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Rabbi Shmuel's newsletter for week of 31 December 2023

Kabbalah Thought for this week

"In a spiritual context, the notion of offering sacrifices for the purpose of "lighting the candle worthy of being lit" refers not to the sacrificicial slaughter of animals, but to the sacrifice of ego in order to ignite the Light of the soul. Removing [negative] traits is the basis of all spiritual work."

Each day, Jews end their prayer service with Aleinu. There is an affirmation afterwards that is especially timely in addressing today's strife:

"Do not fear sudden terror, or the destruction of the wicked when it comes (1). Plan a conspiracy and it will ge annulled; speak your piece and it shall not stand, for God is with us (2). Even when you age, I remain unchanged; and even till your ripe old age, I shall endure. I created you and I shall bear you; I shall endure and rescue (3)."

These verses express confidence in God's protection and are regarded as auguries of redemption.

  1.  Proverbs 3:25 Do not fear an evildoer's intention, no matter how dangerous it seems.

  2. Isaiah 8:10 Let the enemies of Israel conspire and plan; they will not succeed

  3. Isaiah 46:4 God remains the eternal protector of Israel, even though we may have sinned.


-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, 31 December 2023-New Year's Eve

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

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

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

Monday, 8 January 2024-Torah Study

Tuesday, 9 January 2024-Sofer-On-Site

Thursday, 11 January 2024-Board Meeting

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

Sunday, 14 January 2024-Miller Course (?)

Monday, 15 January 2024-Torah Study

Thursday, 18 January 2024-Judaic Studies

Friday & Saturday, 19 & 20 January 2024-Shabbat Services

Sunday, 21 January 2023-In-Person Hebrew School

*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
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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 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)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 8:30am - 2:00pm (Sofer-On-Site 9:00am - 12:30pm)

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

Sunday, January 14, 2023 9:00am - 2:00pm (Hebrew School 10:00am - 11:30am & Miller Course 11:45am - 12:45pm)

Monday, January 15, 2024  9:00am - 2:00pm

Friday, January 19, 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, January 18, 2024 @ 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, January 54:37 – 4:37pm

✨ Havdalah (50 min) / הבדלה - 50 דקות Saturday, January 65:37 – 5:37pm

Upcoming Services

Shabbat Ma'ariv Service Friday, January 5, 2024 @ 7:30 pm

Shabbat Shachrit Service Saturday, January 6, 2024 @ 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 Shemot 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת שְׁמוֹת

6 January 2024 / 25 Tevet 5784

Parashat Shemot is the 13th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Shemot (“Names”) is the first Torah reading in the Book of Exodus. It opens describing the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt. Moses is born, placed in a basket on the Nile, and adopted into Pharaoh’s household. He later encounters God at a burning bush and begins his mission of demanding that Pharoah let the Israelites go. [1]

Triennial year 2

1: 3:1-6 · 6 p’sukim ·  

2: 3:7-10 · 4 p’sukim ·  

3: 3:11-15 · 5 p’sukim ·  

4: 3:16-22 · 7 p’sukim ·  

5: 4:1-5 · 5 p’sukim ·  

6: 4:6-9 · 4 p’sukim ·  

7: 4:10-17 · 8 p’sukim ·  

maf: 4:14-17 · 4 p’sukim ·  

Haftarah for Ashkenazim: Isaiah 27:6-28:1329:22-23 · 23 p’sukim

Commentary and Divrei Torah

Hertz Chumash: pp. 213 – 220 Triennial Year 2 (Full Kriyah pp. 206 – 224)

Erev Shabbat Ma'ariv 1_5_24
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Shabbat Shachrit Saturday Morning 1_6_24
Download XLSX • 15KB

Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh Sh'vat

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Molad Sh'vat: Thu, 45 minutes and 4 chalakim after 8:00

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


will visit our synagogue to check our Torah

Tuesday, 9 January 2024 9:00am

Come join us for this educational experience to see just how a Torah gets checked.

✡️ Yom Kippur Katan

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Minor Day of Atonement on the day preceeding Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat

Rosh Chodesh Sh’vat 2024 / רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ שְׁבָט 5784

Start of month of Sh’vat on the Hebrew calendar 🌒

Rosh Chodesh Sh’vat for Hebrew Year 5784 begins at sundown on Wednesday, 10 January 2024 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, 11 January 2024.

Start of month of Sh’vat on the Hebrew calendar. שְׁבָט (transliterated Sh’vat or Shevat) is the 11th month of the Hebrew year, has 30 days, and corresponds to January or February on the Gregorian calendar. רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ, transliterated Rosh Chodesh or Rosh Hodesh, is a minor holiday that occurs at the beginning of every month in the Hebrew calendar. It is marked by the birth of a new moon.

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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