento Avenue entrance

The supports for the roof that will BE"H join the buildings


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.

The pledges for this campaign are payable over the next two years (till Rosh HaShana 5781 - 2020) and 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 another Mezuzah has now been generously sponsored.

For a printable version of this flyer click here

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 February 12-March 12 for the Zechut of a Refuah Shelemah for Chana bat Elka. May she merit a full recovery.  

A day of learning has been sponsored by Mrs. Yael Shiner for February 28 in memory of Chana bat Aisha and Yosef. May her 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.
    Halacha of the Week       

The Blessing on Water During a Meal

Question: Must one recite a blessing upon drinking a beverage within a bread meal?

Answer: The Rishonim disagree regarding whether or not one who drinks any beverage (besides for wine) within a bread meal must recite the "Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro" blessing on it or not. The Ba'al Halachot Gedolot and other great Rishonim maintain that one must indeed recite a blessing on beverages one drinks during a meal just as when one would drink them outside of a bread meal. On the other hand, the majority of Poskim rule that one should not recite a blessing on beverages drunk during a meal, for it is common to drink while eating; thus, since drinking is a result of eating, the beverages are exempted with the "Hamotzi" blessing similar to the law that the blessing on a primary food exempts the secondary food. Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam rule likewise.

Halachically speaking, Maran Ha'Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 174) rules in favor of the opinion that one should not recite a blessing on beverages drunk during a bread meal. Nevertheless, Maran Ha'Shulchan Aruch likewise quotes the opinion of the Ba'al Halachot Gedolot who rules that one should recite a blessing on such beverages and concludes the Halacha, as follows: "One who wishes to remove himself from all doubt should sit in the place one intends to eat his meal before washing one's hands (for the bread) and recite a blessing with the intention of drinking during the meal." This means that one should recite the "Shehakol" blessing on a small amount of beverage and by doing so, one will exempt all other beverages one will drink throughout one's meal. Nonetheless, this is only an added stringency, for according to the letter of the law, the Halacha follows the opinion that one should not recite a blessing on beverages drunk during a bread meal.

One who wishes to act stringently and recite a blessing on a beverage before a meal must take care not recite a blessing on water unless one is thirsty, for if one is not thirsty at all, one may not recite the "Shehakol" blessing on water. Nevertheless, one may recite the "Shehakol" blessing on other flavored drinks, candies, or sweets with the intention to exempt water one will drink during one's meal. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt"l rules likewise.

If one eats "Couscous," some say that one should not recite the "Shehakol" blessing on the water one drinks along with it since this is a very dry food and requires one to drink copiously with it. Nevertheless, Maran zt"l has ruled that one should recite a blessing on water drunk along with "Couscous," for only during a bread meal will one not recite a blessing on beverages one drinks; however, regarding other foods, even if they are very dry and thirst-inducing, one should recite the "Shehakol" blessing on beverages drunk along with them.

Summary: One should not recite a blessing on water or other beverages (besides for wine) one drinks during a bread meal. As an added stringency, it is preferable for one to recite a blessing on some water or another beverage (less than a Revi'it) before washing one's hands in the place one intends to eat one's meal.


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.  

March 20 - Ta'anit Esther
March 21 - Purim and Purim Seudah 
Community Section

  Uncle Moishy Pre- Purim Concert
Uncle Moishy Concert This Sunday! For more info click here.
Four Rabbis - Darchei Noam Glenbrook    
For a printable version of this flyer  click here
Ohel Sarah Monthly Support Group
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.