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Young Israel of Great Neck

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.

Smarts & Crafts Event January 10

Cholent Wars 2015


 Mazel tov to Marlene and Larry Schiffman on the bat mitzvah of their granddaughter Aderet in Israel.

Mazel tov to Susan and Bruce Decter on the engagement of Bruce’s daughter Ashley to Jeremy Prawer.



Back to the Crockpots!  All competition crockpots have been officially claimed by 12 brave Cholent Wars contending teams! The recipes are being perfected, tasted and retried by our very own home the hungry among us eagerly anticipate Shabbat January 10th and its delectable cholents for the tasting.  Be sure to check out the YIGNCholentWars official facebook page!  Like it - Share it - Cholent on! 

A blue Shabbos Interlinear Metsudah Siddur was taken from the Beit Midrash a while ago. If you know anything about this Siddur, please call the shul office.


Many thanks to Heather and Jerry Siegelman for sponsoring group snacks in honor of Leo’s 10th birthday.

Many thanks to Michelle and Nathan Tarnor for sponsoring group snacks in honor of David’s birthday (Shabbat Vayigash).

Thank you to all the kids who came out (and the parents who brought them) to the amazing Chanukah Game Show on Sunday Night. We did some Chanukah Trivia before the big show, played dreidel and then had the fantastic Game Show. Everyone went home happy (with prizes) as we ended with Chanukah themed cupcakes and ice cream. A big Thank You to Morahs Monica and Naz as well as Derek Fuller for the amazing program. 

This Sunday from 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. Morah Monica will organize a craft activity for children ages 3 through Kindergarten. 

This Friday night there will be an oneg shabbos at the Slomnicki home, 8 Cedar Drive at 8:30 p.m.


Max Kane, son of Debbie and Andrew Kane, will be among the 20 alumni who served in the Israel Defense Forces in the summer of 2014 feted as "Guests of Honor" at SAR's 46th Anniversary Dinner, Motzaei Shabbat, January 10, at SAR High School in Riverdale. To pay tribute, please visit  For further information, please contact Rachel at Spinner@saracademy.org718.548.1717 x1275.

The Great Neck wedding gown Gemach would like to thank those who have been so generous and donated their "gently used" wedding gowns to this Gemach. We once again would appreciate donations of "gently used "  wedding gowns to help out a bride in need. Please contact Jenny Scherzer at 5164663628 or Cindy Gold at5164674262 for further information 

We are looking for 2 dedicated volunteers (aged 16+) to help us distribute Shabbat gifts to our patients every Friday for about an hour. (Please note that the hospital orientation process includes flu shot, and health check.)  Please contact Rabbi Coleman at  for other ways to support this wonderful gift program.

Share a miracle (or one you are hoping for), or Chanukah stories/memories in just 8 words: Your entries will help inspire patients this Chanukah - so please spread the link via email/FB and have friends/family/classmates contribute too.


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

Diane Kalter in memory of Nelida Ismach

Viviane and Arnold Breitbart in memory of Rose Nimaroff; In honor of the marriage of Ronit Pelcovitz and Jonathan Weitzman

 Adele and Azriel Genachowski in memory of Rhoda Hoschander; in memory of Nelida Ismach

Jessica and David Jacob in memory of Mazie Foss; In memory of Rose Nimaroff; In memory of Nelida Ismach; In memory of Herbert Kalter; In memory of Rhoda Hoschander; In honor of the birth of Stacey and Jonathan Klein’s daughter; In honor of the marriage of Ronit Pelcovitz and Jonathan Weitzman

Gail and Burt Cohen in memory of Dr. Isaac Sachmechi’s mother

Steve Foss in honor of the marriage of Mickey Segal and Rebecca Goldberg; In honor of the engagement of Julia Levine and Ari Axelbaum; In honor of the engagement of Elizabeth Luxenberg and Steven Lipner; In honor of Nicole Dicker

