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Ohel Shalom Torah Center Newsletter

Parashat Miketz/Shabbat Chanukah/Shabbat Mivarchim Tevet 5774

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In This Issue
This Week at Ohel Shalom
Rabbi Raccah's New Chanuka Question
Lecture Recap of HaRav Amitai Ben David
New Tanach Shiur by Rabbo Olstein
Personalities in the Bible Shiurim
Seuda Shilishit Fish Fund
Hesped Event Follow Up
Ohel Shalom Tape Library
Kollel Korner

Davening Times



Candle lighting for Shabbat

4:01 pm 


4:11 pm

Shacharit 8:15 am

Shabbat Mincha 3:36 pm

Shabbat Ends 5:11 pm 


Regular Weekdays 



7:45 am

Monday - Thursday

6:15 am


6:30 am



4:09 p.m.


10:00 pm Late Arvit following Kollel


Regular Shiurim  



 Open Seder 



Rabbi Olstein
Parasha Shiur
Wed 8:30pm (Hebrew)
Thurs 8:00pm (English)

Rabbi Cohen
Chok L'Yisrael

after Shacharit 


Men and Women 


Ner Foundation 

Rabbi Raccah
Wednesdays at 8:30pm


Parashat HaShavua

Note: There will be no Shiur on Wed. Dec. 11 and Wed. Dec. 18  




20 Chamesh Ta'aniyot

(14 sold - 4 left)

$10.00 each 


Chair Sponsors
(96 sold - 154 left)


New Set of Artscroll Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi
($30.00 for Talmud Bavli

$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

Second Friday Night Oneg Recap


The second Oneg Shabat was B"H wonderful and enjoyed by all. Rabbi Raccah continued speaking about Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef's life. He focused upon the teachers who had the most profound influence on him and who helped mold the unique personality that was the Rav ZT"L. Due to Rabbi Raccah's very busy schedule in the next months, we are not certain when the next Oneg Shabat will be. Keep on the lookout for a date for the next Oneg Shabbat. 

BiSiman Tov U'Mazal Tov

The Kehilla extends a warm Mazal Tov and BiSiman Tov to Yarin Hayohama and Tehilla Montrose upon their upcoming wedding. Mazal Tov as well to the parents, Rabbi Dr. & Mrs. David Montrose and Mr. & Mrs. Yehonatan Hayohama. May they merit to build a Bayit Ne'eman BiYisrael!

BiSiman Tov U'Mazal Tov


The Kehilla extends a warm Mazal Tov to our Rav and Rabbanit Raccah on the engagement of their son, Aharon to Bracha Esther Beyda of Flatbush. Mazal Tov as well to Bracha Esther's parents,  Rabbi and Rabbanit Shmuel and Aliza Beyda. May the new couple be Zoche to Build a Bayit Ne'eman B'Yisroel. 


The Kehillah is invited to a LiChaim in their honor Motza'ai Shabbat, December 7th from 8:30-10:30 pm in our Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall.  


Note that the time of the LiChaim does not conflict with the Personalities in the Bible Shiur scheduled for the same night.



Chanukah Party is Coming BE"H

THIS Motza'ai Shabbat

Chanukah is coming. The date for the Chanukah Party is THIS Motza'ai Shabbat, Nov. 30th at 7 PM. See below about a new question for this year from Rabbi Raccah for the children. 
For a printable version of this flyer, please click here. 
Please contact Leah Chana Zayan at 847-343-6987 or  if you'd like to help. 

 Chanukah and Rosh Chodesh


Chanukah has begun and continues through Thursday, December 5th. Rosh Chodesh Tevet is Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the 3rd and 4th of December. Weekday davening times will be that of Torah Reading days during the duration of the Chag, at 6:15 am. 


Start Saying the Barech Alaynu in Amida


BE"H starting with Arvit of this coming Wednesday night, December 4th we will begin to say the longer Barech Alaynu in the Amida. we continue saying this form of the blessing until Pesach.
Melaveh Malkah Shabaton Update

We have secured the date of February 15, 2014 for our Melaveh Malkah. Please reserve the date on your calendar. We are happy to announce that our speaker this year will BE"H be Rabbi Paysach Krohn, author of the famed Maggid series. More details will BE"H be forthcoming. Please help us make this event a stunning success.

Short Video about Washington Event 
Attended by Rabbi Raccah

Arutz Sheva has posted a short news piece about the event in Washington honoring the contribution of Sephardim in America and commemorating the life of Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L. The piece includes a short video and Rabbi Raccah, who attended the event, is visible a few times in the video.

