The BAN – Beth Aharon Newsletter

Riverdale’s Sephardic Congregation @ The Riverdale Bayit - 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx NY 10463

Shabbat Shoftim Shalom from Beth Aharon @ the Riverdale Bayit:

September 7, 2019 | ז’ אלול תשע"ט - Issue #5779: 50

Zəmanim & Services

Shabbat Parashat Shoftim

7 September 2019 * 7 Elul 5779

Earliest Candle Lighting: 6:00pm

Minḥa/Kabbalat-Shabbat/Arvit - 7:00pm

Candle Lighting - 7:02pm

Shaḥarit - 8:30am * Latest Shəma - 9:40am

Zohar - 6:35pm * Minḥa - 6:40pm

Se’uda Shelishit / Shiur - 7:10pm

Shəki’a - 7:19pm * Arvit - 7:59pm

Tset Hakokhavim / Havdala - 8:04pm


Regular Week Prayers (Tefilat Avraham)

Shaḥarit: Sun: 8:30am *  Mon/Thu: 6:40, 8:00am * Tue/Wed/Fri: 6:45, 8:00am

Minḥa/Arvit: Sun: 7:00 * Mon-Thu: 7:05pm

Picture of the Week

The King in the field - המלך בשדה.


This Shabbat & Beyond

Təfilat ‘Erev Shabbat: 7:00pm ● Shaḥarit: 8:30am ● First Kadish: 8:55am

Shəma‘ Yisrael: 9:15am - all kids participate! ● Youth Groups: See the Bayit Bulletin for all programs ● Teen Tefila with Rabbi Joseph Robinson and...teens

Parasha: 9:45am ● Yimlokh: 10:40am - All kids are welcome to join!

Dvar Torah: 10:45am - Doron Fagelson.

● Kiddush: 11:25am - Kiddush this shabbat is sponsored by a dear friend of Beth Aharon.

After Kiddush: Free talk about life, seeing, and listening.

Listening Room: 5:45pm with Myra Estelle at the LBM.

Parasha Limud: 5:45pm on the Book of Jonah with Livya Tinestit-Weiss at the 2FL.

After Minḥa Mila baParasha: Understanding a word in our parasha. This week “Shohad - שֹׁחַד” - What does the word mean; who shouldn’t take it; who shouldn’t offer it; who should; did you? Basic (and love of :) Hebrew is sufficient. At the 2BM, along with Se’uda Shelishit, and Zemirot Shabbat.

After Minḥa Daf baTalmud: Daf Yomi on 3FL. Kretut.

After Minḥa Shiur baHayim: Shiur in the main sanctuary.


Our Deep Condolences to the Elmalem family on the passing of Maurice’s and David’s brother, Michel Meir ben Tamar & Eliyahu, zikhro livrakhal. 

Rəfuaa Shəlema to ‘Am Yisrael wounded bodies & souls and the sick: Reuven ben Aliza, Menachem ben Yehudit, Yig’al ben Sulika, Rubin ben Abraham López & Ela, Avraham ben Avraham, Adi ben Talia, Amir ben Malka, and Naftali ben Esther.

Many Thanks to last shabbat kiddush sponsors. Kiddush co/sponsorship is always needed and dearly welcomed.

Congratulations to Iranian Judoka Saeid Mollaei on joining the West, asking asylum in Germany. Check the “In The Good News” to see who helped him.

Kol Hakavod to Nathan Fagelson on being persistent with being Ba’al Qore on his BM parasha, Shoftim. We encourage each teen and adult to read 1 aliya on your BM parsha and beyond.

Happy Birthday to Bonnie Geller-Geld, Louis Zalcensztein, Talia Michaeli, Eyal Levi,  and... YOU!

 High Holidays 5779 @ Beth Aharon. Details on the back page.

More news on the back.

The weekly Riddle

A guy walks into a store and takes a $100 bill from the register

without anyone’s knowledge. He then buys $70 worth of goods using the $100 bill and receives $30 back in change. How much money did the store lose?

