פרשת כי תבוא

Parshat Ki Tavo

16th of Elul, 5780

September 5th-6th, 2020

Candle lighting: 7:05 pm

Havdalah: 8:04 pm




4503 Fieldston Rd.
Riverdale, NY 10471


Please note the following details:

The service:

  • The Kehilah will be davening in our satellite location (where we have our sukkah).  Located in the back lawn of the home of: 
    Jessica and Chad Haller

  • There will be a separate entrance for the women’s and men’s sections (at the right and left side of the house respectively).

  • Davening will begin 30 minutes earlier at 8:30 am (to minimize davening in the heat of the day).  

  • The ba’al Tefilah and ba’al Koreh will be more than 12 ft. away, wearing a mask.

  • The gabaim will call aliyot from their seats.

  • The aliyot will be done, taken one step forward, looking at the Torah and then reciting a Bracha.  Each person called up will ensure that they are at a safe 12 ft. distance from the ba’al korei after taking a step forward.

  • Hagbah and Gelilah will be performed by the ba’al korei.

  • The ba’al korei and ba’alei tefilah who hold the Torah, will do so with gloves on.

Protocols in place for those attending davening:

  • We will be limiting attendance to 12 men and 12 women above the age of bar/bat mitzvah.

  • To sign up for a place in davening, please click here to fill out the form for Shabbat Morning.

  • We request that anyone who is healthy and has not had known exposure to someone with Covid-19 feel comfortable coming.

  • Anyone can sign up regardless of membership.

  • Those who feel that they can sit or stand in a designated place or section are encouraged to sign up.

  • Chairs will be provided and will be wiped down prior to davening.

  • All attendees must wear masks (including Ba’al tefilah and Ba’al Kriyah)

  • We ask that everyone bring their own siddur and chumash.  If you don't own a siddur or chumash, please let us know and we can loan you one of the shul's for the time being.

  • Please bring your own Tallis.

  • Please bring a hat.

  • Please bring your own water bottle.

  • Please make sure to use the bathroom before davening.

  • There will be one bathroom available for emergency only.

  • After Tefilah, there will be no kiddush and no congregating.

  • The davening is weather dependent.  If it is raining, please plan on joining us the following week.


If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. As we have expressed before, we will continue to reevaluate the situation on a regular basis; we hope to be back to regular davening as soon as possible.


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

*Please note earlier davening time to ensure that davening takes place in a cooler climate.

September 7th-10th


Davening at 7:05 pm

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

            Password:  113089


The Kehilah is pleased to inform the community that The Kehilah of Riverdale is planning to meet for all the tefilot of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur:

The Riverdale Y 
Outdoors on the Patio deck in the back of the building.
5625 Arlington Avenue, 
Bronx, NY 10471

Please click HERE to fill out the form regarding the Yamim Noraim schedule and sign up for outdoor tefilot.

Please feel welcome to join us!

The Kehilah Membership Drive for 2020

Time to Renew your Kehilah Membership!

Please renew your membership or consider becoming a member of The Kehilah

The Kehilah would like to thank all those who contributed to The Kehilah with renewing membership and contributing end of year donations.

Please remember to renew your membership for 2020.

Your membership and financial support over the past year has enabled The Kehilah to meet regularly at the Society for Ethical Culture.  It has allowed us to expand our programming to include events on every holiday of the Jewish calendar year. 

We continue to have a great deal of programming planned for the 2020 year.
The Kehilah needs your support. 

To become a member and/or donate, please select one of the following choices:

Through Paypal click on the donate button:

If you would like to send a personal check, go through a charitable foundation or charitable fund, please: 

Send a check made out to "The Kehilah" to:
The Kehilah
P.O. Box 78
Bronx, NY 10471
Or –

Go to our website at: and click on the

Membership tab.

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.


Once again, thank you for your generous support.

