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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter
Parashat Vayikra 5777

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 Ohel Shalom 


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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
Pesach Information
Shabbat HaGadol Dinner
Kollel Weekly Recap
Amazon Smile
Eruv Check- In
Kollel Korner
Davening Times
Candle lighting 
6:56 pm
Mincha 7:06 pm
Shacharit 8:15 am
 Mincha 6:31 pm 
Shabbat Ends
8:07 pm

Regular Weekdays


Monday, Thursday
6:15 am

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
6:30 am 
Sunday -Thursday
7:06 pm
Late Arvit following Kollel 
10:00 pm
meeting BE"H tonight and then 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
Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov! 
Mazal Tov to  Moshe and Ayelet Sror  on the Brit of their son, Yonatan Gavriel. Mazal Tov as well to big sister,  Yaeli . May he grow to Torah, Mitzvot, Chuppah and Ma'asim Tovim. 

For more pictures of the Brit, click here
Mazal Tov to Dr. Yigal and Donna Yahav on the engagement of their  son Daniel to Hindy Weissman of Passaic. Dr. and Mrs. Yahav would like to invite the Kehilla to the Vort at their home this Sunday from 4-7PM. May they merit BE"H to build a Bayit Ne'eman BiYisrael!  
Security Update
In order to increase security in the Beit HaKenesset, the codes on the entry doors were changed. Please refer to the hints posted on the doors for the new code
Pesach is Approaching
Please see below for TWO sections about Pesach. Please note however in the Shabbat HaGadol Dinner section that the deadline is THIS COMING MONDAY!! No exceptions! If you plan to attend, you must reserve and pay!  In addition, please note the rabbi's pre-pesach shiur this Sunday morning at 10 am. 
Children's Groups
Please note, there will be NO children's groups the first days of Pesach. Groups will BE"H continue on Shabbat Chol Hamoed.
Pesach Information

Kollel Break

BE"H the Kollel will learn through THIS evening, Thursday, March 30th. The Kollel will go on break starting Sunday, April 2nd. 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.

Rabbi Raccah's Pre-Pesach Shiur

This Sunday, April 2nd at 10am, Rabbi Raccah will BE"H give his annual Pre-Pesach Shiur. This Shiur typically encompasses the Halachot of preparing your kitchen for Pesach. In addition, Rabbi Raccah will hopefully share the most updated info on rice and other products. You don't want to miss it.

Dedicated Hours for
Mechirat Chametz/Selling Your Chametz
Rabbi Raccah is once again available BE"H to aid you in the sale of your Chametz. As is years past, he has set aside some specific times when you will be able to come to sell your Chametz. This is in addition to selling your Chametz when you see him at the Beit HaKinesset after Tifilot.

The dedicated hours for now are:

Motza'ai Shabbat, April 1st, from 9:15 - 10 pm at his home, 7400 N. Albany. Please do not ring the bell then.

Sunday, April 2nd AFTER the Pre-Pesach Shiur for a 1/2 hour. We can not be precise for the beginning of this time.

Wednesday, April 5th between 8:00 and 8:30 pm, prior to the Wednesday night Shiur, in the Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall. Please note that the Shiur that night will BE"H be held upstairs in the Shaarei Ezra Main Sanctuary because the Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall will BE"H be set up for the Shabbat HaGadol Dinner.

Please do not come either early or late. Additional dedicated times may be added. Please look for more details.

The many additional Rabbinic responsibilities that Pesach requires place an increased burden on the rabbi's schedule, so please respect Rabbi Raccah's time and do not request time outside of these to sell you Chametz.

Sefardi Times for Hagalat Kelim

Once again Rabbi Raccah has coordinated a Hagala time for those who have items, such as plastics and/or stove grates for Hagala, which Ashkenazim do not typically perform Hagala upon. The time for Sephardim is between 5:45 - 6 pm on Monday, April 3 or Tuesday, April 4  at Telshe Yeshiva (3535 W. Foster - entrance through back parking lot). This is only for people with a small quantity of items. Please do NOT be late. Mincha is at 6 pm, and after Mincha is the time for those who made appointments. If you can't make this window, then attend doing regular hours: 7:30 - 9pm. For those who have a large amount of vessels, please call 773-727-5241 to make an appointment.

