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  Announcements

 

Kiddush Sponsorship
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ben Temin in honor of Ben’s Grandmother's yahrzeit, Esther Chana bas Lewis, may her Neshama have an aliya!

Motzei Shabbos Learning Program
Avos UBanim last week was sponsored anonymously. Yasher Koach!
This week's Avos Ubanim is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Yisrael Moshe Kraines in honor of his father's 2nd yahrzheit, Harav Ze'ev Shlomo ben Zechariah Leib Zt"l, May his neshama have an aliya!

This week's Motzei Shabbos Chabura is available for sponsorship and will be at 8:30pm-9:30pm. There will be Chavrusa learning followed by a short shiur led by Baruch Lewinson on different topics within the sugya of Chalav Akum. Please bring a Gemara Maseches Avodah Zarah. Refreshments will be served. For more information contact Ben Temin at (240) 505-0292 or Baruch Lewinson (908) 906-5151.

Chanukah Mesiba
The Rav and Rebbetzin cordially invite the the men and women of our kehilla to aChanukah mesiba on the 2nd night of Chanuka (Monday, 29th of November) at 815PM at their home - 3923 Labyrinth Rd. 
Light Buffet | Donuts | Latkes | Music
 

Cholent pickup
Looking for a way to help the shul? We need volunteers for someone to pick up cholent for Kiddush every week from the The Knish Shop anytime from 7:30am to 3pm on a Friday. It's pretty straightforward and much appreciated. Please sign up to join the roster using this form or speak to Shai Mayerowitz or Mordy Berman.


6-month shul schedule
Please click here for the shul's 6-month schedule, Thank you to Aron Rosskamm for putting it together!

Dvar Torah

The political and social environment we live in today is so fractious and polarized. It can sometimes be hard to know if it is “right” to do the right thing. Rabbi Frand brings out an important perspective from this week’s parsha to keep in mind when faced with these sorts of challenges:

Reuven heard, and he rescued [Yosef] from them, and he said, "Let us not murder him." (Gen. 37:21)

The issues were complex. Yosef's brothers had sat in judgment and decided that he posed a mortal threat to them. They deemed him a rodef, a stalker bent on destruction, and they condemned him to death. But Reuven wanted no part of it. When he heard what they intended to do, he objected and suggested they toss Yosef into a pit instead. His intention was to come back later and spirit Yosef out of the pit and bring him back safely to Yaakov. But it did not work out that way.

The Midrash comments (Rus Rabbah 5:6), "Had Reuven known that Hashem would write in the Torah, 'Reuven heard and rescued [Yosef] from them,' he would have snatched Yosef and carried him back to his father on his shoulders." The Midrash also makes a similar comment about Boaz, "Had Boaz known that Hashem would write in the Torah, 'And he tossed [Ruth] roasted grains, and she ate her fill and left some over,' he would have served her a feast of fatted calves."

What exactly is the Midrash saying here? At first glance, Reuven and Boaz seem to be portrayed as publicity hounds. If they had known how much press coverage and exposure they could receive, they would have done things differently. As it was, however, unaware that the public would scrutinize their acts so closely, they did not overextend themselves.

But this cannot be the intent of the Midrash, which clearly comes to praise them, not to bury them. But if so, why didn't these two righteous people do the right thing even without the additional publicity?

The issue, apparently, was not one of publicity but of clarity. Neither of them was certain he was doing the right thing. However, had he known Hashem would endorse his decision and emblazon it in the Torah for all eternity, he would have acted in a much more decisive and resolute way.

Reuven had to contend with his brothers, the future tribal patriarchs of the Jewish people, men of great scholarship, righteousness and character. They had sat in judgment and condemned Yosef to death. As much as Reuven objected to the decision of the majority, could he be absolutely certain that he was right and they were wrong? And so Reuven acted tentatively. He persuaded them to toss Yosef into the pit, hoping to sneak back later and pull him out to safety. Had he known Hashem would write in the Torah, "And Reuven heard, and he rescued Yosef," had he known Hashem would endorse his view rather than that of his brothers, he would have acted more decisively. He would have hoisted Yosef onto his shoulders and carried him back to his father.

Boaz was afraid of the appearance of impropriety. He was concerned that people seeing him give food to the young maiden Ruth would raise an arch eyebrow and snicker, "Hey, what's going on with Boaz and Ruth? Isn't she a little too young for him?" Had he known Hashem would endorse his actions, he would have laid out a lavish feast for her.

The Midrash concludes, "In days gone by, a person would do a mitzvah and the prophet would record it. But now, when a person does a mitzvah and people mock him, who records who was right? Eliyahu and Mashiach write it down and the Holy One, Blessed is He, signs in affirmation, as it is written (Malachi 3:16), 'Then those who fear Hashem spoke to one another and Hashem listened...'"

The problem of hesitation in the face of criticism and scorn plagues us in every generation. The prophet Malachi foretells a time, just prior to the Messianic era, when people will ridicule those who do mitzvos, but Eliyahu, Mashiach and Hashem Himself will give the seal of approval to those with the courage to do what is right. The prophet encourages us not to hesitate, not to act tentatively when others accuse us of not being "modern" enough or "progressive" enough. We need not worry that we are in the minority and our detractors are in the majority. We need to act according to the conviction of our beliefs, and in the end, we will surely be vindicated.

Good Shabbos!
Meir Steinbrecher

Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782