(Guess before you take a peek. The answer on the back page)

From the Rabbis and More…

Rav Ovadia Yosef z”l  ovadia.jpg

תשובה ותועלתן של מעט מצוות

ידוע, כי בדרך כלל סדר התשובה הוא בבחינת "סור מרע ועשה טוב", שקודם יעשה אדם תשובה על מה שחטא לפני ה', ואחר כך יוסיף מעשים טובים ומצות שיעמדו גם הן לזכותו. וכתב רבינו הרמב"ם (פ"ז מה' תשובה), בזו הלשון: כמה מעולה מעלת התשובה, אמש היה זה מובדל מה' א-לקי ישרא-ל, שנאמר "עונותיכם היו מבדילים בינכם לבין א-לקיכם", היה צועק ואינו נענה בתפילתו, שנאמר, "גם כי תרבו תפילה אינני שומע", היה עושה מצות וטורפין אותן בפניו, שנאמר, "מי ביקש זאת מידכם רמוס חצרי", "אין לי חפץ בכם אמר ה' צב-אות", והיום (אחר שעשה תשובה), הוא מודבק בשכינה, שנאמר "ואתם הדבקים בה' א-לקיכם", צועק ונענה מיד, שנאמר "והיה טרם יקראו ואני אענה", עושה מצות ומקבלים אותם בשמחה ובנחת, שנאמר "כי כבר רצה הא-לקים את מעשיך". עד כאן.

ומכלל דברי הרמב"ם מבואר לכאורה, שאין חפץ לה' יתברך במעשי המצוות של זה השרוי בחטאו, שהרי אינו אהוב לפני ה', ואת מצותיו טורפין לו בפניו, ואם כן כל עמלו במצות שיעשה כל זמן שאינו בעל תשובה גמור, אין בו תועלת כלל.

אלא שבאמת אין הדבר כן, שהרי מבואר בילקוט (הושע רמז תקכט), שכל מי שיש בידו דבר עבירה ולא היה בידו לעשות תשובה, יחליפם במעשים טובים ויעשה תשובה ויתקבל. וביאר מרן רבנו עובדיה יוסף זצ"ל, שכוונת הילקוט היא, שאדם שהוא מנסה לחזור בתשובה ועדיין לא עלה הדבר בידו, מכיון שבסופו של דבר בכוונתו לחזור בתשובה, לא יהיה יושב בטל מן המצוות, אלא ישקיע כל כחו במצות ומעשים טובים, ואחר כך כשיצליח לחזור בתשובה, יתקבלו למפרע כל המצות ומעשים טובים שעשה לרצון לפני ה'.

ויש להוסיף על כך, כי עצם מעשה המצות כאשר אותו אדם עדיין לא הצליח לחזור בתשובה, הוא מועיל לו שיצליח אחר כך לחזור בתשובה, כי מי שחוטא באיזה דבר, ומשתדל לחזור בתשובה, ובאותה התקופה הוא משקיע בלימוד התורה ובמצוות, הלא בלי ספק שאותו לימוד משפיע עליו קדושה, ויועיל לו הדבר לכבוש את יצרו מכאן ולהבא. ואז כשיחזור בתשובה, תתקבל תשובתו, וגם יטול שכר על מה שקיים את המצוות.

Daf Bite  –   טעם דף

Karetot 16a-b: Transgressing the Laws of Shabbat Accidentally

The passages in the Torah that teach us about the punishments for performing forbidden activities on Shabbat are as follows:

Purposeful transgression:

“You are to keep the Shabbat, for it is holy to you; whoever profanes it is to be put to death, for whoever performs work on it, that soul will be cut off from its nation.” (Shemot 31:14)

Accidental transgression:

“Now if any person sins in error from amongst the people of the land by doing one of the forbidden commandments of God and incurs guilt; or it is made known to him the sin that he sinned, he is to bring an offering a female goat for the sin whereby he sinned.” (Vayikra 4:27-28)

As is clear from the first passage, if a person desecrates Shabbat on purpose, he is to be killed or to suffer karet – being cut off from the Jewish people. An accidental desecration would obligate the sinner to bring a sacrifice. (

Rav Question - שאלת רב

Which object most symbolizes Justice-Tsedek for you?

