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Young Israel of Great Neck

Tikun Leil Shavuout at Great Neck Synagogue

11:30 pm – 12:20 am - Ballroom

Rabbi Dale Polakoff

לא בשמים היא – Is the Torah Still In Our Hands?”

12:30 am – 1:20 am - Ballroom
Rabbi Yaacov Lerner

"The World of Prayer as Seen through the Eyes of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l”

1:20 am— 1:30 am  - Ballroom

Rabbi Ian Lichter and Rabbi Shmuel Ismach

“The Great Late Debate Teaser”

1:30 am – 1:50 am

Break and Refreshments – Gym

1:50 am – 3:30 am

"The Great Late Debate" Between

Rabbi Ian Lichter & Rabbi Shmuel Ismach

Back (or) To The Future - Shabbat at the Edge of Technology and Tradition

From Kosher Switches to Shabbat Apps, from Shabbat Mode to Shab-busses, a cottage industry of "Shabbat innovations" has appeared in recent times, promising (or threatening) to change Shabbos as we know it forever.

Of course, each of these innovations needs to be judged on its own halachic merits. But assuming that from a technical perspective they are indeed permitted, should we fear these new trends or embrace them? Is there a value in maintaining traditional practice or is it futile to attempt to stave off the inevitable creep of technology?

Using traditional sources, Rabbis Lichter and Ismach will re-create the dynamic, Talmudic method of old and debate - in classic form - this very relevant topic.

Come and be stimulated by a lively discussion, have your opinion heard, and you be the judge!

3:40 am - 4:15 am - Ballroom

Rabbi Avraham Bronstein

“"From Salonica to Shabbtai Tzvi: Mystical Experiences on Shavuot Night"

4:20 am—5:00 am - Ballroom

Prof. Lawrence Schiffman

“The Rabbis Understanding of Prophecy”

5:05am – Vatikin Davening

Sunrise 5:29am


לע"נ הרב אהרן בן הרב יחיאל

Chavruta learning throughout the night in the Beit Midrash.



11:45-12:20 MS/HS Girls- Chalfin Room Morah Zehava: “Getting to the Heart of the Matter”

12:15 Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!

12:30-1:15 High School- Youth Center Right Side Rabbi Slomnicki: “Super Bowl, March Madness & FanDuel: Gambling in Halacha”

12:30-1:15 College- Youth Center Left Side Rabbi Ismach: “The First Rule of Mitzvot-Don’t Do Too Many?”

1:15 Make your Own Sundaes

1:30-3:30 High School/College Join the Adult Community in Ballroom Rabbi Lichter & Rabbi Ismach: Debate about technology and Shabbos

2 :00-3:00 Middle School Chalfin Room Rabbi Jensen “Dinei Shabbos/Dinei Kashrus Final Review”

3:15 Make your own Sundaes!!

4:00-4:35 High School/College-Youth Center Right Side Dr. Mike: “Tonight WE become a nation, do OTHER nations have nationhood?”

4:40 You made it- Breakfast Time!!

Pictures from YIGN's 2015 Annual Dinner 

President's Message

The Young Israel of Great Neck (YIGN) was established over 40 years ago through the efforts of six visionary families.  What started out as their dream has resulted, after four decades of tremendous growth, in a large, thriving, modern orthodox congregation with over 250 family members, located at 236 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck. In addition to our beautiful main sanctuary, our state-of-the-art Justin Family Center contains a large Beit Midrash, several classrooms, as well as a full-sized gymnasium. Read more



Mazel tov to Evelyn and Oscar Kranz and Gila and Micah Gimpel on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.


Condolences to Haim Soleimani, Mitra Yehaskel and Bella Basaleli on the loss of their father and grandfather, Yashar Soleimani z.l.


Frieda Lewinter would like to thank the Young Israel family for the love and caring expressed during her shiva. Special thanks to Rabbi and Rebbitzen Lerner and Mary Schanler for preparing the house during her absence at this difficult time.