Helen Adelsberg in memory of Nelida Ismach; In memory of Mazie Foss

Rabbi Henry and Rochelle Dicker in memory of Nelida Ismach

Paula Schallamach in memory of Nelida Ismach

Shaindy and Mayer Rydinski in memory of Nelida Ismach

Penny and Jerry Koss in memory of Nelida Ismach

Zelda and Sol Berger in memory of Nelida Ismach

Beverly and Frank Hochheimer in memory of Mazie Foss; In memory of Nelida Ismach

Shirley and Ralph Sasto in memory of Mazie Foss

Dodi and Jonathan Spielman in memory of Nelida Ismach

The Machnikoff, Atlas and Muller Families in memory of Nelida Ismach

Jessica and David Jacob in honor of the engagement of Elizabeth Luxenberg and Steven Lipner; In honor of the engagement of Ashley Decter and Jeremy Prawer

In honor of the bat Mitzvah of Marlene and Larry Schiffman’s granddaughter Aderet

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


Yaacov Sends his Sons to Egypt for Food

42:1 And Yaacov perceived that there were provisions in Egypt, so Yaacov said to his sons, ‘Why do you make yourselves conspicuous?Rashi: how could he see this from a different land? He was quite far away from Egypt? It is the wrong verb – it should have said he heard that there was food in Egypt. The proof for this question is in the next pasuk where he tells his children that he heard there was food in Egypt. So why begin by saying he saw? It means that he saw with the clarity of Ruach Hakodesh, a flash of spiritual light, that there was food in Egypt; it was not a real full blown prophecy, a real Nevuah, which is the highest level (there it is actually hearing the voice of God); it did not tell him that it was Yosef who was running the country and who had salvaged the economy of Egypt through his brilliant management of the grains during the years of plenty. So it means that he is seeing it in a form of a vision but not at the level of Ruach Hakodesh of Nevuah. He might not have been able to receive full Nevuah because he was still in a state of mourning – one cannot receive Nevuah unless one is in a state of simchah.

Rabbeinu Bachya: it was not seeing with one’s eyes, but with one’s heart; it was the heart that “saw” it. The proof is that in the next pasuk it says he heard; it was his heart that told him what was going on.

Ibn Ezra: In many places in Chumash, the Torah uses words that do not necessarily go along with the five senses. All of the senses come together in one place – they are controlled by the brain, and the Torah will often use them interchangeably. For example, when Yitzchak blesses Yaacov he says ‘See that the aroma of my son is like the aroma of the field’ – he should have said smell when it comes to an aroma. And at Har Sinai, the people ‘saw the sounds of the thunder and heard lightning.’ We see this in Koheles as well:  11:7: The light was sweet. So, throughout Tanach, He gives different sensory organs different stimuli, all to show that it is all one, with all of the senses going through the brain. They should not be thought of as completely independent.

Abarbanel: The word shever is translated as provisions, food to provide for one’s body. But we would think the word means something else. Shever doesn’t mean bread and grains. It means that there were sales of food in Egypt; regular food would be called ochel or lechem or bar; shever means food for sale. There were merchants there selling food. We see this in 42:2 where it uses the word again as a verb – Shivru – it can’t mean food – there is no verb for food. It means sellers of food; Shivru is to buy the food. Yosef is the Mashbir – the one who sells food. Mashbir is also the name of a department store in Israel that sells provisions.

Oznayim LaTorah: The word shever means food that is for sale; it was a wonder in the eyes of Yaacov that they were selling food in Egypt. This was not the first history of famine in the land, and there was no precedent in the Torah that when Egypt had food and the surrounding lands did not that the Egyptians would sell to the rest of the world. That is why Avraham had to go down to Egypt, and why Yitzchak almost went down there. Avraham went there, right after arriving in the promised land, because he could not just send Eliezer down to Egypt to buy the food because the rule of all previous generations was that when Egypt alone had food to the exclusion of all other lands, they would not sell it to outsiders. You would have to pick yourself up and migrate to Egypt. Only Yosef taught them that it was not right to do this – if you have food and other lands don’t, it is not right to hoard it for yourselves alone – you have to help out other human beings. For this, there is a pasuk in Mishlei 11: The one who holds back the food that can save others from starving, that nation should be cursed. The Midrash says this was meant about the original Pharaoh who would not sell it to any other land, and insisted that anyone who wanted food needed to move to Egypt. The end of the pasuk says that the blessing is to the head person who sells to others. This was a reference to Yosef who taught responsibility to others in foreign lands.

