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Young Israel of Great Neck

Welcome Back Picnic




Click below for more pictures from the Welcome Back picnic

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

32:44: Moshe came and spoke all the words of this Song in the ears of the people, he and Hoshea Bin Nun. [Obvious question: Why use this original name of Yehoshuah again?]  Ramban: If one looks through the whole Shirah, there is no requirement for Teshuvah or a return to doing all of Avodas Hashem for the Jewish people to once again be redeemed. As we see from the previous pasuk, 32:43: O nations – sing the praises of His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will bring retribution upon His foes, and He will appease His land and His people. This redemption is not conditional on our doing Teshuvah. It is a contract that horrible things will happen to the Jewish nation, but somehow we will prevail and get through our terrible history and survive. God will severely rebuke us and punish us with a hot anger, but we will not be completely extinct; Hashem will come back with regrets of what He was forced to do to us; He will punish the enemy with his terrible sword and He will atone for our sins for the sake of His name. His entire recognition and plan for the world is dependent on us; He staked His reputation on the Jewish people – it must happen through us, so He must save us for His sake – He has too much riding on us. So, therefore, this Shirah is an explicitly defined prophecy for the final redemption of the Jewish people and complete victory of our people despite the views of the heretics. Hashem will force this to come to pass, even if not all of the Jews come on board with the Torah – it has to happen anyway. The Torah is guaranteeing us in this Shirah that the nations will be punished, we will be redeemed and there will be the Kingdom of God residing on this earth. The Geulah can be speeded up if we deserve it, but even if not, it will come at a specified date.  Rambam: disagrees with the Ramban; he says that the Jewish people need to do Teshuvah, individually and collectively; the people cannot be redeemed without doing Teshuvah first. You cannot have the final redemption without the people first returning to God.

Rashi: this day was the day of transition (Yuzagai), when the authority of the leadership of the Jewish people was transferred from Moshe to Yehoshuah. Moshe was fine with this, very excited that Yehoshuah would take over. He wanted to give Yehoshuah a boost of confidence, so he had Yehoshuah give the shiur that day, with Moshe in the audience; this was to have him gain confidence in the eyes of the people.

Rashi: Why was he called Hoshea rather that Yehoshuah? The Sifri says that Yehoshuah did not become one iota more arrogant by taking over Moshe’s position as leader; he was as humble as when he was a young man named Hoshea. The Sifsai says this word Yuzagai means it was the day of the two of them – like Zugos, a pair - one was on top at the beginning of the day, and then it flipped later in the day so that the other was on top.

Ibn Ezra: Moshe wanted to elevate Yehoshuah, and he called him by the name that most people called him and knew him; his name was changed when Moshe was sending out the Meraglim – he changed the name because he knew prophetically that the mission would end in disaster, and he prayed for him and changed his name to Yehoshuah; It was a private tefilla, and only Moshe called him that. It might have only been Moshe and his inner circle who called him by that name.

Kli Yakar: all of the generation that joined the Meraglim had died out; there was no more danger their being a bad influence on him; therefore, since Yehoshuah didn’t have to fear their influence, there was no need for that name anymore.

Ohr Chayim: Moshe placed the yud into his name to glorify him with God’s name; now that this was the ultimate day for Yehoshuah to be glorified, being elevated to Moshe’s status and receiving the mantle of leadership while Moshe was still alive – he no longer needs that chizuk, that token name – it already happened; he was now the leader.

Netziv: When Moshe was given instructions by Hashem to teach the people the Shirah, there were already significant changes taking place in Moshe himself – the Shechina was no longer seen on his face – since he ascended to Har Sinai, he had the glow of the Shechina on his face, which had necessitated his wearing a veil for so many years; the Shechina spoke through his throat for all these years, allowing the entire nation to hear him teach the Mitzvos with a booming voice – that stopped on this day. Moshe no longer had the necessary equipment to teach the people the Shira – not the Shechina on his face, nor the power of the Shechina for his voice. He needed the help of Yehoshuah to teach this to the people. It therefore says Hoshea instead of Yehoshuah, the name used when he was the Talmid of Moshe; the name Yehoshuah is the name given to a leader; Hoshea was the name of when he was Moshe’s shamash who helped him all of the time. On this day he was no longer the same Moshe of the past 40 years. His spiritual power was now faltering, and he required the assistance of his long time Talmid, Hoshea.

