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Delray Orthodox Synagogue

"A Jewel of a Shul"



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 Rabbi's message: 


While I am committed to sit down and write this week’s Rabbi’s message, I keep stalling. Why, you ask? Quite frankly, I am still intoxicated with the beautiful Shabbos we had last week . . . and I find myself refusing to write about it as a “memory.”

What an amazing Shabbos and weekend! It started early with the anticipation of “Yeshiva Week” and all that comes with that. And then, the slow trickle of incoming children and grandchildren, turning into a flood and filling the Shul. When I arrived for Shacharis on Friday morning, the room was so full that I checked my calendar to make sure that it wasn’t Shabbos morning already -- and that I had accidently driven to Shul thinking it was Friday. And that was just the beginning.

Kabbolas Shabbos ... Packed!

Shabbos morning... Standing room only!

There were over 170 people in Shul at the same time. WOW!! How beautiful is that? And do you know what was even more amazing? The Davening itself! True decorum, singing, Davening, and little-to-no talking. What a beautiful example we exhibited to our visitors!

I heard compliments from out-of-towners about how impressed they were that, when Davening began, almost everybody was already “IN” Shul. Practically no one arrived late to Davening. What a Kiddush Hashem we made as a congregation to our visitors and to the next generation of synagogue attendees.

The icing on the cake was the grandchildren’s participation in leading our services, singing Adon Olam, and even speaking at Shalosh Seudos. Nachas, nachas and, then, even more nachas.

Alas, we must move on and approach this coming Shabbos, hopefully still retaining much of the Splendor that we basked in last week.

Parshas Bo begins with Hashem telling Moshe:

       “Bo el Pharaoh, ki ani hichbadity es libo v’es leiv avadov,” [Come to Pharaoh for I have made his heart and the hearts of his servants stubborn...].

Rashi comments on “Bo el Pharaoh,” ‘Vehasrah Bo,’ [And warn him]. At first glance, Rashi’s comment seems almost superfluous, but deeper examination reveals that Rashi is teaching us a very important life lesson on how Hashem operates.

One of the most common questions asked -- throughout all of the plagues inflicted on Pharaoh and his people – is, “How can G-d punish Pharaoh for his stubbornness when G-d Himself keeps on ‘hardening Pharaoh’s heart?’ It would seem that Pharaoh had no choice’ but to be stubborn?”

In reality, the way G-d operates never deprives you of your “free will.” Even when He occasionally “hardens” an individual’s heart, He always leaves enough room for that person’s “free will” to dictate ultimate actions and allows one to choose right over wrong and good over evil, if one so chooses.

Out of His sheer goodness, G-d not only commands you to chose “good” over “evil,” but He also itemizes the punishments that you will receive if you do not choose to listen. This additional verbalization of all of the negative implications that accompany a misdeed are meant to kick start the Yeitzer Tov, the Good Inclination, and to help it activate additional strength needed to overpower the Yeitzer Harah, the Negative Inclination. It’s kind of a booster shot to allow the person’s “free will” to choose wisely.

This is what Rashi is teaching us when he defines, “Come to Pharaoh” as meaning, “And warn him.” G-d was attempting to boost Pharaoh’s Yeitzer Tov to override his Yeitzer Harah and make a POSITIVE “free will” choice. Pharaoh chose otherwise, and we know the end of his story.

The lesson that we can learn from this Rashi is that, even when things look bleak and impossible to control, or it seems too hard to observe a particular commandment, remember the punishment. It is not there to scare us. It is there to help us make the right choices and to empower our Yeitzer Tov to fight harder.

Have a Great Shabbos



This week's Parshas Matos begins with the Torah telling us that Moshe spoke to the Nesiyim, the heads of the tribes, telling them the laws of making and nullifying a vow.
Rashi tells us that Moshe gave Kavod, honor, to the heads of the tribes by telling them first, and then to the B'nai Yisroel. And why, asks Rashi, was it necessary to do it in this order? To teach us that a vow can be nullified by a "Yachid Mumche", a single individual that is an Halachic expert in this field.
Asks the Shem M'Shmuel.
Why are the Nesiyum mentioned in the beginning of this Parsha that discusses vows? The act of making a vow does not involve the Nasie at all. It is only with regard to nullifying a vow that the Nasie plays any roll what-so-ever?
In actuality, the entire concept of a Neder, a vow, a means by which a person can bring restrictions upon his or her self that were not commanded of them, comes into question. A self imposed vow seems comparable to a Torah restriction. How can a mere human being possibly create restrictions that are comparable to a Torah restriction imposed by G-d?
Obviously we must say that the making of a vow is NOT comparable to a Torah restriction imposed by G-d. How does it differ?
A Torah restriction can NEVER be nullified! The law is the law. Whereas a vow CAN be nullified by a Chacham, a Nasie, an expert in the laws of vows.
So, to answer our initial question. The reason that the "Heads of the Tribes" are mentioned at the beginning of the laws of "Vows" is;
If not for the fact that a Nasie could nullify a vow, making it different from a Torah restriction, one would never be allowed to make a vow in the first place. So indeed, even the Making of a vow, not just the nullification of a vow, is truly dependent on the Heads of the Tribes.
What we need to learn from this is the need to turn to our Rabbi's and Chachamim to answer questions for us and not just to assume that we can determine the Halacha for ourselves.
It is in the power of the Rabbi who knows the Halacha to nullify a vow, to allow a person to act within and outside the realm of a restriction. However, a person who is a G-d fearing Jew should not Paskin for his/her self, neither to restrict or to allow themselves any activity that involves an Halachic opinion.
A person must learn to trust that the Rabbi knows where they are holding, and that his Psak will be given accordingly, Halacha allowing.
Just as a person who kept kosher his entire life would not eat something questionable without checking if the kosher status meets with their own standards, so too a person should check with regard to the laws of Shabbos and other Halachos if certain lenienciThank you and Good Shabbos.




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Delray Orthodox Synagogue, more commonly referred to as DOS, is a vibrant Modern Orthodox Synagogue serving the spiritual and social needs of its members. DOS provides daily minyanim, Torah learning, and interesting lectures by guest speakers. The very active membership committee is always on the lookout for new members and interesting ways to provide learning in an interactive environment. DOS serves a wide community area surrounding the Oriole shopping center.


We hope you will come and join us for a Shabbos, a service, or one of our weekly lectures.We are confident you will find DOS a delightful and warm environment and one you will look forward to experiencing again and again.

To request info, a change or add something to the site, send feedback, send a message, or inform us of a condolence or a Mazel Tov, Email: Delray Orthodox Synagogue

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Delray Orthodox Synagogue is not validating the Kashrus level of any of the food establishments found on Shamash. Please check the Rabbinical Certification on your own, ask your Rabbinical consultant, or feel free to ask our Rov at 845-270-0700.

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Sat, 24 January 2015 4 Shevat 5775