פרשת בשלח/שבת שירה

Shabbat Parshat Beshalach/Shabbat Shira

17th of Shevat, 5781

January 29th-30th, 2021

Candle lighting: 4:51 PM

Havdalah:  5:53 PM





- Thank you to Chad and Jessica Haller for being the Kehilah's outside satellite shul space.

- Thank you to Nahum Palefski for arranging our
Post Tu b'Shvat Kiddush to Go. 

- We will be having a rain check kiddush to go for Post Tu b'Shvat.  Stay tuned for details.
- Thank you to our many Kiddush sponsors. 
The sponsor list will accompany the Kiddush to go when the kiddush takes place within the next few weeks.

- We would like to thank those who signed up to lein and daven this week.  We look forward to davening in person next Shabbat.


Looking forward to our davening together next Shabbat in a safe and meaningful way.


Kol tuv and Shabbat Shalom,

R’ Dina Najman, Rabbi

Jonathan Konovitch, President


Mincha/Maariv: January 31st - February 4th

Davening at 4:50 pm

We will daven privately and have a minyan for those who are saying Kaddish.

Password:  113089


Password:  113089

THIS WEEK:  Parshat Yitro 

If you would like to watch the video from this past week's shiur, Parshat Beshalach, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Bo, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vaera please click here

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Shemot, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vayechi, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vayigash, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vayeshev, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vayishlach please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vayeitzei, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Toldot, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Chayei Sarah, please click here.

If you would like to watch the video from Parshat Vayera, please click here.

Please join us in welcoming R' Jonah to the Kehilah and in making the time to learn Torah from him.



Dear Kehilah,
As New York State has entered into Phase 1b of its vaccine distribution, many in our community are now qualified for receiving vaccinations, including those 75 years of age and educators. 
To see if you are eligible, please refer to the list

To make an appointment by phone, please call: 877-829-4692, ;
Phone lines open at 8am. Call early, additional appointments are available daily.

Online resources: 
Below are vaccination booking sites where you can make an appointment. New slots are to open regularly, so keep checking if there are no slots currently available. You may need to keep trying and try different sites.  Please note, you must be in an 
eligible category and you must make an appointment.

Vaccine Finder NYC  
NYC Health and Hospitals
Mt. Sinai
 (7 locations, including St. Luke's at 114th and Amsterdam) 
Go Health (including West 69th Street and Amsterdam location)
Affiliated Physicians

Once you have made an appointment:

  • You will need to complete this for
  • Reschedule if not feeling well on the day of your appointment.
  • Wear a mask to your appointment.
  • Bring a government issued ID to your appointment and proof of eligibility (e.g. employee ID card).
  • Be prepared for the possibility of a long wait at the site; appointments made earlier in the day may have a shorter wait.
  • Once vaccinated you still need to obey all COVID-19 prevention steps: stay home if  sick, wash your hands, wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
  • You will be given a card for your records after your first dose. Do not misplace it and we recommend taking a photo of the front and back.
  • You will need to schedule an appointment to receive your second dose 21-28 days later.
When getting a shot, one may make the following declaration from Brachot 60a, followed by the bracha "HaTov v'HaMeitiv"

״יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה׳ אֱלֹקי שֶׁיְּהֵא עֵסֶק זֶה לִי לִרְפוּאָה, וּתְרַפְּאֵנִי. כִּי אֵל רוֹפֵא נֶאֱמָן אָתָּה וּרְפוּאָתְךָ אֱמֶת, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּן שֶׁל בְּנֵי אָדָם לְרַפּאוֹת אֶלָּא שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ״.

May it be Your will, O Lord my God,
that this enterprise be for healing and that You should heal me.
As You are a faithful God of healing and Your healing is truth.
Because it is not the way of people to heal, but they have become accustomed.

ברוך אתה ה׳, הטוב והמטיב

Blessed are You, oh Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who is good and bestows good.

If you have concerns or need assistance making an appointment, please email us at and we will assist you in any way we can.

Thank you to our medical advisor, Dr. Josh Milner and to the Riverdale community for continued assistance surrounding COVID-19 concerns, questions and advice.

May we all hear b'surot tovot,
Rabbi Dina Najman and The Kehilah Board of Trustees
Become a Kehilah Member or Donate to The Kehilah

Your support is genuinely crucial to our growth and we thank you for it.  If you have yet to become a member or make a donation, please feel free to contribute through one of the following methods:
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If you would like to send a personal check or go through a charitable foundation or charitable fund, please 
Send a check made out to "The Kehilah" to:
The Kehilah
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Bronx, NY 10471
Or –
Go to our website at: and click on the
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The Kehilah, Inc. is a congregation incorporated under Article 10 of the New York State Religious Corporations Law. Under federal tax code, a contribution to a synagogue which complies with 501(c)(3) requirements is automatically exempt.


The Sunshine Committee wishes 

Mazal tov to...

Dr. Jennifer Fenster on the bar mitzvah of her son

Eli Fenster

Mazal tov to proud siblings, Leah, Yonah and Ari, to grandparents and the entire Fenster family.

