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Ohel Yaacob Congregation

Ohel Yaacob Congregation 

Deal, New Jersey

2014 Summer - Class Schedule

Monday - Thursday Class Schedule
Time Rabbi Subject Location 
5:50am- 6:45am Rabbi Eli Mansour Daf Yomi Small Midrash
6:50am -8:00am Rabbi Isaac Yedid Daf Yomi Ballroom
7:30am-8:00am Rabbi Moshe Malka Mussar Ballroom
8:00am-9:00am Rabbi Moshe Malka Gemara Ballroom
8:00am-9:00am Rabbi Eli Mansour Musar/Parasha Small Midrash
8:40am-9:00am Rabbi Yaakov Elbaz Hok Le Yisrael Ballroom
6:35pm-6:45pm Rabbi Moshe Malka Pirke Avot Main Sanctuary
7:15pm-8:30pm- Thursday (Ladies Only) Rabbi Eli Mansour Halacha Main Sanctuary
Friday Class Schedule
Time Rabbi Subject Location 
6:50am -8:15am Rabbi Isaac Yedid Daf Yomi Ballroom
6:30am-7:30am Rabbi Eli Mansour Daf Yomi Small Midrash
7:30am -8:30am Rabbi Moshe Malka Mussar/Gemara Ballroom
8:30am-9:15am- *New Class!! Rabbi Eli Mansour Mussar/Parasha/Sefer Menorat Hamaor Small Midrash
8:40am-9:00am Rabbi Yaakov Elbaz Hok Le Yisrael Ballroom
11:30am-12:30pm (Ladies Only) Rabbi Eli Mansour Parasha/Navi Main Sanctuary
5:30pm-6:30pm Rabbi Eli Mansour Daf Yomi Small Midrash
Shabbat Morning Class Schedule
Time Rabbi Subject Location 
9:15am-10:30am  Rabbi Eli Mansour Parasha Ballroom  
9:15am-11:30am Rabbi Isaac Yedid Daf Yomi Rabbi's Office
Shabbat Afternoon Class Schedule
Time Rabbi Subject Location 
90 Minutes  Before Mincha  Rabbi Eli Mansour Parasha/Halacha Main Sanctuary
90 Minutes  Before Mincha  Rabbi Moshe Malka Navi/Parasha Large Midrash
90 Minutes  Before Mincha  Rabbi Isaac Yedid Halacha  Small Midrash
45 Minutes Before Mincha  Rabbi Yaakov Elbaz   Ballroom
1 Hour Before Mincha  Youth Class Rabbi David Mansour Parasha  Small Midrash
Seduda Shelishit Rabbi Eli Mansour Parasha  Ballroom
Sunday Class Schedule 
Time Rabbi Subject Location 
7:50am-8:50am Rabbi Eli Mansour Daf Yomi Small Midrash
7:50am-9:15am Rabbi Isaac Yedid Daf Yomi Ballroom
8:50am-9:30am Rabbi Eli Mansour Hok Le Yisrael Small Midrash
8:45am-9:45am Rabbi Moshe Malka Gemara Ballroom

Parasha Insight - from Rabbi Eli J Mansour

Masei- Gradual Growth

     Parashat Masei begins by listing the forty-two stations at which Benei Yisrael encamped during their forty years of travel from Egypt to the Land of Israel.  In a section spanning fifty verses, the Torah goes through the trouble of recording each and every location where Benei Yisrael encamped over the course of this period.  The obvious question arises, why would the Torah find it necessary to list these stations?  Why is important for us to know the names of the places where Benei Yisrael encamped?

     Rashi explains that this list serves to demonstrate God's kindness and sensitivity towards Benei Yisrael.  In forty years, they encamped in only forty-two stations.  In fact, during thirty-eight of the forty years they encamped only twenty times.  God did not want to overburden Benei Yisrael and therefore allowed them to travel slowly and at infrequent intervals.  Their schedule of travel thus expresses God's love for the Jewish people and the care and concern with which He guided them through the wilderness.

     The Rambam suggested a different reason for this listing.  Benei Yisrael's existence during this period was a purely miraculous one.  By natural means, a nation cannot possible survive for an extended period in an area that has no water or possibility of vegetation.  God sustained the nation supernaturally, providing them with Manna each day and a miraculous well of water that accompanied them throughout their travels.  God anticipated, however, that skeptics may deny this miracle by claiming that Benei Yisrael traveled through inhabited areas where water and food were readily available.  He therefore commanded Moshe to record in detail all the areas where they traveled as documented proof of the fact that they journeyed through an uninhabitable region, and their survival could thus be attributed to only God's miraculous intervention.

     We may, however, suggest a third approach.  When Benei Yisrael left Egypt, they were far from the spiritual stature they would need to acheieve before they could enter the Land of Israel.  They had lived for over two centuries within the decrepit culture of ancient Egypt, and although they succeeded in retaining their national identity, they were nevertheless influenced by the perversions of the surrounding culture.  The forty years of travel from Egypt to Israel served to prepare the nation spiritually for their entry into the Land.  The forty-two stations listed in Parashat Masei represent forty-two stages of spiritual growth.  The events that transpired in each location served as a learning experience upon which the nation would build in the subsequent station, such that they were constantly improving and developing.  Stage by stage, Benei Yisrael grew and elevated themselves until they were finally prepared to enter Eretz Yisrael.

     The Torah thus recorded these locations to impress upon us the importance of gradual, incremental growth.  A person cannot leap to the highest levels of piety overnight; spiritual growth entails a long, gradual process of small, incremental steps.

     Every so often, I am approached by somebody who had recently decided to become observant, and now expresses interest in studying Kabbala.  I tell him that before studying Kabbala, one must first master the entire Tanach, Talmud and Shulchan Aruch – which is itself a lifelong project.  One cannot skip to the top step; he must ascend one step at a time.  More often than not, those who try jumping to the highest levels of spirituality will succeed in maintaining these levels for only a brief period, after which they experience a "systems crash" and fall lower than where they had begun.

     Rabbi Abraham Twerski, the renowned Rabbi and psychiatrist who specializes in addiction treatment, has a sign in his office that reads, "The elevator to recovery is out of order; please use the stairs."  The same applies to religious observance: we must take the stairs, not the elevator.  The Torah does not demand that we live perfect religious lives, but only that we continuously grow, one step at a time, that at every stage we can look back at our conduct a year earlier and see how we have progressed.  Just as it took Benei Yisrael forty-two stations to prepare themselves for their entry into the Land, so must we constantly move forward one step at a time as we strive towards spiritual perfection.


The Edmond J Safra Synagogue

Click here to visit our sister Synagogue, the Edmond J Safra Synagogue of Brooklyn, New York.

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Fri, 25 July 2014 27 Tammuz 5774