The BAN – Beth Aharon Newsletter

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

Shabbat Ki-Tisa Bəriut v’Shalom from Beth Aharon - temporarily @ our bayit: March 14, 2020 | י”ח אדר תש"ף - Issue #5780:25

Zəmanim (No Services)

Shabbat Para

Parashat Ki-Tisa

14 March 2020 * 18 Adar 5780

Candle Lighting - 6:43pm

Minḥa/Kabbalat- Shabbat/Arvit - pm

Shaḥarit - am * Latest Shəma - 10:06am

Zohar - pm * Minḥa - pm

Shəkiעa - 7:02pm * Arvit - pm

Tset Hakokhavim / Havdala - 7:47pm


Regular Week Prayers (Tefilat Avraham)

On hold - check your email for updates.

Picture of the Week

A Moment of BAN

“It was a very different experience doing the BAN this shabbat, especially the times section.” :) tbs

In the Beginning

There was a CoronaVirus but it was defeated very quickly by Beth Aharon Purim Costume Contest winners!

This Shabbat & Beyond

Congregation Beth Aharon will not have any tefilot this shabbat, Parashat Ki-Tisa.

As uncertainty grows with the spread of the coronavirus so grows the need to be careful and take precautionary measures.

The key is to minimize contact and thereby limit, slow down, and halt the spread of the virus.

Over the last few days schools and universities have decided to shift to remote learning. Businesses have been encouraging the working from home, and have introduced working in shifts.

The Riverdale Community have come together with a decision to halt tefilot in shuls this shabbat. Other shuls in the NYC Metropolitan area have taken similar steps.

The decision has not been easy. And yet choosing the well-being of our congregants over halakha and tradition, has prevailed.

We encourage you all to check on one another, help thy neighbor and friend, stay home and calm, keep up a positive spirit, pray, and remember to smile :)

Remember the importance of keeping high hygiene as previously advised.

For specific help, question, advice, help, or else, please email us @ or text 860-234-3065.

We will keep you posted on any further important developments, b"H only good ones.

Birkat Shabbat Ki-Tisa Bəriut v’Shalom

Rəfuaa Shəlema to ‘Am Yisrael wounded bodies & souls and the sick: Reuven ben Aliza, Menachem ben Yehudit, Yig’al ben Sulika, Ruben ben Avraham López & Ela, Amir ben Malka, Yonit bat Yehudit, Ilana bat Victoria, Pesach Shlomo ben Alta Chaya Dvora, Michal Haya bat Tamar, Meira Esther bat Devora, and all the coronavirus ḥolim.

Many Thanks to Hazan Yaron Babayof on Megila reading this Purim; to Roberta on organizing the Beth Aharon Purim contest online; to all those who joined us on Purim especially the Cohen-Berman family who never miss a Purim @ Beth Aharon.

Yishar Kowah to the Riverdale Rabbi and leaders for coming together at this uneasy time and showing our commitment and strength as a united Riverdale community. We Further thank the CBA Board members, especially Miriam Elefant who took the lead, giving endless time in representing our BA community.

 Mazal Tov to Rina Wachsman on becoming Bat Mitsva. Again, why not?! And Hazak u’Varukh on a beautiful Megila reading.

 Happy Birthday to all March birthdays, and to... YOU!

From the Rabbis and More…

רב עובדיה יוסף ז"ל - Rav Ovadia Yosef z”l


פרשת השבוע - פרשת כי תשא

 "המחשבה היא האדם"

הרב זבדיה כהן

השבת נקרא: "כי תשא את ראש בני ישראל לפקודיהם". ומסביר רבינו חיים בן עטר בפירושו על התורה, "כי תשא" מלשון "נשיאות ראש", בדומה ללשון הפסוק "ישא פרעה את ראשך", שהוא לשון מעלה. שתשא את ראש בני ישראל שראשם נמוך מחמת העבירה של מעשה העגל, ועל ידי שיתעלו במחשבתם למצוות ויתנתקו מהעבירות, הרי זו נשיאת ראש של עלייה רוחנית.

