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Young Israel of Great Neck

YIGN 40th Annual Dinner March 7

Annual Dinner Raffle

YIGN Dinner raffle tickets are available at special rates through 5pm on Wednesday, March 4 if purchased online.

The rates are:

6 Tickets $100
16 Tickets $200
40 Tickets $400

Raffles may be purchased at the door at the following prices:

1 Ticket $25
5 Tickets $100
15 Tickets $200
35 Tickets $400


Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Scholar in Residence

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



Mazel tov to Erica and Steven Parilis, Helen and Howard Zimmerman, Karen and Jason Hammerman, Charlie Segal and Hannah Flamenbaum, Fran and Bernie Mermelstein and Ariella and Ari Spodek on the birth of their son, grandson, nephew and grand nephew.


Condolences to Renee Strauss on the loss of her mother, Frieda Yadlovker z.l.


Thank you very much to Lisa and Michael Aryeh, parents of our members Brandel and Isaac Aryeh, on their generous donation of new cushioned chairs for our Beit Midrash. The chairs are a welcome enhancement to our Shul and very much appreciated – thank you!


Our YIGN dinner honoring Sherri and Martin Ghodsi and Roya and Michael Samuels is only 1 week away. If you have not done so already, please submit your response to the dinner ASAP.

We are pleased to report that the Shomer360 class on Krav Maga self defense was a tremendous success. Shomer360 has agreed to conduct a weekly class on Tuesday evenings for those interested. Please contact for further details. 


Sunday March 1st at 1:30. - 3:45 p.m .for children 3 and up.

"B'makos sh'ayn Ish" In the month where there's no sports to talk of, what do you do? YOU join all the boys in our shul for an amazing shabbos as we play games and learn about using our time wisely. Please RSVP to Rabbi Slomnicki by February 24th at

"Commonality" Come join all the girls in our shul for an amazing bonding shabbos as we explore all the things we share in common. Please RSVP to Rabbi Slomnicki by March 1st at


Our annual appeal for the G N Eiruv Association was sent out in January. For those of you who have already donated, we sincerely appreciate your support. For those who have not, we would greatly appreciate your support at this time. The suggested donation is $180 per family. If you are able to give more, that is a tremendous help; if you are unable to give the suggested donation, any contribution is greatly appreciated. Please mail your checks to G N Eiruv Association, P.O. Box 234243, Great Neck, NY 11023. You may also donate on line Thank you for your support!!

Tomchei Shabbos of Queens is looking for volunteers to help deliver food for Pesach to those in need. The deliveries will take place on Sunday, March 29 9am-12pm.  The pickup location is 33-23 Union Street at Union Plaza Health in Queens (2 blocks off Northern Blvd).  There's no need to sign up in advance.  Just show up at the Union Street address on March 29 and you will be given boxes of food and a list of addresses of where they need to be delivered.  This is a great opportunity to do a mitzvah with your family!  For additional information or to donate please visit their website at

“Save The Date”…Ambassador John Bolton, nationally known TV foreign affairs analyst and author, will speak at Great Neck Synagogue, Sunday evening May 3rd. The event is sponsored by Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) Long Island Chapter and Men’s Club of Great Neck Synagogue. There is no charge for admission.

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 BuDONATIONSsiness 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 or call the Business office at 487-8687x2.


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

Frieda and Morris Lewinter in memory of Frieda Yadlovker

Daniella Jacob in memory of Ruth Menasseh

Judy and Lanny Oppenheim in memory of Herbert Dienes; In memory of  Frieda Yadlovker

Sandy and Mark Gold in memory of Royal Leff; In memory of Anita Kaufman; In memory of Arline Grant

Mindy and Charles Hercman in memory of Arline Grant; In memory of Frieda Yadlovker

Adele and Azriel Genachowski in memory of Frieda Yadlovker; In memory of David Greenwald; In memory of Leon Silverman

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


Taking Advantage of the Weakest Elements of Society
22:20-3: You shall not taunt or oppress a Ger, for you were strangers in the land of Mitzrayim. You shall not cause pain to any widow or orphan. If you dare to cause him pain – for if he shall cry out to Me, I shall surely hear his outcry. My anger shall blaze and I shall kill you by the sword, and your wives will be widows and your children orphans.

Rashi: what is the difference between Lo Soneh and Lo Silchatzenah? Lo Soneh is verbal abuse and bullying. Lo Silchatzenah adds the concept of money swindling, or economic pressure; it can mean price gouging beyond the 1/6 profit that is usually allowed. There is a special warning against taking advantage of a very vulnerable Jew.

Rashi: if you are going to oppress this person with words or monetary pressure, he can do something similar to you, by saying that you too were a stranger and a slave in the land of Egypt. Something that is a blemish within you should not be used to afflict others; you also went through this in your past history.

Sifsei Chachamim: this concept of being a slave yourself in Egypt only applies to the Lo Soneh warning, not monetary oppression.