Here's a link: Congressional Tribute to Sephardic Jews 
Rabbi Raccah's New Chanukah Question
and Rules
There is much demand for Rabbi Raccah to have the Chanukah question for the children as a yearly feature of our Chanuka Party. However, repeating the same question yearly could get stale. So since at Ohel Shalom we try to bring some excitement to the Chanukah party, this year there will be a new question! The Kehillah is very grateful for the anonymous sponsor for the question "gelt" for this year. 
The Question: Most Holidays have their own Masechet (such as Pisachim, Rosh HaShana, Yoma for Yom HaKippurim, Sucah, Migilah etc.). However, Chanukah does not have its own Masechet. Yet, Chanukah is in fact mentioned in the Mishna. It is mentioned 7 times explicitly and once not so.

What are the 7 places in the Mishnah in which Chanukah is mentioned openly and what is said about Chanukah in each of those places?
Extra Credit: What is the Mishnah where Chanukah is not mentioned openly and what law is related there?

The Rules:

1) Each child will be allowed only one chance to present their answers.
2) The child must present the question and the answers themselves without help from anyone else. Of course, a parent, sibling or friend may accompany them for moral support.

3) The child MAY have notes, however the notes must be written in the child's own handwriting.

4) The child must cite the location of the Mishnah in which there is a law about Chanukah.

5) The child must explain what is said about Chanukah in each Mishnah. It is not sufficient to simply provide the citation of the Mishnah.

6) For each correct citation and explanation, the child will BE"H be awarded one dollar. For the extra credit Mishnah, the child will BE"H be awarded two dollars.

7) The Rabbi is the sole judge of what is considered a correct answer or the child's level of understanding.

8) Children up to and including 15 year olds may participate.
9) The contest is open until the Rabbi runs out of the money he brought.


Lecture from HaRav Amitai Ben David, Shlita

This past Monday evening, November 25th, the Kollel was privileged to hear from HaRav Amitai Ben David, Shlita, author of the well known Sichat Chulin. He spoke about eating turkey on Thanksgiving and the halachic ramifications of doing so.

See below for some pictures of the event.

Coming Soon! - A New Tanach Shiur
 by Rabbi Yosef Olstein
Starting soon, a new Tanach shiur in English will BE"H be taking place on Sundays from 8-9pm with Rabbi Yosef Olstein for men only. Those interested should register with Tamar in the office to enable us to determine the expected crowd size.

Personalities in the Bible Shiurim

Continuing in December  


The fourth Personalities in the Bible Shiur for this season is BE"H scheduled for Motza'ai Shabbat, December 7 at 7:30 PM. 


  For a printable version of this flyer, click here. 

The Shiur schedule is also available at extension 804 on the office voicemail. 


Seuda Shilishit Fish Fund

The Kehilla has begun a Seuda Shelishit Fish Fund into which people can contribute $20/Month to support extra food add-ons. If you wish to participate in this Mitzvah and at this very affordable price, please contact the office. Some people have already contributed. Please join them in this Mitzvah!  

Hesped Event Follow Up
& Availabilty of an Audio Recording

Below are a few of the pictures, thanks to, from the Hesped event held here two weeks ago in memory of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef. 
DVDs of the event are now  available for purchase for $18  to Ohel Shalom. In addition, there is an audio recording available from the Ner Foundation of Rabbi Raccah's speech for $6.50 from the event. To order either one, you may contact Tamar in the office or e-mail 
The Geshem Fund

The fall season is a beautiful time of year. As we all know, this also brings the cold, higher heating bills and the need for warm clothing.  At this  time of the year, 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 Tamar 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.
Ohel Shalom Tape Library

Once again, audio cassette tapes of past shiurim given by Rabbi Raccah are available to borrow from the office, during Tamar's regular hours. A small deposit of $5 will be requested each time tapes are borrowed. Please contact Tamar when she is in the office to arrange a time to select the tapes you wish to borrow. Loan time will be one week. At present there are only cassette tapes, not CDs.

Someone has graciously volunteered to organize our tape library. Hopefully that should be completed soon. 

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 for this week's  learning: 


A week of learning was sponsored by Elliott and Pessy Alvayor in memory of Yitzchak Ben Tzafira,  whose Yahrzheit is on the 29th of Kislev, December 2nd. Learning from December 1-8 was generously sponsored.  May his Neshama merit an Aliyah in Shamayim.


Halacha of the Week 
Submitted by Rabbi Yaakov Azose 
The Laws of Boarders, Guests, Soldiers and Yeshiva Students Regarding Chanukah Candles

Question: If one will be away from home as a guest during Chanukah, how should one act regarding lighting Chanukah candles? Similarly, what is the law regarding a soldier who will be at his military base during Chanukah?

