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Young Israel of Great Neck

YIGN 40th Annual Dinner March 7

Movie Night - February 7, 7:30 PM



Young Couples "Smarts & Crafts" Event

Ariel Yitzchak Newman Memorial Scholar in Residence Program

The Scholar in Residence Program at YIGN has been officially re-named the Ariel Yitzchak Newman Memorial Scholar in Residence Program at YIGN

Four Scholars have been scheduled for 2015 as follows:

Shabbat Parshat Bo January 23rd-24th ***
Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein, Senior Lecturer for Aish HaTorah’s Discovery Productions / Executive Vice President of Project Chazon

Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim February 13th-14th
Rabbi Moshe Taragin, Rav at Yeshiva Gush Etzion and SKA Beit Midrash for Women in Migdal Oz / Author of “Talmudic Methodology” internet shiur

Shabbat Parshat Pekudei March 13th – 14th
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, YU Professor of Jewish Thought / Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

Shabbat Parshat Behar-Bechukotai May 15th – 16th
Rabbi Ozer Glickman, Talmud and Halacha Rebbe for YU Semicha Program; formerly taught American Legal Theory at Cardozo Law School

*** There will be a special dedication of the Scholar in Residence Program in memory of Ariel Newman, z”l, with Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein, as well as a congregational dinner on Friday night. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks ahead.



Mazel tov to Donna and Leon Schwechter on the marriage of their daughter Serena to Benjamin Kalish.

Mazel tov to Margot Atlas and Mark Atlas on the bar mitzvah of their son Matan.

Mazel tov to Tara and Irv Golombeck and Nira and Eli Nafisi on the engagement of their son and brother Arel to Aviya Slutzky.

Mazel tov to Esther and Stan Morris on the engagement of their son Ari Marks to Daniella Frankel.

Mazel tov to Lisa and Stuart Appel and Donnie and Sara Appel on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.

Mazel tov to Susan Hammer and Tamara and Meir Goldberg on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.

Mazel tov to Mary and Richard Schanler and Rabbi Sariel and Susan Malitzky on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.



SAVE THE DATE (AND, POSSIBLY SAVE LIVES): TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 @ 8PM. Adults (including kids ages 13+) are invited to attend a special 2-hour intensive training SHOMER 360 program -- this is a gun, knife and general self defense seminar. Check out the SHOMER 360 website to learn more. Our instructor will be Eilon Even-Esh, founder and head instructor of Shomer 360, an organization whose mission is "to instill strength and confidence through world class self-defense techniques within a Torah observant framework."  --The emphasis is not on teaching a Ben Torah how to hurt. The emphasis is on teaching a Ben Torah how to defend.  (In light of the recent attacks, it's important that we all make time to learn to defend.) An essential class for our entire membership body. There is no charge to attend.

PARENTING WORKSHOP AT YIGN On Wednesday night, February 11th at 8 pm, a group from the LIU-Post Clinical Psychology Doctoral program, including Tali Wachspress and Nini Goldberg  will be running a workshop for parents entitled "Managing Parental Stress." Come join them for an informative and fun workshop!

SAVE THE DATE – The Young Israel of Great Neck Annual Dinner honoring Sherri and Martin Ghodsi and Roya and Michael Samuels will take place Motzei Shabbat, March 7th at the Great Neck Synagogue. Please be sure to mark the date on your calendar. More information will follow.


YU SEFORIM SALE The YU Seforim sale will take place this year from February 1-March 1.  For further information contact

NSHA DIAMOND JUBILEE JOURNAL DINNER -SAVE the NEW DATE -TUESDAY, MARCH 24TH at OLD WESTBURY HEBREW CONGREGATION -celebrating its 60 year tradition of excellence in education,  honoring its Executive board member families,  Daniel and Marcy Aharon & Jonathan and Stefanie Hazghyian.  In addition, there will be a memorial tribute to its Honorary Dean and First Principal, Rabbi Dr. Ephraim & Rebbetzin Elaine Wolf, its long time former Principal, Rabbi Nathan Horowitz and its long time former  Dean Of Students, Rabbi Aron Sternberg,  all of blessed memory,  who were not only instrumental in making NSHA, the vitally important institution that serves our community families but who also had such a profound and positive life changing influence on so many in our community. Those wishing to help on the tribute, please contact Glenn Zuckerman or Laura Cohen. In addition, the Academy is asking its parent body , many of whom are alumni of the school, for any old photos that they have of Rabbi & Rebbetzin Wolf, Rabbi Horowitz or Rabbi Sternberg  from their yearbooks, old journals or personal photos of the school that will help in the video tribute chaired by Sharon Goldwyn, Judy Blatter and Debbie Hollander.  Please submit these photos to Arnie Flatow in the NSHA Business Office as soon as possible and put your info on the back so they can be returned once we are done with them. Thank you.  For further information, to place an ad and/or to make a reservation, please contact Arnie Flatow at or call the Business office at 487-8687x2.


