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Rabbi Shmuel's newsletter for week of 24 December 2023

Kabbalah Thought for this week

"Passion and enthusiasm for spiritual wisdom and growth are easily around when one begins to walkthe spiritual path. However,when the inevitable obstacles suracre to test our commitment and shed ligth on our negative qualities so that we can confront and extract them from our nature, we lose the fire and most of us fail to complete journey. It's much easier to start a new search elsewhere and feel new passion again than it is to confront the dark sideof our nature and complete our journey. The evil inclination will always stand by us and hlp rationalize and justify our quitting and giving up. That is why we must be resolute in our journey."

Psalm 94: Psalm for Yom Revi'i, Wednesday, Fourth day of the week, timely for current events

Each morning, Jews end their Shacharit, or morning service, with a psalm of the day. It is chosen to correspond with that day of creation, as well as keep track of the days leading up to Shabbat. Considering the brutality that Hamas inflicted against innocent Israeli civilians, and the corresponding denial of those who spew hate against the Jewish nation, this psalm is especially timely in addressing that: 

Psalm 94

God of retribution, LORD,God of retribution, appear! Rise up, judge of the earth,give the arrogant their deserts! How long shall the wicked, O LORD,how long shall the wicked exult, shall they utter insolent speech,shall all evildoers vaunt themselves? They crush Your people, O LORD,they afflict Your very own; they kill the widow and the stranger;they murder the fatherless, thinking, “The LORD does not see it,the God of Jacob does not pay heed.” Take heed, you most brutish people;fools, when will you get wisdom? Shall He who implants the ear not hear,He who forms the eye not see? Shall He who disciplines nations not punish,He who instructs men in knowledge? The LORD knows the designs of men to be futile. Happy is the man whom You discipline, O LORD,the man You instruct in Your teaching, to give him tranquillity in times of misfortune,until a pit be dug for the wicked. For the LORD will not forsake His people;He will not abandon His very own. Judgment shall again accord with justiceand all the upright shall rally to it. Who will take my part against evil men?Who will stand up for me against wrongdoers? Were not the LORD my help,I should soon dwell in silence. When I think my foot has given way,Your faithfulness, O LORD, supports me. When I am filled with cares,Your assurance soothes my soul. Shall the seat of injustice be Your partner,that frames mischief by statute? They band together to do away with the righteous;they condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD is my haven;my God is my sheltering rock. He will make their evil recoil upon them,annihilate them through their own wickedness;the LORD our God will annihilate them.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing joyously to the LORD,raise a shout for our rock and deliverer; let us come into His presence with praise;let us raise a shout for Him in song! For the LORD is a great God,the great king of all divine beings.


-Office Hours

-This week’s 10-Minute


-Candle Lighting Times for Shabbat (Ontario, CA)

-Shabbat Services



This is an overview of upcoming events. Details of each event are below

Sunday, 24 December 2023-Holiday, no School

Monday, 25 December 2023-Christmas Holiday 

Thursday, 28 December 2023-Judaic Studies

Friday & Saturday, 29 & 30 December 2023-Shabbat Services

Sunday, 31 December 2023-New Year's Eve

Monday, 1 January 2024-New Year's Day Holiday

Thursday, 4 January 2024-Judaic Studies

Friday & Saturday, 5 & 6 January 2023-Shabbat Services

Sunday, 7 January 2023-Hebrew School: Welcome Back!

Monday, 8 January 2024-Torah Study

Thursday, 11 January 2024-Judaic Studies

Friday & Saturday, 12 & 13 January 2024-Shabbat Services

(TBA) Sunday, January 14(?), 2024-Miller Course

Monday, 15 January 2024-Sofer-On-Site

*For your information, I have included below my schedule, including office hours for the next two or three weeks and specific classes in which I am involved.

**For your convenience and information, Zoom links will be provided in separate emails for security purposes.

***I continue to update our Mi Sheberach מי שברך list for those in need of healing. For your convenience, I am attaching this revised list to this email that only goes to members of Temple Sholom of Ontario. Thank you.

Mi Sheberach List_Revised
Download XLSX • 13KB

Office Hours for the next few weeks:

I am conducting Hebrew School from my office and making Sunday an office day to be more available.