Hammer, Book, Libra Scale, Justica, Judge, Tree in the Field, Question Mark, Oak Tree, Hat, Palm Tree, Exclamation Mark, Blindfolded Eyes, Scale Weights, or else?

In the Beginning

“There, to this day, the local residents and the more distant people of Erets Yisrael and the people of Tsor (Tyre) and Arabs will celebrate a wonderful holiday every year during the summer season. Many also come for trade, bargain and sell because the celebration touches everyone greatly. To the Jews - because they take pride in their father Abraham; to the idolaters - for the appearance of the angels, and the Christians - because already then appeared to the righteous that which who was to be revealed.”

-The Historian Salminius Hermias Sozomenu (Sozomen) c. 400 – c. 450 in Yehuda Elizur, Israel and the Bible.

* Judeans, Israelites, and Jews lived in Hevron for over 3000 years. This week, we commemorated the 1929 Massacres in which 133 Jews were murdered, 67 of which in Hevron. The pogrom ended Jewsih life in Hevron for 40 years, until the 1967 Six Day War. Today close to 10,000 Jews live in Hevron and the adjacent Qiryat Arba’.

A Moment of BAN

The solution to the growing rift within our society is not the division of society into distinct and autonomous groups, but rather the formation of a uniting core.

Jewish History – Shoftim

Parashat Softim commands Bnei Yisrael to establish shoftim and shotrim - judges and policers - in each tribe’s territory and in all towns. Upon their entry to the Holy Land however we learn of a slightly different type of shoftim: leaders who carry a mission of redeeming the newly formed Israelite nation from its many surrounding enemies.

The events of the Book of Shoftim cover the turbulent period in Yisrael's history from about 1380 to 1050 BCE. Shoftim takes its title from the fact that it records the activities of 12 men and one woman, designated as Shoftim and raised by Hashem to deliver Yisrael in times of declension and disunion after Yehoshua's death. No one was capable of such leadership as Yehoshua had exercised. The fourfold cycle so common in Yisrael's history it consists of the following cycle Rebellion, retribution, repentance and restoration. Not all of the Shoftim exercised jurisdiction over the entire land of Yisrael.

The Shoftim & Shofetet of Yisrael

Otniel Ben-Knaz, Ehud Ben-Gerah, Shamgar Ben-Anat, Devorah Eshet Lapidot - the only woman among the Judges, Gideon Ben-Yo’ash, Tola’ Ben-Puah, Yair HaGil’adi, Yiftach HaGil’adi, Ivtzan of Judea, Aelon HaZevuloni, Avdon Ben-Hillel HaPir’atoni,  Shimshon ben Manoah.

On the Parasha & Beyond…

Parasha: Shoftim - Dəvarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9

Historical Context: Creation Time: 2487 (1437 BCE).

Bnei Israel's 40-year journey is close to an end as they encamped in the plains of Moab, across the Jordan from Jericho, on the first day of the 12th month of the 40th year.

Parashort: Moshe continues his summing address to Bnei Yisrael. “Tsedek, tsedek tirdof”- “Justice, justice shall you pursue." Moshe instructs Bnei Yisrael to appoint shoftim (judges) and law-enforcement officers in every city; they must administer without corruption. Crimes must be carefully investigated and evidence thoroughly examined; a minimum of two witnesses is required for conviction. In every generation there will be those entrusted with the task of interpreting and applying the laws of the Torah. Shoftim also includes the prohibitions against idolatry and sorcery; laws governing the appointment and behavior of a king; and guidelines for the creation of "cities of refuge" for the inadvertent murderer. Set forth are many of the rules of war, including the prohibition against cutting down a fruit tree when laying siege since “the man is the tree of the field.” (chabad)