Answer: If one is away from home during the holiday of Chanukah and stays as a guest at a friend's home, we must discuss whether or not this guest must light Chanukah candles. Let us mention though that whether or not there is someone else lighting candles at home or not does make a halachic distinction.

If There is Someone Lighting Candles at Home  
If one is traveling during the holiday of Chanuka,h but one's wife or other family members are still at home and are lighting Chanukah candles there, one fulfills his obligation with the candles being lit in one's home and one need not light Chanukah candles in his present location, for when Chanukah candles are lit in one's home, all of the family members residing in the home fulfill their obligation, wherever they may be. For this reason, our custom is that only the head of the household lights the Chanukah candles at home since by doing so, the entire household fulfills their obligation.

According to the Ashkenazi custom, however, that each member of the household lights his own Chanukah candles, some say that if the head of the household is away from home, he must light on his own while others argue.

Halachically speaking, Hagaon Harav David Yosef Shlit"a rules that although it is preferable for this individual not to light in his current location at all, nevertheless, if he wishes to have in mind not to fulfill his obligation with the candles being lit in his home, he may; if he does so and then wishes to light his own Chanukah candles with a blessing, he indeed has on whom to rely.

If There is No One Lighting Candles at Home

If one is traveling and knows that there is no one lighting Chanukah candles in his home, for instance, if one's wife and children are traveling with him, if this individual is staying in the home of a fellow Jew and is paying his host for his expenses, such as lodging, food, and the like, this individual must give his host a small sum of money in order to purchase a share of the host's oil and wicks for the Chanukah candles. Alternatively, the host may grant his guest some of the oil and wicks as a gift (and in this instance, the host should add some more oil for the guest). In this way, the guest fulfills his obligation with the lighting of the host's Chanukah candles.

Soldiers and Yeshiva Students  

Sephardic soldiers serving in the army and Yeshiva students studying abroad may rely on their father's Chanukah candle-lighting at home and they need not light Chanukah candles at all. Regarding soldiers or Yeshiva students of Ashkenazi descent, if they have their own room in the military base or Yeshiva dormitory, they should light Chanukah candles with a blessing in their room similar to the above law of a guest.

Nevertheless, we must point out that Maran Ha'Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 677) rules that if one is in a completely non-Jewish town where there are no Chanukah candles to be seen at all, although Chanukah candles are being lit in one's home, one must nevertheless light Chanukah candles with a blessing in one's current location in commemoration of the miracle of Chanukah. Thus, even Sephardic soldiers serving on the front must light Chanukah candles with a blessing in their room.

If the soldiers do not have a room for themselves, for instance, because they are encamped on the field or in uncovered trenches, they should make an effort to light in a glass box (which protects the candles from the wind) without reciting a blessing (see Chazon Ovadia-Chanukah, page 152).

Machshava (Thought) of the Week
Chanukah vs. The Creation of the World  
By: Rabbi David Shamsi  

  The Talmud asks a fascinating question: If a poor person only has enough money for one purchase, wine for Kiddush or candles for Chanukah, which comes first? The Talmud concludes that candles come first: Since Chanukah involves publicizing a miracle it is more important than Kiddush. However, this answer seems very problematic. After all, with Kiddush we proclaim that Hasham created the universe from nothing, the greatest miracle of all. So why does the Talmud tell us to publicize the smaller miracle of Chanukah rather than the bigger miracle of creation?

Rabbi Yosef Engel, one the leading Talmudic authorities and chief judge of Cracow in the 19th century, answers: In truth, the creation of the world was not a miracle at all. After all, what is a miracle? A miracle is a deviation from the norm, a sudden break from the natural order. However, before the creation of the world, there was no norm, there was no natural order. By definition, there was nothing. The creation of the universe did not involve a deviation from the natural order because there was no natural order. Therefore, the Talmud's answer makes perfect sense: Since Chanukah involves publicizing a miracle and Kiddush does not, Chanukah comes first.

November 30 - 7:00 pm - Annual Chanukah Party  
December 7- 7:30 pm - Fourth Personalities of the Bible Shiur by Rabbi Raccah

December 7 - 8:30pm - 10:30 pm - L'Chayim for Aharon Raccah and Bracha Esther Beyda - Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall
December 21- 7:30 pm - Fifth Personalities of the Bible Shiur by Rabbi Raccah
February 15 - Annual Melavah Malkah with Guest Rabbi Paysach Krohn 
If you have a Simcha occurring within the next few months that you would like to have added to the calendar, please call the office at 773-465-5274 or email the office with the link provided in the sidebar at the top of the email.