Maot Chitim - The Geshem Fund

As we all know, Pesach is an unusually beautiful but expensive holiday. For some families struggling with ever mounting bills and little or no income, Pesach can be daunting. To help alleviate the stress of the financial constraints, the Geshem Fund provides some relief. Many families turn to the Geshem Fund year-round for help. Please help us help these families. To participate in relieving some stress and enhancing the holiday of your friends, please make out a check to the Geshem Fund today. The checks can be dropped off at the office or given to the rabbi or any other officer of the Kehilla.

Friday, April 7th

Shabbat HaGadol Dinner
This year once again, the Kehilla will BE"H offer a  Shabbat HaGadol Friday night Se'udah (Friday April 7th), in case your kitchen is being prepared for Pesach. The Beit HaKinesset is hosting the dinner for  members that reserve and pay by Monday, April 3rd. Please note that the  deadline for reservation is very soon and can't reasonably be extended  because we need to order the correct amount of food so we don't have Chametz leftovers!  No exceptions will be made . See flyer below for details.


For a printable version of this flyer  click here

This Week with the Sephardic Community Kollel

The Sephardic Community Kollel meets Sunday - Thursday nights from 8 - 10pm with a late Arvit at 10pm.

Here are some pictures from last week and this week's learning


For more pictures check out our Kollel Newsletter!

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 March 24-31 by Avraham Moalem in memory of his father, Ezra ben Dina and Avraham. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.   
A month of learning has been sponsored anonymously for the month of  March. The Kollel thanks the patrons for their generosity. 
Halacha of the Week  
The Pesach Seder-Kadesh
The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the rabbi of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation customarily follows this order on the night of Pesach, as is printed in all Machzorim and Haggadot. Thank G-d, nowadays, there are many revised editions of the "Passover Haggadah" available that clearly delineate the proper way to conduct the entire Pesach Seder. Anyone who is leading a Pesach Seder would act wisely to purchase a Haggadah compiled according to the views of the leading rabbinical authorities of the generation. (We suggest using the Pesach Haggadah entitled "Chazon Ovadia" which was authored by Maran Rabbeinu zt"l and has since been printed several times in several new and beautiful editions. This Haggadah is especially helpful through its instruction on how to properly lead a Pesach Seder.)
Which Wine to Purchase for the Seder
The wine upon which one blesses "Boreh Peri Ha'Gefen" during the Seder and all year round must halachically consist of at least a majority of actual grape juice (some are more stringent and require more than this amount). Wine that has a large amount of water or sugar mixed in it does not retain the blessing of "Boreh Peri Ha'Gefen", rather, its blessing is "Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro" just as it is simple that soft drinks which contain approximately ten percent grape juice require the "Shehakol" blessing. One should therefore purchase only wine or grape juice which is known to retain the "Boreh Peri Ha'Gefen" blessing even according to the opinion of Maran Ha'Shulchan Aruch.
Grape Juice
If it is difficult for one to drink wine at the Seder, one may drink grape juice and one satisfactorily fulfills one's obligation of drinking the Four Cups in this way. If one acts stringently and uses specifically wine or wine mixed with some grape juice, one is especially praiseworthy.
The Amount of Wine One Must Drink
The amount of wine one must drink during the Seder is one "Revi'it" per cup, which is approximately 81 cc (or approximately 2.8 fluid ounces) per cup to be drunk without interruption, which means that one must drink all 81 cc in one shot (meaning without interruption) for every cup drunk. However, if one drinks only a majority of a Revi'it which is approximately 45 cc (or approximately 1.5 fluid ounces), one has fulfilled one's obligation and need not drink that cup again.
An Ill Individual
One who has difficulty drinking an entire Revi'it of wine and acts leniently and only drinks a majority of a Revi'it every time should be careful at least for the third or fourth cup to drink an entire Revi'it so that one may recite the "Al Ha'Gefen" blessing afterwards. (This is because regarding the "Al Ha'Gefen" blessing, which is the blessing recited after drinking wine, a majority of a Revi'it is insufficient to recite this blessing.)
If one suffers from diabetes and has been instructed not to drink the four cups of wine (or grape juice), such an individual may not drink the four cups and it is forbidden for him to try and act stringently.
Summary:  One should only purchase wine with a respectable Kashrut supervision which upholds the Sephardic customs as well. If one cannot drink wine, one may drink grape juice instead. One should drink the four cups of wine based on the order set forth in the Haggadah. For every cup, one should drink at least 2.8 fluid ounces of wine. If it is very difficult for one to drink, one may be lenient and drink only a majority of a  Revi'it , i.e. approximately 1.5 ounces. (One should, nevertheless, drink an entire Revi'it  for the third or fourth cup.)
Machshava of the Week
by Rabbi David Shamsi
The Alef Bet of Communication
There is a famous question regarding the first word of this week's parasha: Why is the letter aleph in the word " Vayikra ", "And he (Hashem) called (to Moshe)", written small? Furthermore, Rashi explains that the only one who could hear Hashem's calling was Moshe and no one else. But the Torah already told us that Bnei Yisroel forfeited their right to direct communication with Hashem at Har Sinai; so what novelty is Rashi telling us?
Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein, in his magnus opus, Meor VaShamesh, explains: If someone speaks, just about anyone whether they know him or not, will be able to understand what he is saying. But will they really understand him? Words are a very limited form of communication - mere shadows of what is truly going on in the mind of the speaker. In order to move beyond words and really understand another person, it takes a very deep relationship: A husband can understand more about his wife by one flicker of her eyebrow than a thousand words could convey. This answers both our questions...
In regard to our second question: Even if Bnei Yisroel were still able to directly hear the words of Hashem, they would still not be privy to the intimate relationship with Hashem that Moshe had and therefore, would still not be able to hear what Moshe could. In response to our first question: The small Alef reflects the limitations of speech by itself without deep knowledge of the speaker.
Although it is a tremendous merit to learn words of Torah, if we want to deepen our understanding and appreciation of them, it is imperative that we deepen our relationship with Hashem as well.