Haftara: Shoftim - Yesha’ayahu (Isaiah), 51:12-52:12

Haftit: “Anokhi, Anokhi Hu Menahemkhem.” G-d will comfort Bnei Yisrael. Yesha’ayahu calls to the city of Yerushalyim to wake up and rejoice, and to get dressed in beautiful clothing. G-d will free Yerushalyim from its captors, and Egypt and Assyria will never have control over Yisrael again. Yerushalyim will rise up as the king of all cities and G-d will return to the Mountain of Tsiyon. Yesha’ayahu adds that a messenger, Eliyahu, will announce peace and G-d will be the G-d of the whole world. The Jewish people will never have to leave Yerushalyim or to fight a war again because G-d is protecting Bnei Yisrael. (haftorahman)

Connection to the Parasha: The haftara is the fourth of seven haftarot known as the “Seven of Consolation.” This series starts after Tish’aa be’Av and run until Shabbat Shuva, the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana. During this time, concentration should be on repentance, improving one’s behavior, and spiritual uplifting. (haftorahman)

Speechless in the Parasha: Shoftim

What are the 4 exemptions a man is given from going to war? Are they optional or mandatory?

How do you pursue tsedeq-justice?

Biblical Quiz: Shoftim

Kids: "You shall set up shof’tim and shot’rim". What was the work of the shot’rim?

Teenagers: Bnei Israel have 4 kinds of leaders. Who were they?

Adults: Tell one thing that the law of Egla Arufa comes to tell us.

Experts: What are 4 categories of males who were not required to go into battle?

Ktav Torah - Shofetim

This week we entered the month of Elul, the month of mercy, in which we reflect on our actions forgive and ask for forgiveness, thereby bringing justice, reconciliation, renewal, and happiness to the world.

Parshat hashavua Shoftim also carries the same spirit. The time is just about 3300 years ago. Bnei Israel's 40-year journey is close to an end. They are encamped in the plains of Moav, across the Jordan from Jericho, on the 12th month of the 40th year, listening to Moshe’s summing address.

Moshe commanding Bnei Yisrael to appoint shoftim (judges) and shotrim (law-enforcement officers) in every city. Moshe continues and instructs “Tsedeq, tsedeq tirdof”- “Justice, justice you shall pursue."

Whom Moshe is commanding to pursue justice? Surely the shoftim and shotrim shall judge and implement the law in a very careful and just manner. But people, each and every one of us, are the main audience to Moshe’s command of pursuing tsedeq.

Why pursue justice? Moshe explians “so that you may live and inherit the land the L-rd, your G-d, is giving you,” which is simply translated to having life and livelihood, ḥayim and parnasa,

The word "tsedeq-justice" seems like a big word, but it actually manifests itself in simpler words like:

Do ḥesed - in our community and beyond; Be considerate - to both friends and strangers; Take care of our relatives; Remember important events - like birthdays and anniversaries; Talk about important things - and listen too; Be truthful; Fight - stand your ground when necessary; Love - and hug; Share games, books and secrets too... :)

But most important is to smile, as Ribi Yishmael said in Pirqe Avot: “וֶהֱוֵי מְקַבֵּל אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם בְּשִׂמְחָה - and be receiving every person with joy.” And of course remember to bless each other with...

Shabbat shel Shalom :)

Time to Smile  

David came back from school, threw his backpack on the floor, looked at his moms’ eyes, and handed her his test paper.

Mom: “David!!! The teacher wrote that you made 7 spelling mistakes out of 10 words!”

David: “Mom, don’t worry... it can’t be right. The teacher has been in 1st Grade for 15 years!”

In the Good News

- Israel welcomes this week the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on his first state visit to Israel. There are about 150,000 ethipian Jews live in ISrael who constitue close to 2% of the Isareli population. The largest community, close to 12,000, lives in Natanya.

 - The Irainian Judika Saeid Mollaei a daring escape to the West, asking asylum in Germany, at the end of Judo competition. Being, a free man, Saeid admitted that the Iranian authorities pressured him to lose so he will not have to compete against the Israeli Sagi Muki and blessed Sagi on becoming the world champion. How did Saeid manage to escape? Some in Iran think that it was the Isareli Mossad that helped him defect. Maybe and maybe not. But why not take credit and pride in sucha  mistva?! Either way we are waiting now for a Saeid-Muki match and wish good luck to both!