Rabbeinu Bachya: the reason why Hashem is so concerned for the Ger is because he finds himself alone and isolated – he is in a foreign land with a different background from a different land; he feels like an alien, a stranger. That is why we have the comparison, because we were strangers in a foreign land, ultimately enslaved and killed. We must be a warm, welcoming community, integrating strangers into our homes and shuls because we were made to feel unwelcome when we were in Egypt.

Ibn Ezra: when the Ger makes his decision and declaration to renounce idolatry, we cannot take advantage of him in our land because we are the establishment and he is the weakling; we have to remember that we were the weak ones in Egypt; similarly, widows and orphans are also powerless. After the Torah says Lo Sananun in 22:22 in the plural, it switches to the singular to say that if we do see someone oppressing one of these people, even if we are not directly involved, we too are guilty. Not only can we not oppress a weak member of society, we cannot just watch from the sidelines while someone else does it – we must step in and put a stop to it and bring that stranger into our society; otherwise Hashem will treat us just as one of the tormentors and we will be punished. We must respond to the evil of other Jews or we too are considered sinners.

Ba’al Haturim: the Torah first says it in the plural and then singular to say that whether it is a lot of oppression or even a small amount, God will not tolerate it. The other reason it switches from plural to singular is to say that all Jews are obligated to support one another – Kulanu Arevim Zeh LaZeh; if we let another do something bad, then we too are at fault because all Jews are responsible for one another’s actions.

Ramban: God warns us about oppressing the Ger who is now in a different place; he cannot remain the target of attacks; Hashem says don’t think that we will get away with oppressing him, as Hashem will fight his battle and wreak vengeance on the person who oppresses him. And we should understand it and feel the pain of the Ger because we ourselves went through it, and relive it every Seder night as if it was part of our lives. God does not tolerated persecution of the underdog by the establishment – it is the story of Jewish history. If we do it, God will come after us with a vengeance. We should know this lesson very well. Elsewhere it says Nefesh HaGer to tell us that every Ger tries to gain acceptance – his very soul is at risk – he is already coming with an inferiority complex and has no one to turn towards to protect him except for Hashem; therefore, Hashem will have pity for him because He is the father of all Gerim and does not tolerate the Ger being persecuted. And joined to the Ger is the widow and the orphan; they are all weaklings of society without friends to protect them, and it is human nature to take advantage and persecute these people. And because they are so weak, their tears and cries in their homes will enter the always open Windows of Tears in the heavens – that gateway to heaven is never sealed – it is what our tefillos try to enter on Yom Kippur. We are dealing with these weak unprotected people who are prone towards crying, and we must go out of our way to help them emotionally and monetarily.

Rashi: why single out the widow and orphan who should not be oppressed? We are not allowed to do this in general to any person? But the Torah speaks of the most common case because they are the weakest members of society, and it is the nature of people to take advantage of the weakest; it is a sick part of society and human nature, a need to dominate over people. Therefore, God warns about these people in particular, saying that He is their protector.

Sforno: if we oppress them and they cry out, Hashem will hear them; If we have a situation where we take advantage of these people, Hashem will punish us. But what if we our words are really directed to administer proper discipline to an orphan? That is considered an act of chesed; Hashem will look into our hearts to make sure we are doing a kindness, giving good guidance and advice and mussar – then we will be rewarded.

Rambam: we are under special warning to be especially sensitive to the needs of the widows and orphans, since their souls and spirits are broken; even if they have plenty of money, they are still broken from the loss of father and husband; we must speak to them in a special soft and sensitive manner, according them special respect; don’t cause pain to them by abusing them or overworking them; we should not use tough words with them unnecessarily. We must be more worried about these people’s money than our own because of their special crises.

Ramban: even a rich widow or orphan should not be oppressed – their tears are frequent; the Torah changes from plural to singular between the pasukim to single out every one of these people – we don’t have to do it repeatedly to warrant punishment – even offending one person will end up with our punishment. The Torah in 22:23 says that Hashem’s anger is kindled, and these tormentors will be killed by the sword and their wives and children will be turned into these same vulnerable members of society – it is a Midah Kaneged Midah, with his family being driven down to the same level in society as his targets. In effect, Hashem is warning that there will be death from the heavens as a punishment for this sin. The Gemarrah in Bava Metziyah lists the sins that warrant Misah Bidei Shamayim, yet this one is not listed there – the reason is that it is not a normal Misah Bidei Shamayim, as when one dies for desecrating Terumah – there they will die and be punished in the afterlife, in Gan Eden – it is totally punishment in shamayim. Here the person will be punished and die in this world – the enemy will come after him here in this world; Hashem will arrange to have him targeted here by the sword. There will be a war and the sinner will be lost and missing – it will be a living hell for the family – his wife will be an agunah, children fatherless. If his body is never found, his wife will be in a living hell, never allowed to marry. The children will never be awarded any part of the estate, since he is not established to be dead – the estate will never be settled. So it is a long term punishment affecting his family members.

Rabbeinu Bachya: we know in terms of Tefilla that crying out in pain with tears reaches the highest levels of the heavens. It is the most potent way of eliciting a response in heaven.

Ramban: Hashem shows grace by accepting the cries of the people.

Sun, 1 March 2015 10 Adar 5775