Rosh: It wasn’t just Moshe who wrote the Torah and the Shirah – Hashem commanded Lachem – they should write it. When he is now back on his own, no longer in the shadow of Moshe, he goes back to his original name

Chizkuni: high level advisers get their names changed frequently by the ruler – as we see with Yosef and Daniel. When he was the helper of Moshe, he used the new name; but when he is now on top, he reverted back to this original name.

32:47: Because these are not empty (Raik) words for you, for it is your life, and through this matter shall you prolong your days on the land to which you corss the Jordan to possess it. Rashi: it is not for nothing that you study the Torah – there is incredible reward. Another opinion – there is nothing in the entire Torah that is empty, that doesn’t have deep meaning; if you understand it properly, there is tremendous reward; everything has to be learned and studied. Ba’al Haturim: the word Raik has crowns above the Kuf, an unusual finding – this is to tell us that even the crowns of the Torah have tremendous meaning, with many Halachos derived from them. Moshe was confused about the reason for putting them on the letters, and had to be transported into the future to hear Rabbi Akiva expounding on each one.

32:48: Hashem spoke to Moshe on that very day (Be’etzem Hayom Hazeh), saying. Rashi: when God says this phrase in the Torah, it must happen, even if there were forces in society trying to prevent it – this happened three times in the Torah; first with Noach who was to enter the ark in the middle of the day, with Hashem challenging any of the evil people of the generation to try and stop it; then it happened with Yitziyas Mitzrayim, again challenging the Egyptians to try and prevent the Exodus; and this is the third place, when Moshe is told to ascend the mountain despite the will of the people to prevent it from happening.

32:49: Ascend to this mountain Avarim, Har Nevo, which is in the land of Moav, which is before Yericho, and see the Land of Canaan that I give to Bnei Yisrael as an inheritance. Meshech Chachmah: it wasn’t just giving Moshe a consolation prize, that even if he couldn’t enter the land, he would at least be able to see the land from a distance. There is a pasuk in Pinchas which is similar, and which also told Moshe to ascend and view the land. There was much more to this action. Hashem had said to Avraham to walk through the length of the land, since He was giving the land to His children. The Gemorrah says that it wasn’t just about seeing and walking the land – it was to accomplish a victory of his descendants over the Canaani in the future much easier – there would be a special segulah; Moshe gets a similar instruction here, but tailored to his special strength. Avraham’s special quality was his walking – he was told Lech Lecha – he walked from distant places, physically and spiritually. He pulled himself up by his own power to recognize God, and he walked to the special land to find God. He walked throughout the land and preached monotheism in all places; that is why when he was in the land of Eretz Yisrael, it was his great virtue – he walked great distances to find the path of truth; because he excelled in this walking, it paved the way for a future military conquest by his descendants in the land. Moshe’s Midah was seeing things – He was responsible for bringing the Shechina down to strengthen the people; he showed God to the people when they saw the Shechina coming down to the Mishkan for the sake of Moshe; the people were able to see what Moshe saw. He was told to gaze over the entire land, as the very act of seeing the land would empower the people to capture the land more easily. He was the one who was able to give over to the people the land through his zechus. The very act of looking over the land facilitated the conquest.

Current Announcements

Mazel tov to Donna and Leon Schwechter on the engagement of their daughter Serena to Ben Kalish.
Mazel tov to Judy and Fred Lewis and Esther and Rabbi Josh Lewis on the bat mitzvah of their granddaughter and daughter Rina.
Mazel tov to Helen and George Anavian on the engagement of their son Jack to Sarah Bloom.

The North Shore Mikvah  will be open for men only on Erev Rosh Hashana, September 24th, and Erev Yom Kippur, October 3rd from 5AM-3PM. Men must bring their own towels. The cost is $25.00. Please contact Roya Samuels at or Katie Lichter at for more information.