Sunday, December 24, 2023 (No school. Holiday weekend.)

Monday, December 25, 2023 (Christmas Holiday.)

Friday, December 29, 2023 2:00pm - 7:30pm (Friday Night Shabbat Ma'ariv @ 7:30pm)

Sunday, December 31, 2023 9:00am - 2:00pm (No school. New Year's Eve)

Monday, January 1, 2024 (New Year's Day)

Friday, January 5, 2024 2:00pm - 7:30pm (Friday Night Shabbat Ma'ariv @ 7:30pm)

Sunday, January 7, 2023 9:00am - 2:00pm (Hebrew School 10:00am - 11:30am)

Monday, January 8, 2024  9:00am - 2:00pm

Friday, January 12, 2024 2:00pm - 7:30pm (Friday Night Shabbat Ma'ariv @ 7:30pm)

(Subject to change. Please call for appointments)

Adult Torah Study Class

Next Session: Monday, January 8 at 7:30 pm PT

Preempted during the Winter Holidays

Zoom Links sent in separate email Monday morning. Please reply if you do not receive them.

Parashat Vaera 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת וָאֵרָא

13 January 2024 / 3 Sh'vat 5784

Parashat Vaera is the 14th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Torah Portion: Exodus 6:2-9:35

Vaera (“I Appeared”) opens as God promises to redeem the enslaved Israelites and bring them to the Promised Land. When Pharaoh repeatedly refuses to let the Israelites go, God sends a series of plagues: water turning to blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, death of livestock, boils, and hail. [1]

Triennial year 2: Exodus 7:8-8:15

Commentary and Divrei Torah 

 Hertz Chumash: pp. 232 – 240 Triennial Year 2 (Full Kriyah pp. 236 – 244)

Artscroll Chumash: pp. 324 – 331 Triennial Year 2 (Full Kriyah pp. 318 – 339)

Etz Chaim Chumash: pp. 357 – 362 Triennial Year 2 (Full Kriyah pp. 351 – 368)

Judaic Studies

Next session: Thursday, December 21, 2023 @ 7:30pm

Join us for interesting topics across the spectrum of of Judaism.

What next? We’ll go back to the “what do we study next?” drawing board. 

Shabbat Times for Ontario, California, USA

🕯️ Candle lighting / הדלקת נרות Friday, December 294:31 – 4:31pm

✨ Havdalah (50 min) / הבדלה - 50 דקות Saturday, December 305:32 – 5:32pm

Upcoming Services

Shabbat Ma'ariv Service Friday, December 29, 2023 @ 7:30 pm

Shabbat Shachrit Service Saturday, December 30, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Zoom Links sent in separate email Friday afternoon. Please reply if you do not receive them.

We are now incorporating guitar accompaniment with our Friday Night Shabbat Ma'ariv

Parashat Vayechi 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת וַיְחִי

30 December 2023 / 18 Tevet 5784

Parashat Vayechi is the 12th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Triennial year 2

1: 49:1-4 · 4 p’sukim ·  

2: 49:5-7 · 3 p’sukim ·  

3: 49:8-12 · 5 p’sukim ·  

4: 49:13-15 · 3 p’sukim ·  

5: 49:16-18 · 3 p’sukim ·  

6: 49:19-21 · 3 p’sukim ·  

7: 49:22-26 · 5 p’sukim ·  

maf: 49:22-26 · 5 p’sukim ·  

Haftarah: I Kings 2:1-12 · 12 p’sukim

Commentary and Divrei Torah  

Hertz Chumash: pp. 183 – 187 Triennial Year 2 (Full Kriyah pp. 180 – 191)

Hebrew School at Temple Sholom of Ontario

Sunday, January 7, 2023 Hebrew School 10:00am - 11:30am

No Hebrew School December 24 & 31 for Winter Holidays

Classes will be conducted via Zoom. Links sent out Saturday night after sunset

We have two sessions:

10:00am - 10:40am Learning Hebrew and Hebrew Reading for more advanced students

10:50am - 11:30am Discussing the weekly Torah parashat and other Bible topics

Next Miller Course

We are planning our next Miller Course to start tentatively on Sunday, 14 January 2024.

Stay tuned for more information.

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