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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter
Parashat Vayigash 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
Devora Sheva Birachot
Personalities in the Bible Shiur Schedule
Amazon Smile
Eruv Check- In
Kollel Korner
Davening Times
Candle lighting 
4:00 pm
Shir HaShirim 3:55pm
Mincha 4:10 pm
Shabbat starts 4:20 pm
Shacharit 8:15 am
 Mincha 3:35 pm
Shabbat ends
5:10 pm

Regular Weekdays

7:45 am
Monday, Thursday
6:15 am

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
6:30 am 

Sunday- Thursday
4:12 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
BE"H Dec 22



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! BiSiman Tov! 
Mazal Tov to David Devora and Chana Sivola on their wedding this past Sunday, December 9th. May they merit to build a Bayit Ne'eman BiYisrael.
Fast of 10th of Tevet 
The Fast of the 10th of the Tevet will be THIS Tuesday, December 18thThe fast will begin at 6:19 am and end at 5:11 pm 
Thursday Night Hamin

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 
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 Melave Malka Shabbaton
We are happy to announce that BE"H our annual Melave Malka 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.

Devora Sheva Birachot

This past Tuesday night, the Kehillah hosted a beautiful Sheva Birachot celebration for our newest newlyweds, David and Chana Devora. Here are a few pictures:

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"  
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 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 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 for December 12-19 in memory of Avraham Shlomo ben Motel Mordechai and Selava Kayla by his son, Akiva. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A week of learning has been sponsored for December 12-19 in memory of Esther bat Rachel by her son, Reuven. May her Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A day of learning has been sponsored by Carmella Bar Nissim and Ruth Zelkha for December 17 in memory of their uncle, Naji ben Ezra ben Tifacha. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.
A day of learning has been sponsored by Shalva Meyers for December 20 in memory of her mother, Zelkah Rebecca bat Haskah Goldah. May her 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.
    Halacha of the Week       

Conditions for Reciting the "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" Blessing

In the  previous Halacha we have discussed the law that if several individuals are drinking wine and are then served another kind of wine, the "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing is recited on the second kind of wine. We have mentioned that there are several conditions that must be met in order to recite this blessing. Only when all of these conditions are met may one recite this blessing, as we have explained. Let us now continue listing the conditions.
The "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing may only be recited if there was no interruption or change of intention before the drinking of the second type of wine, i.e. when those seated began drinking the first type of wine, they had intended to continue drinking wine. However, if they have decided not to drink any more wine, for instance, if they drank wine during the meal and have since recited Birkat Hamazon and are only then served another wine, the "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing is not recited on the second type of wine.
If Some of the first Wine Remains
The "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing is only recited if some of the first wine remains. However, if nothing remains of the original kind of wine, this blessing is not recited.
The Second Wine cannot be Worse than the First  
The "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing is only recited when the second type of wine is of better quality than the first. If this cannot be ascertained, one must at least be certain that the second kind of wine is not of lesser quality than the first.
The Wines must be of Two Different Kinds 
The "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing is only recited when the second wine is of a different variety, such as, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and the like. (Nevertheless, there is a situation where one can recite the "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing on the same variety of wine which is, if the first wine is new and the second is aged, even if they are of the same variety, such as Cabernet, one may still recite this blessing. Similarly, one may recite the "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing even on two wines of the same kind if they are from two different wineries or vineyards and they taste different from one another.)
At Least Two People Must be Present 
The "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing may only be recited if a minimum of two individuals are sitting down to drink wine together. They must likewise both drink from both the first wine and then the second.
The Wine Must be Drunk During the Meal 
The "Hatov Ve'Hametiv" blessing is only recited on wine drunk during a bread meal. This blessing is not recited, however, on wine drunk outside of a bread meal.
The vast details of the laws of this blessing are discussed at length in the Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 9, Chapter 108, in Chazon Ovadia-Berachot, and in Sefer Halacha Berura, Volume 9, Chapter 175.


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.  

December 22nd - Fifth Personalities in the Bible Shiur
January 5th - Sixth Personalities in the Bible Shiur
February 22-23 - Annual Melaveh Malka Weekend
Community Section
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. 
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  WWW.NBN.ORG.IL/Chicago 
For a printable version of this flyer 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!)