April 2 - Pre-Pesach Shiur by the Rabbi - 10 am
April 3 - Shabbat HaGadol Reservation Deadline
April 7 - Shabbat HaGadol Dinner
April 10 - Pesach

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.  

Drivers needed for Passover Delivery 
  Pre Pesach Document Shredding - THIS SUNDAY!
Pre-Pesach Garbage Pickup
Free Passover Car Wash 

Free Passover car wash sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein, Alderman Debra Silverstein and the 50th Ward Democratic Organization from Sunday, April 2, 2017 through Sunday, April 9, 2017 at the following locations: Fast Car Wash, 7130 N. Western, Chicago; Speedy Car Wash, 5724 N. Lincoln, Chicago; Uptown Car Wash, 4900 N. Broadway, Chicago; and Niles Car Wash, 900 Civic Center Drive, Niles. Free exterior car wash plus free one dollar self-serve vacuum. Vouchers may be picked up at the 50th Ward Office, 2949 W. Devon, on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and on Monday, March 27, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30p.m. For information, call 773-761-0050.
Shaimos Collection  and Other Pesach Services 
Agudath Israel of Illinois Pesach Services:
Shaimos Collection: Charge based on volume.
Document Shredding/Electronic Recycling: both on Sunday, April 2nd, at 7530 N. St. Louis, 10 - 2 pm.
Ha'golas Kailim: Monday & Tuesday - April 3 - 4, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, 3535 W. Foster (Big orders must reserve 773.727.5241). Pre-Pesach Garbage Pickup: Go to 50th Ward office 2949 W. Devon by Friday, March 31. 39th Ward residents come to Agudah office 3542 W. Peterson to get a sticker.
Be'ur Chometz: April 10, 8:00 - 11:00 am, JDBY corner parking lot (Jersey & Peterson) and YOB, 2828 W. Pratt parking lot - enter off Pratt only.
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 
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.