אדם מישראל שחוטא הגם שהוא הולך על שתי רגליים וראשו נטוי כלפי מעלה, מכל מקום במהותו הרוחנית הוא מושפל לגשמיות, עיניו משוטטות כלפי מטה ואינן נשואות אל על לאלוקיו.

וכבר אמרו רבותינו: "המחשבה היא האדם", ו"במקום שהאדם חושב שם הוא נמצא". אם רוצה אתה לדעת את דרגתך הרוחנית האמיתית, בדוק היכן נמצאת מחשבתך, מה מעסיק אותך כל היום - ותדע מי אתה!

לכן אחרי חטא העגל נצטווה משה רבנו לשאת את ראש בני ישראל, לזקוף את קומתם הרוחנית, לרומם את מושגיהם, ולהפכם לעובדי אלוקים כדבעי.

"כי תשא את ראש בני ישראל" – עלינו לשאת את ראשנו, ולרומם את מחשבותינו לרוחניות והתעלות, לעשות "ניקוי ראש" ממחשבות טפלות. וכפי שאנו אומרים בכל בוקר: "ומותר האדם מן בהמה אין כי הכל הבל, לבד הנשמה הטהורה".

Daf Bite – טעם דף

Shabbat 2a-b: The Prohibition of Carrying on Shabbat

Massekhet Shabbat opens with a discussion of the biblical prohibition of carrying out on Shabbat, a topic that is somewhat unexpected, in order to pique the interest of the reader. In terms of the overall framework of the tractate, it would have been more appropriate to begin with later mishnayot.

The prohibited labor to carry out a burden on Shabbat is alluded to in the Torah and explicitly stated in the Prophets.

 Although it appears in the list of prohibited labors in the Mishna, it constitutes its own discrete unit, and its parameters are significantly different from those of the other prohibited labors. There are two fundamental aspects to the prohibited labor of carrying out. The most significant of these is the prohibition to carry an object from one domain to another, e.g., from the private to the public domain. The definitions of these domains with regard to Shabbat are distinctive, and their parameters are by no means identical to the definitions of domains in other aspects of halakha, neither in terms of their ownership nor in terms of their use.


Beth Aharon Costume Contest Winners 5780

Best family costume to the Weissman Family - who came far from space to defeat the corona!

Best couple costume to Roberta & Bill Lamot - the Jokers who will surely trick the corona away!

Best man costume to Rav Dov Lerea, or Mordekhai - who came all the way from Shushan to advise us against the corona.

Best woman costume to Malka Kaplan - who will surely give Achashverosh the right tips against corona.

Best girl costume to Mikhal Kulkin - who became a legendary unicorn who will poke all the corona away!

Best boy costume to Ami Wachsman - who became a fearless corona fighter!

On the Parasha & Beyond…

The Weekly Riddle

Which countries are the world's 5 largest wheat producers?

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

Parasha – Ki Tisa: Shemot (Exodus) 30:11-34:35

Historical Context: Bnei Israel's 40-year journey continues. Location: Against Har Sinai (Mount Sinai). Creation Time: 2448 (1476 bce).

Parashort: G-d commands a census of the people and gives more commandments. Moshe goes to the top of Mount Sinai to study with G-d. While gone, the people persuade Aaron to build a Golden Calf for them. Seeing the idol, Moshe smashes the Tablets and breaks the Golden Calf. Moses prepares a new set of tablets and once more ascends the mountain. (Torah Productions)

Haftarat Ki-Tisa – Melachim Aleph (Kings 1), 18:1-39

Haftit: In this week's haftara, Elijah the Prophet demonstrates the worthlessness of the Baal, just as Moses chastised the Israelites for serving the Golden Calf, as discussed in this week's Torah reading.(

Connection to the Parasha: Parashat Ki Tisa relates Bnei Yisrael’s, the Jewish People’s, sin of worshipping the golden calf.  Similarly, the Haftarah discusses the sin of worshipping the baal idols during the reign of the evil Jewish King Ahab. (haftorahman)

Biblical Quiz - Ki-Tisa

Kids: The prophet in our haftara is Eliyahu, or Elijah. When does he appear every year? In Pesah, Purim or Hanukka?