May Eli continue to grow in his Torah and may he find much joy and fulfillment each day ad me'ah v'esrim shana. May he grow l'Torah, l'Chuppah u'l'Maasim tovim.


Happy Anniversary to...

Lisa Licht Hirsch and Danny Hirsch

May they have good health and continue to share a beautiful life together ad me'ah v'esrim shana.




Maariv followed by reading of Megilat Esther
(men and women will be leining the megilah)*

Followed by... The Kehilah Purim Treat to Go 

Outdoor Patio of The Riverdale Y *
5625 Arlington Avenue
Bronx, NY  10471

* Parking Available at the Riverdale Y 

If you are interested in helping package Mishloach Manot, please contact us at

To schedule an appointment at the Riverdale Mikvah, please click here.

Please keep in mind that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to a person in their home who is not feeling well are asked to refrain from MIkvah use.
The Kehilah Book Club:

The next Kehilah Book Club will meet on

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021

at 10:30 am on Zoom.

The ZOOM Information is:
            Password:  113089

We will discuss “Concealed ”
By: Esther Amini


Ruth Licht will be our facilitator.
Esther Amini’s Concealed , is an emotional  memoir of a Jewish Iranian daughter caught between the  chador and America in the 1960’s. It’s a journey across time, culture, and Jewish values. She grew up in a Persian Jewish household in Queens, the daughter of tradition bound parents from Mashhad, Iran’s holiest city. Her parents had to practice Judaism “underground", while maintaining the appearance of being Muslims. 
She explores the little known history of Mashad’s underground Jews and the incident that pushed her parents to leave. She traces her family’s arduous journey to America as well as the conflict she feels between her indebtedness to her parents and her desire for more self-determination than their traditions allow. Amini weaves the themes of concealment and visibility in this moving view of culture and family.

Looking forward to seeing you on Feb. 21, 2021 for our next exciting Kehilah Book Club.
Ruth Licht-
Sherry Najman

Save the date:
On April 11, 2021, we will be discussing
“Orphan in History” by Paul Cowen.

Vort for Shabbos:

Parshat Beshalach/Shabbat Shira

In the Gemara Rosh Hashana,  Chazal teach us that on Tu B’shvat the trees cease getting their nourishment from the waters of the previous year and begin to get nourishment from the waters of the new year. Chazal view Tu B'Shvat as a transition point between the past and the future.
As we read this morning, the first place that bnei Yisrael travel to after their redemption from Egypt is Mara. There the Torah tells us that Bnei Yisrael began to complain that they didn't have any water to drink.  At Mara, they were unable to drink the water because it was bitter. Hashem shows Moshe a tree, eitz, which sweetens the water, making it potable. 

וַיּוֹרֵהוּ ה' עֵץ, וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ אֶל-הַמַּיִם, וַיִּמְתְּקוּ הַמָּיִם
B'nei Yisrael then travel to Eilim, where the Torah tells us
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵילִמָה--וְשָׁם שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה עֵינֹת מַיִם, וְשִׁבְעִים תְּמָרִים; וַיַּחֲנוּ-שָׁם, עַל-הַמָּיִם
And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and seventy palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters. 

In between these two locations, the Torah says:
שָׁם שָׂם לוֹ חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט, וְשָׁם נִסָּהוּ
There He made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He tested them. 

The m'forshim explain that Hashem taught Bnei Yirael Torah, chok u'mishpat, statute and ordinance, after sweetening the water. 
Egypt has always been associated with water, especially the area of Goshen. In the desert, B'nei Yisrael remember the fish, the melons and the cucumbers.  Although they had made the physical transition from slavery to freedom through kriyat yam suf, they had not made the spiritual and intellectual transition from avdei Paro to avdei Hashem - from being slaves of Paro to servants of God. The journey from Mara to Eilim can be viewed as the beginning of this transformation.
It is therefore no surprise that the Zohar connects the tree, eitz which sweetens the bitter water with Torah, as it says eitz chayim hi l'machazikim bah - The Torah is a tree of life for those who cling to it.  Having begun to learn chok u'mishpat, they are now able to drink from the sweet waters of Eilim.

Two individuals (Miriam and Devorah) featured in this week's Torah reading and haftarah are individuals who facilitate the transition from a period of darkness and decay to one of light and rebirth.