The following donations have been made to the Young Israel of Great Neck:

Leah and Terry Rifkin in memory of Anita Kaufman

Steve Foss in honor of the marriage of Dena Rosenfeld and Daniel Fromm; In honor of the birth of  Rebecca Belle Frank; In honor of Sherri and Martin Ghodsi  being honored at the Young Israel Dinner; In honor of Roya and Michael Samuels being honored at the Young Israel Dinner

Adele and Azriel Genachowski in honor of the birth of Rebecca Belle Frank; In honor of the birth of Sue and Arthur Talansky’s grandson

Daniella Jacob for the refuah shelemah of those injured in the Tel Aviv bus incident

Steve Foss in honor of the engagement of Natasha Moradi and Ebbie Bouteshaz; In honor of the birth of Ellen and Mitchell Siegel’s grandson; In honor of the birth of Tara and Irv Golombeck’s granddaughter; In honor of the birth of Sue and Arthur Talansky’s grandson; In honor of the birth of Shaindy and Mayer Rydzinski’s granddaughter

Aviva and Marc Finkelstein in memory of Milton Miller; In memory of Ariel Newman; In memory of Rose Nimaroff; In memory of Anita Kaufman

Shirley and Ralph Sasto in honor of the birth of Sue and Arthur Talansky’s grandson

President's Message

The YIGN is a Modern Orthodox synagogue that was founded by six visionary families.  They dreamed of a participatory minyan that would be welcoming to all. After multiple small temporary locations, we moved to our present, beautiful facility at 236 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck, New York.  We are privileged to inhabit a newly constructed Beit Midrash and classroom building, as well as a full sized gym. Read more

Rabbi Lerner's Weekly Parsha Shiur


The Plague of Hail

9:13-4: And Hashem spoke to Moshe, “Wake up early in the morning and station yourself (Vehistatzev) before Pharaoh; and say to him, ‘Thus said Hashem, the God of the Hebrews: Send out My people that they may serve Me. For this time I will send all of my plagues against your heart, and upon your servants, and your people, so that you will know that there is none like Me in all the world.’”  What does it mean he is sending all of my plagues? There are still three more to come after this plague?

Ohr Hachayim: There are three instructions given here in this pasuk. First he has to get up early to meet Pharaoh. Secondly, he must stand – Hisyatzav – before Pharaoh. That is the simple meaning of the word. But here it means more: Hashem is telling Moshe ‘Don’t bend your head before him; do not show by your posture any subservience to him; show him that you are at least his equal; look upon him as if you are the great one standing in front of a minor person because I have already made you an officer over him.’ It was necessary to tell Moshe this because it ran against his core being of humility – he normally walked around bent over, a humble person; now he must act differently in front of the arrogant Pharaoh. The third command in the pasuk is to say these words to Pharaoh.

Rashi: we learn from the phrase all of my plagues that the tenth plague, against the first born, is equal in its weight and importance to all of the other nine. So here what God is alluding to is the last plague, even though we are only up to the seventh plague.

Sifsei Chachamim: you can’t explain this to be talking about Macas Bechoros – it should be discussed only when we are up to that plague in the next parsha. Therefore, Rabbeinu Tam explained this Rashi as reinterpreting what he says as Bikurim, rather than Bechorim – it is the destruction of the first fruit. This plague of hail will attack all growing things – as it says in 9:25: The hail struck in the entire land of Egypt everything that was in the field from man to beast; all the grass of the field the hail struck and every tree of the field it smashed. It destroyed all of the first fruit and all crops. He changed the full pshat of Rashi by saying this. Chizkuni agrees with this interpretation.