Youth: What other 2 names does he have?

Adults: Was he a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel or in the Kingdom of Judea?  * Experts: Who was his teacher?

Ktav Parasha - Ki-Tisa

At the beginning of our parasha, G-d orders to count Bəne Yisrael. In order not to have an epidemic, it is commanded that each one give an atonement for his soul of one half of the Shekel.

Moshe did not understand how a mere half shekel coin could be a "ransom of the soul"?

Rashi notes based on the midrashim: “This they shall give” - G-d showed Moshe a sort of coin of fire weighing half a shekel, and He said to him, “Like this one they shall give.” -[from Tanchuma 9; Tanchuma Buber, Naso p. 35; Pesikta d’Rav Kahana 19a; Midrash Psalms 91:1; Yerushalmi, Shekalim 1:4]

Why does G-d show Moshe a coin of fire?

Because, the nature and the source of the fire is everlasting, even if many candles are lit from it. So are the power and merit of charity and giving never diminish.

May G-d give us the strength and wisdom to have an everlasting unity and community-giving. B”H. Shabbat shel Shalom.

Speechless in the Parasha - Ki-Tisa

The Parasha mentions holidays in which Bnei Yisrael have to go to Jerusalem. Which of the 3 Reglim is not mentioned?

Dvar Torah - Parashat Ki Tissa 5780

By Rav Dov Lerea

The Shabbat of the Corona Plague

כִּי קָרַן עוֹר פָּנָיו

Parashat Ki Tissa is a parasha filled with grave mistakes, deep anger, tragic rage and death of members of Benei Yisrael, loss of faith, and a loss of hope. How could Benei Yisrael have lost faith in Hashem and in Moshe after everything they experienced in Egypt? Indeed, the Zohar interprets the word, boshesh, “Moshe tarried,” as, b-shesh, meaning, “in the sixth hour.” According to mystical tradition, after 6 hours of the day, the normal rules that protect us against chaos and disaster are suspended. After the sixth hour, society can devolve into entropy, losing our core, feeling as if the nation can spin out of control. The erev rav, that group who accompanied Benei Yisrael from Egypt, represents those forces of chaos. Hashem turns God’s divine face from the world. Moshe moves the Mishkan out of the camp. The center sits empty. Fear grips the nation. Every tribe, every family, every individual becomes overwhelmed by panic, fear, regret. Alone. Separated from each other. Alienated. Disoriented.

Then Moshe starts the work of repair. Immediately. The world needs to be filled again with hope and trust, with kindness and compassion. The world needs to be filled again with patience, and Hashem instructs Moshe in these core values of the divine. The world needs to re-experience divine love and hope and trust, to work together towards the common goal of health and well-being. Moshe brings down two new luchot from the mountain, his face shining with rays of light. Moshe covers himself with a veil. Nobody can see his face. At that moment, the Torah teaches us an incredible detail: ומשה לא ידע כי קרן עור פניו בדברו אתו. Moshe did not know that the skin of his face radiated light. Rabbi Moshe David Valle asks a simple question: “How could Moshe not have known that his face radiated with light?” He answers the following:

  “Moshe’s face radiated 360 degrees. This was just the external manifestation of a deeper, inner light that came from deep inside of him. This was not natural light. This was spiritual light. Moshe did not realize that his face radiated, because speaking with Hashem had become so natural for Moshe, he was so naturally predisposed to conversing with God, that this was his normal condition.”

This teaches us a great lesson today. The Torah teaches us here about a goal for our “natural” state of being. What should we consider to be so natural that we no longer even pay attention? This moment in the world gives us pause to ask that question and re-set priorities. Let us, like Moshe, become so attuned to the needs of each other, so attuned to our well-being, so attuned to thinking rationally and clearly, so attuned to the collective needs of humanity in an interdependent world, that these priorities become a state of being, like Moshe’s state of being. Let us re-set ourselves according to the model of Moshe Rabbenu: just as he lived only for the purpose of holiness, to bring holiness into the world by making God’s 13 attributes manifest, attributes of patience and love and kindness and forgiveness and well-being, let us try to follow that example as we protect each other, protect ourselves, and cast a vision for a world that can be shaped and re-fashioned in an image of God’s hope for humanity.