The YIGN is having its annual graduation kiddush on Shabbat, June 20th.  Whether your child is graduating from lower school, high school, college or graduate school, the YIGN community would love to partake in your simcha. To participate as a sponsor, the shul is asking for a $100 contribution per family, which can be dropped off with Shoshana in the shul office. In addition to the $100 contribution, please include a baby picture of your child so that we can create a poster for shul that day. Please let us know if you wish to honor your graduate. You can send an email to or call the shul office at 829-6040.

Did you know you can follow YIGN on Facebook and Instagram for information on what's happening at our Shul--including upcoming events, photos, and so much more. On Instagram follow @shulhappens, and on Facebook add "Young Israel of Great Neck" as your friend.


Teen Minyan on Shabbos and 2nd day Yuntif at 9:15am

Regular Groups on Shabbos and Monday, 2nd day Yuntif

Groups for pre-school children ONLY on Sunday 1st day Yuntif

Capture the Torah
Sunday afternoon at 5:30 pm there will be a Capture the Torah (flag) game at Allenwood Park for children in grades 1-6. Please bring your own drinks and snacks.

Great American Nut Roll & Ice Cream Party
Monday afternoon from 5:30 - 7 pm we will have our annual Great American Nut Roll and Ice Cream party in the Gym for children in grades 1-6. 

Pre-School Torah Event
Monday afternoon from 5:30 - 7 pm Morahs Monica & Naz will run games for pre-school children related to Shavuot and Matan Torah. Ice Cream party in the Gym to follow 


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

Alison Hoffman, Kevin Rakin, Sarah and Julia in honor of Lloyd Hoffman’s 50th anniversary of his bar mitzvah

Steve Foss in honor of the engagement of Nina Justin and Josh Mak; In honor of the birth of Ariella Maya Senderowicz; In honor of the marriage of Samantha Adelsberg and Shalom Weiss

Adele and Azriel Genachowski in honor of the birth of Evelyn and Oscar Kranz’s granddaughter

Rabbi Meir Mitelman in honor of the birth of Evelyn and Oscar Kranz’s granddaughter; In memory of Yashar Soleimani

Heather and Jerry Siegelman in memory of Eric Levy

Evelyn and Oscar Kranz in memory of Yashar Soleimani

Rabbi Lerner's Weekly Parsha Shiur

Parshat Bamidbar

3:1-4: These are the offspring of Aharon and Moshe on the day Hashem spoke with Moshe at Har Sinai. These are the names of the sons of Aharon, the firstborn was Nadav, and Avihu, Elazar, and Itamar. These were the names of the sons of Aharon, the anointed Kohanim, whom he inaugurated to minister. Nadav and Avihu died before Hashem when they offered an alien fire before Hashem in the Wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children; but Elazar and Itamar ministered during the lifetime of Aharon, their father.

Rashi: As opposed to what is expected from the first part of the pasuk, the Torah does not list the genealogy of Moshe, only the family of Aharon. The Torah goes on to mention only Aharon’s sons, followed by their consecration and the death of the older two sons for bringing an alien fire before Hashem – the Torah tells us that they died childless and Aharon’s other sons were appointed Kohanim in their place. Why does the Torah not make any mention of Moshe’s children?  Rashi quotes the Gemorrah in Sanhedrin and says that when it says the lineage of Moshe and Aharon, we must assume that Aharon’s sons are also called the children of Moshe because he taught them Torah; Moshe gave them all special time; this teaches a famous idea that if you teach Torah to a neighbor’s child, the Torah considers it as if you gave birth to that child; Moshe was considered to be their spiritual father because he nourished their Neshamah with Torah.

            Maharal: We might have thought that Moshe threw his all into teaching them and that is why he was considered their father; however, even if you teach only one thing, it is as if you are the father. We learn this from the last part of the pasuk which adds “on the day Hashem spoke to Moshe at Har Sinai.” You don’t have to spend a lifetime teaching someone – even one day, teaching one single concept is sufficient to be considered a spiritual father.