Other meforshim say that all of my plagues is a reference to hail itself. Why would that be? Rabbeinu Bachya: the simple way to learn this is that this plague was multifaceted, striking multiple targets – people, animals, and crops. It broke all of the trees, destroyed all of the wheat and fruit; it destroyed all of the good of the land. In addition to the huge hailstones, there was an incredible frost that came with it that destroyed the entire environment. Compounding this was the fire that came within the hail – it was miraculous hail, with fire existing in the middle of the ice. The Midrash says that this plague destroyed all of the vegetation with first the strong impact of the heavy hail hitting and breaking down the crops, and then the fire was unleashed to burn all of the vegetation down to the roots which were not reached by the hail; it burned everything in its path. It was a miracle that the cold of the ice did not weaken the fire, and visa versa. The fire did not melt the ice and the ice did not extinguish the flames. It is like a king who has two important members of his cabinet who are mortal enemies and are always attacking each other; but he needs them both to be part of his team; when he went out to battle where he really needs them – he demands and threatens them to work out their difficulties or else. This is based on a pasuk in Iyov 28:2: Dominion and dread are with Him; He makes peace up above in the heavens. God can make opposites coexist so that they don’t fight; He created them and can bring peace between them for the sake of this plague. It is also similar to two famous angels – Gavriel and Micha’el – one made from fire, one from water, and God makes peace between them so that they work together, even though they are made of opposite elements. That is why this plague was so great. It was more powerful than any other plague, bringing unbelievable destruction on the land.

Ramban: when Hashem says that He will bring this plague tomorrow and He warns them that they should move all of the cattle indoors, we see the mercy of Hashem because this plague of hail was meant to destroy the land, not the Egyptian people or animals – it was meant to be solely against agriculture, wiping out the food of Egypt. In Tehillim it says even evil sinners God tries to spare from extra suffering. But, while just intending to destroy food, it did kill animals and people as well, despite the warning – people did defy God and did get killed because of it.

Ibn Ezra: It says all of my plagues because this one was multifaceted – there were huge booms of thunder; there was the heavy hail; there was fire; there was a soaking rain. We do not find Pharaoh revealing as much terror in his heart as we find here. Pharaoh at the end of this plague admits that God is a tzadik and he and his minions are evil. He asks Moshe to entreat God to remove this terrifying plague; he was scared out of his mind; he says Vidui, Chatasi.

Other meforshim disagree about this term, all of my plagues. They say it only means this one plague of hail. After God had already performed the first six plagues, Hashem wanted to break the ten plagues into different groupings, as Rabbi Yehuda says in the Hagadah. Sforno: The first group of three had a common denominator in that they targeted the heavy elements of nature, targeting water and soil – it was all about the land of Egypt. The second grouping was against animals. The last group attacked the atmosphere – the hail was an incredible storm; the locusts came from the sky; darkness clearly affected the sun; and finally, the tenth plague itself was not a sign of God’s power – rather it was a punishment, the ultimate pain for the Egyptians. Many meforshim also point out different characteristics of each group of three – the first two of each group had warnings preceding them, the third had no warning; this is similar to the punishment given by a Beis Din to a repetitive sinner, who gets punished for committing a sin the third time, without the necessity of a warning for the that last time he sinned. Abarbanel: this plague was the entry to the final whole grouping. When Hashem says all of my plagues, He is referring to the final package of plagues, as per Rabbi Yehuda. This warning was for all four – the worst blows will come to Pharaoh from these four: hail will destroy crops and kill anyone who defied God and stayed outside. The plague of the locusts will result in a dire famine, as the locusts will eat all of the crops, causing a huge famine, with many people dying of starvation. The plague of darkness will make them feel like the dead – they were forced to be immobile in the palpable darkness; it was a taste of death where they could move, eat or do anything in the dark; it was a brush with death. These plagues all touch his heart, but the tenth plague goes directly to his heart in a strong way, by killing his own son, the heir to the throne of the dynasty. That is what this warning is alluding to – it is all of the last four plagues.

Sforno: every one of these plagues will penetrate all of their hearts because each of them will have an aftereffect that did not exist with the earlier plagues. For example, with the atmosphere and environment being attacked, it destroyed the earth’s ability to regenerate; they wrought havoc with the atmosphere; they brought sickness. The earlier plagues did not bring such effects – when those plagues were done, that was it; here the ripple effect lasted after each plague ended.

Some meforshim point out that the warning of the tenth plague is not really a chidush. There was a reference earlier on in Shmos about the tenth plague in 4:23 when Moshe was at the burning bush. There God tells Moshe that Pharaoh will be stubborn and not let the people go; he tells Moshe that He will warn Pharaoh that Israel is God’s firstborn, and if he does not send them out, God will kill his firstborn. It is poetic justice. If he does not release His bechor, God will take out Pharaoh’s. So, all of my plagues can refer to Macas Bechoros, which is the ultimate plague.  Just as it was mentioned earlier in the Torah, it mentions it here as well. 

Thu, 29 January 2015 9 Shevat 5775