Community Board

This Week’s BAN is Sponsored By:

Things That Matter

Beth Aharon AḤVA Membership Campaign – 5779 שנת אחוה

In tribute to BA’s 20 Year Anniversary (Gematria: AḤVA=Friendship=אַחְוָה), please remember to join our 5779 Membership Campaign so we can fund a new Aron Kodesh. Your presence and membership greatly enhances our Bet Kneset and b’Ezrat Hashem our Tefillot.


Support Congregation Beth Aharon! Thank you for joining tefilot @ Beth Aharon. Please support Beth Aharon. Mail donations, pledges, High Holidays 5779 and membership fees to: Beth Aharon/HIR, 3700 Henry Hudson Pkwy, Bronx, NY 10463.

Check our blog to donate online and for daily updates: Email:; Phone: 917-885-4714. Tizku Leshanim Rabot V’tovot!


Fill up your Shabbat and Holiday table by inviting friends and guests. Need a table? Contact us @ 


Sponsor the BAN Advertise your business and support Beth Aharon’s Newsletter. Place your business card for $36 per week; $252 for 17 weeks; or $576 for 52 weeks.


Community Security Service (CSS) Thank you to all our CSS volunteers. The more volunteers we have, the fewer times each year any one person has to serve. Ready to sign up for the next training course? Questions? Please contact Tzvi Bar-Shai at


September-Elul Kiddush will take place B”H on Shabbat September 15-Elul 14 - Sponsors are welcome and needed.


Hakhnasat Sefer Torah opportunity: The family of Yona Kalzan, sister of our friend Judy Zalicha, started a project of writing and hakhnasat sefer Torah for Yona’s refuaa Shelema. To participate or contact Kobi Zalicha @ 

Donation link here: MotherHealth


Ḥesed opportunity - Looking for a 2 bedroom apartment in Riverdale or Manhattan for 5-6 months for a family here from Israel for pediatric cancer treatment. Parents and two kids ages 4 and 6. Need ASAP. Please text or email Sara at Kochavim; an organization dedicated to brightening the darkness of illness. 917.533.8036 or


Elul Lectures: Exploring Radical Change w/Bayit Rabbinic Team: Tuesday Mornings - 10AM - September 10, 17, 24

Repeated Wednesday Evenings 8PM - September 4, 11, 18, 25

Congregation Beth Aharon is Riverdale’s Sephardic Orthodox Congregation, located at the Riverdale Bayit (HIR) Bronx, NY. We welcome all worshipers regardless of eda or level of observance. Our congregants take an active-leading role in Tefila and Kria’at haTorah.





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Biblical Quiz - Answers: Shoftim

Kids: The shot’rim were officers whose job was to enforce the decisions of the judges – the shof’tim.

Teenagers: Judges, priests, king, and prophets

Adults: It underscores the responsibility of the community and its leaders not only for what they do but also for what they might have prevented from being done.

Experts: “He who built a new house and did not initiate it; planted a vineyard and did not use the fruit yet; had engaged to a wife, but did not know her; and was afraid to go to battle.’

Riddle Solved

The short answer is that the store lost $100. More accurately the store lost $30 plus the buying cost of $70 worth of goods. Even more precisely, the store lost $30 plus the buying cost of $70 worth of goods and also the value of other store expenses that the income from the stolen goods were supposed to cover, such as rent, electricity and salaries. If the business breaks even, expenses are equal to revenue, the guy stole, in money and goods, a total of... $100.

High Holidays 5780 with a Sephardic Tune @ Beth Aharon @ the BAyit

Join Beth Aharon for our traditional High Holiday Services,

Led by Rav Tomer Ronen & Assisting Hazanim @ HIR's Main Beth Midrash (LLBM)

 Rosh Hashana: Sunday Evening - September 29; Monday & Tuesday – September 30 & October 1.

Yom Kippur: Tuesday Evening- October 8; Wednesday - October 9. Stay tuned for High Holidays 5780 information: Seats reservations, fees information, and prayer schedule!