Shabbat Shalom, Dov Lerea.

Community Board

This Week’s BAN is Sponsored By:

Support Beth Aharon!

Thank you for joining Beth Aharon tefilot on Shabbatot & Hagim. Please support Beth Aharon. Mail donations, pledges, High Holidays 5780 and membership dues to: Congregation Beth Aharon/HIR, 3700 Henry Hudson Pkwy, Bronx, NY 10463. Check our website/blog to donate online and for daily updates: us via email: Tizku Leshanim Rabot V’tovot!


Remember to act responsibly by thinking about those who are more vulnerable; Stay home if you are sick; Minimize close contact and unnecessary large gatherings; Wash hands frequently; Don't shake hands; Avoid touching your face; Keep high hygiene; Stay positive; and keep on smiling.

Special Prayer for Stopping the Coronavirus Epidemic

by Rishon L'Tzion, Israel's Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef

May it be Thy Will our G-d and G-d and our ancestors, that You be overcome with mercy upon all the world's inhabitants and upon the inhabitants of this land, and protect them from all the harsh and evil decrees that may visit the world, and rescue us from every sickness, disease, plague, and epidemic. May all patients infected with the disease be completely cured. To You O G-d is the Greatness and the Rigor, the Splendor and the Eternity and the Majesty, because all in Heaven and Earth to You do individually concede the Kingship and the Authority, and in Your hands is the soul of all living and the spirit within all flesh, and it is in your Power and Strength to grow and strengthen and cure humanity to the utmost, to the most minuscule reaches of the spirit, and nothing is beyond Your Ability.

Therefore, may it be Thy Will O Faithful G-d, Father of Mercy, Healer of all ills among His People Israel, You Who are the Faithful Healer: Send healing and cure, and act with utmost kindness, pardon, and compassion to all patients infected with this disease.

Please O G-d, may Your Mercy awaken upon all inhabitants of the world and all Your People Israel. Please alight Thine Throne of Judgement and sit upon the Throne of Mercy, and go beyond the letter of the law to abolish all harsh and evil decrees. "And Pinchas arose and prayed and the plague was halted."

And decree upon us good judgments, salvation, and consolation for the sake of Thy Mercy, and tear up our evil decree, and may our good points hold prominence before you; Arise, help us and redeem us for the sake of Your Kindness.

Hear now please the voice of our plea, for You hear the prayers of all; Blessed is He Who hears prayer.

May the utterances of my mouth and the reasoning within my heart find favor before You, O L-rd my Rock and Salvation.

And may it be fulfilled within us the Bible verse that says: "All the sickness I placed upon Egypt I shall not place upon you, for I am the L-rd your Healer," Amen.

Riddle Solved

1. China (134,340,630 tonnes, per year) 2. India (98,510,000 Tonnes) 3. Russia (85,863,132 Tonnes) 4. United States (47,370,880 Tonnes) 5. France (36,924,938 Tonnes)

A Parent Question

What's better: having a spouse that always comes home late from work, or now actually having to be with them all day because everyone's stuck at home





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Biblical Quiz - Ki-Tisa: Answers

Kids: In Pesah. * Youth: “Eliyahu Ha-Tishbi” and “Eliyahu Ha-Giladi” * Adults: Northern Kingdom of Israel. * Experts:  Achiya Hashiloni

Rav Question - שאלת רב

Are we going to have a coronavirus purification ritual at some point once it's over and people emerge from quarantine?

(By Michael Wachsman)

In the Good or at least optimistic News

- As a response to the coronavirus, China placed a strict ban on the consumption and farming of wild animals across the country, a market valued at $70 billion!

- There are first indications that the spread of the coronavirus in China substantially slows down!

Time to Smile  

- Massive fires in Australia, Global pandemic, storms in Egypt, an asteroid is approaching the earth (but will miss it), floods in Eilat...

Sometimes it seems that G-d brought his little child to work, and he is playing with the buttons.

- There are no flights to Israel. It is clear now why it is written that the Mashiyah will come on a donkey.

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.