Friday, July 31, 2020

Shabbat Ve'Etchanan /Shabbat Nachamu, and the 15th of Av, and the week's schedule of classes and services

For Zoom access  information please contact Rabbi Yaffe on

Times and Special Days

habbat Times for Shabbat Ve'Etchanan  -Shabbat Nachamu / Shabbat of Consolation (see below) - 7/31 - 8/01 2020:

Candle Lighting  7:51 PM
Evening Shema should be Recited (again) no earlier than 8:42 PM
Morning Shema on Shabbat 7/18 no later than 9:20 AM -Recite three paragraphs of Shema before Synagogue services.
Shabbat ends and Havdalah is recited after  8:56 PM

Schedule below, after articles 
Tu Be'AV - 15th of AV
Tuesday night 8/5 through Wednesday 8/6 at Mincha We do not recite Tachanun (penitential prayers). This is because 15 AV is a holiday- (see below)

Special thoughts on the special days of this week
This Shabbat is Shabbat Nachamu / 
Shabbat of Consolation
The Shabbat after the Ninth of Av is called Shabbat Nachamu ("Shabbat of Consolation") after the opening words of the day's reading from the prophets ("haftara"). This is the first of the series of readings known as "The Seven of Consolation" read in the seven weeks from the Ninth of Av to Rosh Hashanah.

Tuesday is Tu Be'Av (15 Av): This day is a holiday due to 7 events that happened on that day that "take the sting out" of Tisha Be'Av -at least a bit. This is why we do not say  Tachnun Tuesday night/Wednesday 


The following articles on Shabbat Nachamu and the seven events of 15 AV are by Rabbi Yanki Tauber  (my cousin)

Consolation - Shabbat Nachamu
When you’re feeling sad, do you go to your father or to your mother?

When I seek my father’s counsel, it’s usually to hear him tell me that these things happen in our lives and the trick is to rise above them. As I grow in years and knowledge, he explains, my trouble will seem smaller, and ultimately insignificant. After this little speech, I feel a little cheated—after all, this is my big sorrow he’s talking about—but it does seem diminished now, and I can begin to see a path to its eventual overcoming.

When I go to my mother, it’s to hear how well she understands what I’m going through. She cries with me, and I see how my sorrow is as painful to her as it is to me. In this shared, broader context, my sorrow undergoes a subtle change. No longer is it a meaningless weight bearing down on me, deadening my heart and mind and cutting me off from the world, but an environment to inhabit, a world to navigate, a force to employ. My sorrow does not become smaller, but it is now bearable, even useful.

“As a father has compassion upon his children,” sings the Psalmist, “so does G‑d have compassion for those who fear Him.” “Like a man whose mother does console him,” proclaims the prophet Isaiah, “so shall I console you.” Which is it? Who is G‑d—mother or father?

Is G‑d the transcendent force in our lives, the voice compelling and empowering us to grow beyond the here and now? Or is G‑d our source of comfort, the solacing embrace that assures us that nothing we experienced is meaningless, that everything we are, know and feel can be borne, inhabited and redeemed?

“Console, console My people,” we read in this week’s haftorah, the first of a series of seven consoling readings that follow the three weeks of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the exile of Israel. “I, I am your comforter,” begins a later reading in the series. The prophets are not stuttering, nor are they merely being poetic. According to the Midrash, the repetitious wording means that G‑d is saying: “I shall do both. I shall be both father and mother to you.”

Tu Be'Av (15 Av) -7 Events
1. The dancing maidens of Jerusalem
Said Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel: There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur.

On these days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out... and dance in the vineyards. And what would they say? "Young man, raise your eyes and see which you select for yourself..." (Talmud, Taanit 26b)

The Talmud goes on to list several joyous events which occurred on the 15th day of the month of Av:

2. The dying of the generation of the Exodus ceased.
Several months after the people of Israel were freed from Egyptian slavery, the incident of the spies demonstrated their unpreparedness for the task of conquering the land of Canaan and developing it as the Holy Land. G‑d decreed that that entire generation would die out in the desert, and that their children would enter the land in their stead (as recounted in Numbers 13 and 14).

After 40 years of wandering through the wilderness, the dying finally ended, and a new generation of Jews stood ready to enter the Holy Land. It was the 15th of Av of the year 2487 from creation (1274 BCE).

As long as members of this doomed generation were still alive, G‑d didn’t communicate with Moses in an affectionate manner. As soon as the last of these men died, once again G‑d lovingly communicated with Moses.

3. The tribes of Israel were permitted to intermarry.
In order to ensure the orderly division of the Holy Land between the twelve tribes of Israel, restrictions had been placed on marriages between members of two different tribes.

A woman who had inherited tribal lands from her father was forbidden to marry out of her tribe, lest her children—members of their father’s tribe—cause the transfer of land from one tribe to another by inheriting her estate (as recounted in Numbers 36).