            Maharal: Why is the Torah making a fuss just about these four boys? Moshe taught not just them – he taught all of Klal Yisrael Torah? Hashem could have given us a greater chidush – that Moshe is the father of all of Bnai Yisrael? Why is it restricted just to his four nephews? But he taught Aharon’s children much more than what Hashem commanded him to do with all of Bnei Yisrael; he devoted much more time to them. Because he did that on his own, without being commanded by God, he is therefore rewarded with being considered their father. Apparently, teaching Torah voluntarily is greater than being commanded to do it. The biggest Simchah in life is to give birth to a child; if one is forced into doing something, it takes away from that joy – an obligation is not as joyous. Since this learning that Moshe did with them was done voluntarily, it was more joyous and was able to build a better, closer relationship – that created the special relationship between Moshe and his nephews.

Why did Moshe single them out?  Because they were chosen to be the kohanim; they needed to be indoctrinated because they were the forerunners of all kohanim, who were to be the teachers of all Yisrael. This would ensure the continuity of Torah and the sanctity of the priesthood.

Rashbam: The Toldos of Moshe are actually here before us – they are listed together in the midst of the listing of other Leviyyim further on. When we look in 3:27 the Torah tells us of the family of Amram, Moshe’s father – it can’t include Aharon’s family because his family was already listed at the beginning; so this clearly had to be referring to Moshe’s biologic family since Moshe was the only other son of Amram.

Ohr Hachayim (and Kli Yakar): it only mentions the children of Aharon here because the children of Aharon are tied to Moshe not because of his teaching them, but because they were originally condemned to death as a result of Aharon’s involvement with the sin of the Egel; it was only because of Moshe’s prayers that any of them were spared. We see this in Devarim when the sin of the Egel is retold, where it says in 9:20 that “Hashem was furious at Aharon, to completely destroy him – Lehashmido;” this would mean cutting off his progeny; what stopped it was Moshe’s intense davening, as the pasuk goes on to say. But he was only 50% successful, with only the younger two surviving. This is why the Torah considers Moshe their father – Elazar and Itamar lived only because of Moshe. [The other two might also have survived because of Moshe, had it not been for their own sin when the brought the alien fire.]

Kli Yakar: It says that Nadav and Avihu had no children in 3:4. What was the real underlying cause of their death? Some say that they died because they had no children – they didn’t marry and fulfill the mitzvah of Peru Urevu because they had a superiority complex. They felt they were given royal treatment, they were singled out for special tutorials from Moshe, they were selected to be the kohanim. They became so arrogant, that they were too holy to be involved in sexual and family matters; they felt no woman was good enough for them. The Torah tells us that when it comes to false ideology, Hashem will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. Aharon was considered to be involved in the sin of Avodah Zarah with the Egel; for this sin one can be punished up to four generations. But Hashem punished these boys since there was to be no third or fourth generation from them to punish; because they had no children, God had to punish the sons themselves, even though they would be considered the second generation.

Ramban: Why does the Torah mention the generations of Moshe and Aharon here? Once the Torah counted and detailed all of the rest of Klal Yisrael, it wanted to discuss the tribe of Levi, and more so the children of Aharon, because they were the holy of holies of the nation. They were at a very high level, as it says in 3:3: they were anointed to be the priests to serve the Jewish people. When one is made so holy, anointed to be the priests of the Jewish people, that person is the elite of the nation. But it also exposes one to tremendous danger – the higher one is, the closer God watches what that person does; leaders cannot sin even in the mildest way – they must set examples for the nation and they will be punished for any minor infraction. A small sin cannot be tolerated in a leader, since it might have a ripple effect amongst the rest of the nation.

Baal Haturim: in 3:2 it says These are sons of Aharon, the firstborn was Nadav. After the word Bechor there is a pesik, a break. Why would there be a break between the word firstborn and Nadav? The Torah creates the break to tell us that really Nadav is not the bechor – while he is biologically the bechor, he dies childless – there is no continuity; there was no practical benefit of his being the bechor because he had no children to follow him. Instead, the Torah creates the break to tell us that we should place the comma after the word bechor, reading it this way: These are the names of the sons of Aharon, the bechor, and he had four children. Although Miriam was the oldest of the three siblings, Aharon is the male bechor from whom all kohanim will emerge. If you are not going to have continuity, the Torah does not call you a bechor. 

Fri, 22 May 2015 4 Sivan 5775