There will be a daf yomi siyum of Mesechet Chagigah and all of Seder Moed Sunday morning, October 5th at approximately 7:40AM. The siyum is being sponsored by Joyce and Michael Frank on the occasion of the yahrzeit of Michael’s father, Dr. Helmut Frank z.l.

SAVE THE DATE November 1 (Saturday, 8:30 pm) for YIGN's TV GAME SHOW night. It's Name that Tune, Beat The Clock, Jeopardy, Let's Make A Deal and, more -- all rolled into 2 hours of fun. Finally, you can prove that you really are smarter and faster than everyone else! Details to follow.

SAVE THE DATE Shabbat November 15, for the YIGN's fourth Bridge the Gap luncheon.  It's a great opportunity to meet new members or other community members that you may not have previously gotten to know.  Meals will be hosted in members' own homes. Please RSVP at

If there is anyone who does not have a sukkah who would appreciate being hosted at other members' homes during the holiday, please let Shoshana know.  Also, feel free to let Shoshana know if you are available and would be interested in hosting these families at some point during the chag.  

We are once again able to offer the purchase of beautiful shtenders for your siddurim and chumashim. A sample is in our showcase in the lobby near the beit midrash. If you are interested in purchasing a shtender at the cost of $100, please call the shul office.


There will be special groups for children ages 3 - 6th grade next Wednesday Erev Rosh Hashana from 10AM to 1PM. Groups will include tefillah, learning, games, tons of fun and lunch. The pre-school children will meet with Morah Monica in her room and grade school children will meet with Rabbi Slomnicki in the Teen lounge. $10 per child (YIGN member); $15 per child (non-YIGN member)


An individual is interested in giving away an Easy Snap Succah - Light Weight. If interested, please call Lou Pepper at 487-8915.

GoSukkah specializes in the construction of Sukkahs for the upcoming Sukkot holiday. We are 3 Great Neck boys with many people working with us to help you fulfill all of your Sukkot needs. While we specialize in construction, we also offer great prices on Sukkahs. For more information, please visit our website at You may also contact us at, or call us at 516-253-1035. Chag Sameach!

Ann Greenfield is once again eagerly ready to pick up your very good clothing, the proceeds to benefit needy communities in Israel. This sale, known for its quality clothing, is collecting donations of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in fine condition: suits, dresses, coats, slacks, separates, hats, shoes and handbags. Try to put clothes on hangers. Also gift items in original packaging would be appreciated. Please call Ann at 516-487-0940 to arrange for pickup time. Ann will give you a tax receipt at time of pickup.
Outgoing, friendly young woman with special needs and staff/roommate needs an affordable one bedroom apartment (rental) in Great Neck near Middle Neck Road and walking distance to the Young Israel, if possible. Please contact Brigette Fixler at

The following donations have been made to the Young Israel of Great Neck:       
- Sara and Seth Wilson in memory of Ariel Newman

- Judy and Lanny Oppenheim in memory of Ariel Newman
- Bonnie and Michael Orbach in memory of Ariel Newman
- Erica and Ron Strauss in memory of  Chaoul Dabbah; In memory of Ariel Newman; In honor of the marriage of Ben Siegel and Jessica Sandler
- Nancy and Michael Leventhal in memory of Ariel Newman
- Sharon and Akiva Fishman in memory of Ariel Newman
- Janet and Sol Solomon in memory of Ariel Newman
- Viviane and Arnold Breitbart in memory of Ariel Newman
- Rabbi Shmuel Sandberg in honor of Eric Rosen’s becoming President of the Young Israel of Great Neck
- Rabbi Meir Mitelman in honor of the marriage of Rebecca Lewinter and Richard Zisholtz
- In honor of the birth of Mary and Richard Schanler’s granddaughter; In honor of Rafi Lewis’ bar mitzvah
- Michelle and Barry Rubin in memory of Gracia Abemayor; In memory of Arthur Bruckner; In memory of Ariel Newman
- Rama and Reuben Seltzer in memory of Ariel Newman
- Susan and Fred Raven in memory of Ariel Newman; In memory of Arthur Bruckner

Tue, 30 September 2014 6 Tishrei 5775