With deep appreciation,

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman, Marta d'Atra

Jonathan Konovitch, President

William Scheiner, Fundraising Chair

The Kehilah Sunshine Committee

wishes a Mazal tov to 

Jessica and Dov Zmood

on the bar mitzvah of

יהודה אריה לייב בן דב יוסף ויוספה תמר, נ״י

Mazal tov to proud siblings, Ella and Ezra and loving grandparents, Dr. Alan & Cindy Lewin and Bronia Zmood.  Mazal tov to aunts and uncles, including our members, Hilary Lewin & Guy Tuvia. May you all have so much nachas from Judah and may he positively impact Klal Yisrael.

May Judah have joy and fulfillment ad me'ah v'esrim shana in good health.


A Vort for Shabbos:
Parshat Ki Tavo 

The opening of this week’s parsha, Ki Tavo, discusses the mitzvah of bringing Bikkurim, the first fruits to the Mikdash and the accompanying obligation of “mikra bikkurim. 

A farmer must bring his first fruits to the Temple and offer them as a gift to the kohen. He then makes a special declaration, as formulated in the Torah:

וְעָנִיתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְקוק אֱלֹקֶיךָ

And you should speak and say before the LORD your God.

The Torah outlines a text relating to the history of the Jewish people, beginning with   אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי   “My father was a wandering Aramean”  and ending with B’nei Yisrael’s entry into the land of Israel

וַיְבִאֵנוּ, אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה; וַיִּתֶּן-לָנוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת, אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ

“And He brought us to this place, and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”  

These beginning verses are the same ones recited during the Seder.

The section concludes:

י וְעַתָּה, הִנֵּה הֵבֵאתִי אֶת-רֵאשִׁית פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר-נָתַתָּה לִּי, יקוָק; וְהִנַּחְתּוֹ, לִפְנֵי יְקוק אֱלֹקֶיךָ, וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ, לִפְנֵי יקוק אֱלֹקיךָ.  יא וְשָׂמַחְתָּ בְכָל-הַטּוֹב, אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לְךָ יקוָק אֱלֹקֶיךָ--וּלְבֵיתֶךָ:  אַתָּה, וְהַלֵּוִי, וְהַגֵּר, אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבֶּךָ.

"10 And now I have brought the first fruits of the land which You, O Lord, have given me." And you should set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God. 11 And you should rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you, and to your house, you, and the Levi, and the stranger that is in your midst.

This entire declaration can be divided into two distinct units.  The first and much longer section, which covers the first five of the six verses of mikra bikkurim, briefly retells the story of the Sheebud Mitzraim, the Egyptian bondage and then, Benei Yisrael's ultimate redemption and entry into Eretz Yisrael.  The final verse involves a different theme entirely: "And now I have brought the first fruits of the land which You, O Lord, have given me."

The Malbim, Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michael Weiser (19thcentury), notes that these two sections differ not only in terms of their basic content, but in style, as well. Specifically, the farmer addresses God differently in each. In the first five verses, he refers to the Almighty in third-person form: "We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our plea… the Lord freed us from Egypt… He brought us to this place." In the final verse, by contrast, the farmer speaks directly to God. "… the land which You, O Lord, have given us."

Moreover, not until the sixth and final verse does the farmer ever speak of himself personally, except in the passage's introduction, where he refers to Yaakov Avinu as "my father." The rest of the first section speaks only of Am Yisrael as a whole. These verses are clearly nation-oriented, as the individual views himself as but one of many children of Yaakov, part of the Nation of Israel.

In the final verse, however, the farmer shifts his focus, mentioning his first fruit yielded by the soil that God gave him, personally.

The Malbim makes the claim here that the mitzva of mikra bikkurim actually involves two entirely distinct obligations, which the Torah introduces with two different terms: "You have to declare and you have to recite before Hashem your God… " The Malbim, distinguishes between "ve-anita" (translated here as "you shall declare") and "ve-amarta" (translated here as, "you shall recite"). The former describes a public proclamation intended specifically for an audience and widespread dissemination. The v’anita is the public testimonial of our history.  It binds us with our heritage and our people. 

Think about Matzah referred to as the “lechem oni” on Pesach – it is a public testimonial of our history.

