Parshas Bo
January 22-23 2021
10 Shevat, 5781
Shalom and hello everyone! I hope you are well and staying safe. 

Join me this shabbos for great davening and exciting learning. We’re deep in the formidable mesechta Pesachim, so come, learn and expand your Torah horizon with us!

This shabbos, enjoy a delicious kiddush I personally purchased in Boro Park. This week we’re trying something new. Taste a variety of fresh-baked cookies: chocolate fudge, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip! 

Ohav Sholom's kiddush sponsorship is back!

Take advantage of our reduced rates and pandemic-friendly food selection to honor your loved ones or celebrate a life cycle event. Please contact the shul office today.

Please join us for a special Tu B’shvat Shiur on ZOOM this Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 8:00 - 8:30PM, presented by myself, on the subject: The History, Laws & Customs of Tu B’shvat.”

In it, we’ll review the minhagim of the day and explore the complex rules of brachos on fruits. 

Have some delicious dinner and indigenous fruits of Israel handy for an online ZOOM Tu B’shvat Seder!
(as heard and adapted by Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman)

"כִּ֥י חַג יְהוָ֖ה לָֽנוּ"

In this week’s Parsha we read of the ongoing, heated debate between Moshe Rabbeinu and Pharaoh regarding a Festival Hashem requested the Jewish People attend outside the confines of Egypt. 

The repartee between these leaders concerned the children’s required attendance and also the participation of animals. 

What was the nature of the quarrel?

Moshe argued the divine celebration demanded the involvement of the children and animals were needed for religious formalities. 

Pharaoh countered that either it was an adult-oriented religious ceremony that required animal sacrifices - and children should not be involved, or it was similar to a children’s themed Chanukah party that only required toys to distribute to the kids, and so, animals were unnecessary!   

"רַ֛ק צֹאנְכֶ֥ם וּבְקַרְכֶ֖ם יֻצָּ֑ג"

“Only your flocks and your herds shall be left behind.”

We can understand Pharaoh’s demand in the following manner. 

Pharaoh wanted a “mashkin,” guarantee or surety, that the Jewish People would return to Egypt. 

He understood that certain Jews valued their property above all else and would not easily surrender their valuables. These Jews would return to Mitzrayim after their celebration. 

This is similar to the Children of Gad and Reuven, who declined to enter Eretz Yisroel as they wanted to grow their wealth on the other side of the Jordan.  

But in the process, Gad and Reuven sacrificed the Torah education of their own children.

Because they resided outside the yishuv, they built “Day Schools” for their children instead of establishing authentic yeshivas, and in the process, their children paid the price of subpar chinuch habanim. 

Pharaoh, by demanding the flocks of animals stay in Egypt, hoped to lure some of them back into his land. 

Moshe vociferously demanded that even the smallest children attend the Festival, as this was analogous to the great mitzvah of Hakhel, where the entire Jewish People, including babies, would assemble and hear the reading of the Torah by the king of Israel once every seven years.

Indeed, even the youngest child would benefit from attending this Festival to Hashem. 

The Gemara relates that the mother of Rav Yehoshua ben Chananya used to take his crib and place it in the Bais Medrash, so the baby could absorb the words of Torah. 

The words of Torah heard by the young Rav Yehoshua and in the ears of all the small children during the Festival was the sweetest music in the world! 

The melodious sounds of the Torah, and its rich, celestial music, would make an indelible impression on the children for the rest of their lives. 

Of course, the children must come! 

We are pleased to announce the Vaccine Appointment Assistance Team, a group of "eager beavers" who want to help those struggling to secure vaccination appointments within the 5 boroughs of the great NYC.

If you know someone who is eligible to be vaccinated and is struggling to make a vaccination appointment because of the extremely fast-paced online environment, please direct and help them complete this form. We'll take it from there!

VAAT is also looking for fast typing, quick clicking, and tech-savvy people to volunteer as part of the team.
Rav Yaakov ‘Yankel’ Cohen, zt”l
After a two-year-long illness, Rabbi Cohen of the Telz yeshiva in Cleveland, was niftar this past week. He was reverently referred to as, “A living Sefer Torah.” 

The Rabbi is the father of my dear chavrusa, Mordy Cohen, of the Upper West Side, and my Daf Yomi chavrusa for years. 

Rav Cohen was considered as one of the finest lamdonim, proficient Talmudic scholars, in the United States. His recently published sefer (one of many to come) is a testimony of the breadth of his knowledge and sharp mind. 

Physically strong and a commanding athlete, Rav Cohen was an ardent sports fan in his youth and then abruptly channeled and harnessed his passion for sports to grow by leaps in Torah devotion and proficiency. 
Recognized by the late Telz Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Mordechai Gifter, zt”l, Rav Cohen was appointed Mashgiach at Telz and remained there these last 70 years, studying day and night in the yeshiva (even living in the dorm mid-week away from his family, after marriage, so as to study even more, uninterrupted.) 

I was privileged to talk to Rav Cohen “in learning” on a few occasions and his passion for truth and charismatic warmth was overwhelming. In the last few months, on a few occasions, the Rav listened on the phone as Mordy and I prepared my Daf Yomi shiur. 

Rabbi Yankel Cohen’s hundreds of students along with his dear Rebbetzin, a beautiful family, and all Klal Yisroel mourn this colossal loss to the world of Torah and Avodah.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

See you in shul,

Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman 
מרא דאתרא קנג. אוהב שׁלום

Erev shabbos kodesh parshas Bo 5781 
Shabbos Timetable
Friday, Erev Shabbos Kodesh
Shabbos Candle Lighting 4:43 PM
Mincha/KS 4:50 PM

Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Bo
Shacharis 9:00 AM
Kiddush 10:45 AM
Mincha 4:40 PM
Daf Yomi
Maariv/Shabbos Ends/Havdala 5:47 PM

Due to the unfortunate continued uptick in COVID cases, Ohav Sholom is now re-requiring registration for all minyanim going forward. 

You can email/text /WhatsApp the number of attendees and we will confirm your attendance: or 
Your health and the health of others are of the utmost importance at Ohav Sholom.

Thank you for your compliance and strict adherence to the rules.   

Do not come to services if:
1.) you are sick or feel unwell, 
2.) you are required by New York to quarantine or self-isolate, or 
3.) you have had COVID within the past 14 days.

Also, if you have determined that you developed or tested positive for COVID within 5 days of attending services at Ohav Sholom, you must notify Rabbi Mehlman of that fact and of the services at Ohav Sholom which you attendedThank you.
Congregation Ohav Sholom
270 West 84th Street, New York, NY 10024
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