Abarbanel: the language of shever has a deeper meaning as well. It is the language of to break or destroy something – shavar. Rabbeinu Bachya: it is a double entendre – they will be going down to Egypt because of the food, but will also be broken there. The Torah tells us the simple pshat of there being food there for them, but it was the divine scheme to bring about the prophecy of the first exile into a land that was not theirs. This was going to bring them down to Egypt. It was first for the family reunion, and then ultimately the persecution. That food becomes the tool, the instrument, through which Hashem will bring about the prophecy in the Bris Bain Habesarim.

 42:2: And he said, ‘Behold, I have heard that there are provisions in Egypt; go down there and purchase for us from there, that we may live and not die.Rabbeinu Bachya: the word Redu is prophetic as well; the gematria of the word Redu is 210, and this is indicative of the 210 years of the Egyptian servitude (it could not last the full 400 years as they has sunk to such a low level, they would have been lost forever – the Rav says that this is why the night of the Seder is always the same night of the week of Tisha B’Av – we unfortunately did not finish the full 400 years, and did not finish the complete molding and training of the Jewish character, did not pay the full price, so we continue to suffer more exiles throughout our long history).

Abarbanel: the closest pshat of ‘he saw’ was that he actually saw that there was food being sold in Egypt; he saw it because he was part of the society in Canaan, and he saw what went on around him; he saw that there were wagons and caravans going down to Egypt and coming back laden with grain. And his sons did not want to go down to Egypt along with them because of arrogance; they felt they were sons of Yaacov, it was beneath their dignity; it was below their station in life. Rashi says they didn’t go because they still had grain and there was no crisis yet. Abarbanel says it was a crisis already, and the sons were buying from the caravans at a premium price instead of going down to the source of food in Egypt. That is why he asks them Lamah Tisra’oo. He was saying, Why are you making yourselves conspicuous; you are acting like you are spoiled, wealthy people and are willing to pay 4-5 times the price of grain instead of extending yourselves a little and going down to Egypt with the rest of the people around them. That was not Yaacov’s style. He was saying they shouldn’t feel so honored that they don’t want to go down to Egypt. He therefore told them to go down to Egypt and not to buy from middlemen. This teaches us that a man must be humble and do what is necessary depending on the circumstances of life; one has to be prudent with how one deals with life, and should not waste his wealth. Mishlei: there are people who appear to be wealthy, but when you scratch below the surface you find that there is nothing there; they have squandered their wealth. And there is the person who appears to be poor but has plenty salted away. This is the correct way – one should live below one’s means; you should not just try to make appearances.

Rashi: Why do you show yourselves before the children of Esav and Yishmael, your relatives, as if you are wealthy and full? They still did have supplies but they were being foolish and waiting until it was gone. Why should you wait until it is too late? Sifsei Chachamim: if you show yourselves off before your relatives that you are wealthy and have food, then how can you not supply food to your relatives? They will come to you for food since you have a kinship with them and a responsibility towards them; they will come to ask for food; you will get shnorrers from the extended family. Instead, you should take your wagons down to Egypt to buy food, showing that you are no better off then everyone else, and people won’t come to us begging for food. It was a preemptive move so they won’t play the poor relative card.

But this makes it sound like Esav and Yishmael are living near them in the land of Canaan, when we know that Esav for sure left? How can Rashi say we are worried about what Esav and Yishmael will think – neither of them are around; they have both left the land. Ramban: But, in fact, we also know that Yishmael never left, never relinquished the ownership of the land. Yishmael had many princes in the land, and never left. Ramban: perhaps the children of Esav and Yishmael were traveling to Egypt to buy food, and when they returned through Canaan, they saw that their cousins were not going down to buy food, that they were rich and independent. But if they were passing through from Edom to get to Egypt that would mean that Edom was north of Eretz Yisrael; but in fact, most hold that Edom is south and one would not have to traverse Eretz Yisrael to get to Egypt. The Ramban is convinced that Edom is to the north of Israel, while others disagree.

Sat, 20 December 2014 28 Kislev 5775