This ordinance was binding on the generation that conquered and settled the Holy Land; when the restriction was lifted, on the 15th of Av, the event was considered a cause for celebration and festivity.

4. The tribe of Benjamin was permitted to re-enter the community.
On this date the tribe of Benjamin, which had been excommunicated for its behavior in the incident of the “Concubine at Giv’ah,” was readmitted into the community of Israel (as related in Judges 19–21).

This occurred during the judgeship of Othniel ben Kenaz, who led the people of Israel in the years 2533–2573 from creation (1228–1188 BCE).

5. Hoshea ben Elah opened the roads to Jerusalem.
Upon the division of the Holy Land into two kingdoms following the death of King Solomon in the year 2964 from creation (797 BCE), Jeroboam ben Nebat, ruler of the breakaway northern kingdom of Israel, set up roadblocks to prevent his citizens from making the thrice-yearly pilgrimage to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, capital of the southern kingdom of Judah.

These were finally removed more than 200 years later by Hoshea ben Elah, the last king of the northern kingdom, on Av 15, 3187 (574 BCE).

6. The dead of Betar were allowed to be buried.
The fortress of Betar was the last holdout of the Bar Kochba rebellion. When Betar fell, on Av 9, 3893 (133 CE), Bar Kochba and many thousands of Jews were killed; the Romans massacred the survivors of the battle with great cruelty, and would not even allow the Jews to bury their dead.

When the dead of Betar were finally brought to burial on Av 15, 3908 (148 CE), an additional blessing (“Hatov Vehameitiv”) was added to the Grace After Meals in commemoration.

7. “The day of the breaking of the ax.”
When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the annual cutting of firewood for the altar was concluded on the 15th of Av. The event was celebrated with feasting and rejoicing (as is the custom upon the conclusion of a holy endeavor), and included a ceremonial breaking of the axes, which gave the day its name.

Shabbat Services
Friday Evening  7/31 @7PM -The Next Phase in Our Reopening 
Actual Services in Social Hall:
Please observe all the directives  found in this document:

Please let us know if you are coming (You can still come if you forgot)

Public prayer is a contingent - although important, Rabbinic obligation
Guarding one’s health is a Biblical obligation of the greatest strictness 
Please remember these priorities!

2. Shabbat Morning 8/01  9AM - Service in Main Sanctuary 

Please consult with your physician before attending if you have any health concerns!

Please let us know if you are coming (You can still come if you forgot)
Please follow all directions of the Rabbis and appointed ushers. 
Please Stop by and come earlier if you can to have your temperature taken using our new, Israeli,  Tzomet Institute Shabbat Compliant thermometer.
Please observe all the directives  found in this document:
Please sit in the same place you sat last week

Morning Shema on no later than 9:20AM -Recite three paragraphs of Shema before Synagogue services. Recite all prayers (except Baruch She'amar)  before Mizmor Shir l'yom Hashabbat before arriving at Synagogue .We begin with Baruch She'amar and Mizmor Shir 

3.  Kiddush Levanah (Weather permitting) followed by Havdalah  on Facebook Live Motzei Shabbat 7/25 at 9:15 PM

Rabbis Office Hours: I'm here in the Synagogue taking and making calls from /to our members.
Since the synagogue line is tied up at times, please call on my cell phone: 
617.595.6437. In addition, you can email me on to set up a phone appointment.

In the coming week those hours are (n0te changes for this week) :
Monday  8/03       9AM to 10AM and 4PM - 6 PM
Tuesday 8/04        9AM to 10 AM and 4PM - 6 PM
Thursday 8/06     9AM -11AM
Friday 8/07          9AM -10AM 
I look forward to seeing you on  Zoom and talking to you on the phone. Your calls and emails are a true pleasure.
     If you don't join our classes and services on the computer with Zoom, I am now providing a dial-in number  for each class and service, so you can use any phone to call in and participate in the class or service  

4. Sunday Zoom Shacharit service 8/02 @ 8AM

5. Zoom Shacharit Service : Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday@ 7AM 8/3 -8/7
Zoom Service Mincha all Tuesdays and Thursdays  @ 7PM

Mastering Talmud Class Sunday 8/02  9:30 AM Buying, Selling and Price Gouging  - in  Tractate Bava Batra
on Zoom and also Facebook Live

Avot Derav Natan (Ethics of Judaism -expanded ) Daily -This week yes Monday 8/3, Tuesday 8/4 but not Wednesday 8/5 and Thursday 8/6  and Friday 8/7  

Zoom and also on Facebook Live:

Torah -in Depth Weekly Torah Portion Tuesday  8/04 07:30 PM Eastern 
Zoom and also on Facebook Live:

Midrash Class Thursday 8/06/20   1PM  
on Zoom and also on Facebook Live:

The Big Idea  Thursday  @ 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
This Week: Maimonides on the Messiah and All That Part II
on Zoom and also on Facebook Live:

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