On the pasuk from Parshat Shmot, in the second chapter, the Torah describes:
        וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ, מִבֵּית לֵוִי
And there went a man of the house of Levi,
The Gemara in Sotah explains that Amram went to seek counsel from his daughter Miriam.  It relates the following narrative.  B'nei Yisrael were so depressed by the Egyptian oppression and Paro's decree to throw the male babies into the Nile that Amram had separated form his wife Yocheved.  As an important person in the community, Amram's action was an example to other couples, who also separated.  Miriam castigates her father by saying that your action is worse than Paro’s decree.  Paro decreed against the boys and your actions do not allow boys and girls to be born.   Paro’s decree is against Olam HaZeh (this world) and your decree takes away these children’s Olam HaZeh and Olam HaBah (the world to come).  Paro is a Rasha (evil person), who knows if his decree will be fulfilled?  But you are a Tzadik (a righteous person), of course your decree will be fulfilled.  Amram went back to his wife and the men followed his example.
Chazal see Miriam as a crucial actor in bringing about Moshe's birth and his safe entry into the house of Bat Paro.  We see the culmination of her role in B'nei Yisrael's transformation from a despaired and pessimistic people to a nation full of joy and optimism at Kriyat Yam Suf, which we will read this Shabbat. 
וַתִּקַּח מִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה אֲחוֹת אַהֲרֹן, אֶת-הַתֹּף בְּיָדָהּ; וַתֵּצֶאןָ כָל-הַנָּשִׁים אַחֲרֶיהָ, בְּתֻפִּים וּבִמְחֹלֹת.  וַתַּעַן לָהֶם, מִרְיָם:  שִׁירוּ לַיה-ה כִּי-גָאֹה גָּאָה, סוּס וְרֹכְבוֹ רָמָה בַיָּם.
And Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  And Miriam responded to them:  Sing you to Hashem for He is highly exalted:  the horse and his rider has He thrown into the sea.
Here, it is fitting that Miriam, who helped raise her people up from the depths of darkness to this new period will be the person to lead Bnei Yisrael in song and call forth the greatest joy and the highest expression of praise to God.

During the time of the Judges, before Devorah arrives on the scene, there is a 20 year period in which the Jewish people do not have a leader.  They are attacked by other nations and have fallen into a persistent state of sin. From the time that Yehoshua dies until the beginning of the haftarah for this week's parsha, it says five times,
'וַיֹּסִפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי ה
 And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
When we are first introduced to Devorah she is described as a prophet and judge.  We are told that B'nei Yisrael come before her for judgment.  She initiates a transformation in the nation by calling on Barak to do battle with Sisrah.  He only agrees to go if she will go with him.
This new stage is expressed by Devorah in her Shira.  It is appropriate now that Devorah is leading this shira to God.  It was her leadership, military strategy and guidance as General which results in forty years of peace for Am Yisrael.  Bnai Yisrael have transitioned out of the despair and darkness under King Yavin and Sisrah, his general. They have begun a new stage of freedom of belief in God and peace.
As we will read in the haftarah, the role models of Shabbat Shira are the nation's leaders because they fulfilled a role when action was needed.  Their commitment, their learning and their middot transformed the Am, allowing it not simply to continue after difficult times but also to grow stronger.
This Shabbat marks the anniversary of The Kehilah of Riverdale, which began on Shabbat Shira.  Let us acknowledge that from its inception The Kehilah has been committed to the possibility for each person within our community to grow in learning, to allow our community the opportunity to teach, to engage in chesed, to take responsibility for our environment, to promote leadership based on skill not gender, where each one of us see the possibility in ourselves to become individuals who can move our community and our people forward in shmirat hamitvot, d'vaikut baHashem, kavod haBriyot and a deep concern and love for each other.
The Shabbat of Shabbat Shira is one of hakarat haTov to Hashem for all the goodness that has been bestowed upon our people.  That we have endured and withstood the most difficult obstacles.  This is the Shabbat before Tu b'Shvat.  It is a transition time in nature.  This is Shabbat where we  pause and appreciate those who like the leaders of Shabbat Shira, are moved to action and the environment that Hashem has given us.  May we recognize the natural gifts Hashem has given us in our world, make the proper choices for guarding and caring for those gifts and consider how, despite difficulties in our past, we can move forward to care for each other and Hashem's creations.
As our community transitions forward into our new year and continue to grow, we must pause and thank those who worked this past year to actively stand up and be vocal when needed. Their integrity, generosity and commitment to Torat Emet is unparalleled.  They took the initiative to use their talents and resources and commit to helping our Kehilah grow even stronger. May we continue to support each other. May the example of those who took action continue to strengthen and reinvigorate our community as we transition forward.
Shabbat Shalom.



An Environmental Message

A Post - Tu b'Shvat Message for Tu B'Shvat (and All Year 'Round):

Guard and Watch Over Hashem's World...
It Was Created for You!


קהלת רבה (וילנא) פרשה ז

בשעה שברא הקב”ה את אדם הראשון נטלו והחזירו על כל אילני גן עדן ואמר לו ראה מעשי כמה נאים ומשובחין הן וכל מה שבראתי בשבילך בראתי, תן דעתך שלא תקלקל ותחריב את עולמי, שאם קלקלת  אין מי  שיתקן אחריך     

Midrash Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) Raba (Vilna edition) 7:28: 
When God created the first man He took him and showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him ‘See My works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are. And everything that I created, I created it for you. Be careful not to spoil or destroy My world – for if you do, there will be nobody after you to repair it.’

Book Festival
We are thrilled to present a Fall Book Festival that connects you to the author right in your living room. Featuring authors such as Harlan Coben, Mike Leven, Joan Lunden, and more. Visit for more information and registration details.
Sarah Lily Adoption Fund
Please share this with anyone who's adopting: The Sarah Lily Fund provides two $5,000 grants annually to help defray some of the many costs of forming Jewish families in this vital way. For additional information, as well as the application form, please visit
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