The second term, "va-amarta," denotes a private dialogue or (in this case,) communion. Upon being blessed with a successful product, the farmer has now two obligations: to publicize to everyone Hashem’s omnipotence…God’s power and kindness in granting Eretz Yisrael to His people.  Then, to speak to God directly and submissively acknowledge God’s hand in agriculture.

Along these lines, the Malbim explains why in the following section, which discusses the mitzva of "viduy ma'aser," a confessional when bringing the bikkurim, that the Torah uses the term, "v'amarta," and does not use "ve-anita". The first obligation involves a declaration that one has satisfied the requirements with regards to taking maser, taking a tenth, from the produce. Clearly, there is no need for one to make this information public- this is an individual responsibility that has been fulfilled.  Therefore, the word, v’amarta is used.  In fact, making this declaration public might be viewed as haughtiness, …look what I have fulfilled.  Instead, the Torah here requires a private affirmation addressed directly to God proclaiming one's satisfactory fulfillment of his mitzva of tithing. Therefore, the term, "v'amarta," is employed instead of "v'anita."

In the final verse, the farmer acknowledges that the fruits he harvests come from the soil given to him as a gift by the Almighty.

Whereas we can look at the distinctions between the two phrases, namely identifying the V’anita as opposed to the v’amarta statements, it is still fascinating why these two seemingly different and distinct section have been combined into one recitation of the mikra bikkurim.

This combination of declaration and recitation reveals an inherent relationship between these two themes of a national awareness and personal acknowledgment of God's hand in agriculture.

But how do we understand this relationship?

It appears that the Torah here seeks to help one maintain a proper perspective on one’s achievements and success.

People work hard.  Many devote themselves to their occupation and they are driven to achieve.  However, when met with success, they can occasionally lose site of the world around and remember where they came from.  They begin focusing on their specific pursuits and lose sight of the broader concerns for community and society at large.

At times, this loss of perspective could threaten a person’s loyalty to his or her faith and level of observance. Mikra bikkurim calls upon the farmer to undergo a humbling and even unsettling process of broadening one’s perspective.  One needs to think beyond work and appreciate the larger, historical framework to which one belongs. When a farmer of Knesset Yisrael works and cultivates the land of Israel, what results is something far more significant and meaningful than simply the products of a livelihood for one’s family. It is part of the spiritual history of Am Yisrael, the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, Issac and Jacob and the ultimate destiny for which the nation was freed from Egypt.

The day-to-day demands of life make it difficult for us to maintain our perspective on the meaning behind it all and keep focus on our priorities. As the year comes to a close, Sefardim have already begun to recite Selichot and Ashkenazim begin reciting Selichot this coming motzai Shabbat, we are preparing ourselves to stand in judgment on the Days of Awe. We must bring our bikkurim to get some perspective on life and determine where we ought to be headed. This is the time to place our daily lives within their broader framework.  We need to assess the extent to which we fulfill the responsibilities charged upon us by virtue of our membership in Klal Yisrael, in our generation.  Part of that includes a sense of mutual responsibility for those around us. We, as a community will rallies together to assist others, care and support them. Just as the farmer must, once a year, view his wheat and apples as part of Bnei Yisrael's eternal destiny, so must we examine how to conduct our day-to-day affairs in a manner loyal to our chosen destiny to be an Am Kadosh and Or laGoyim, in our behavior, respect and deep care for one another.

Shabbat Shalom.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its massive impact on New York’s Jewish
community, the Hebrew Free Burial Association is, unfortunately, busier than ever. Since March 1st, they have conducted more than 218 burials, up from 79 a year ago. 

Unfortunately, in many of these cases, family members are unable to attend the burial due to the statewide lock down or their own health. Plus, with the backlog of thousands of unclaimed bodies currently being stored in refrigerated trailers by the NYC Medical Examiner’s office, some of which are Jewish, hundreds more burials are anticipated to take place in the weeks to come.
[Watch this video: See how HFBA is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic]

This increase in volume of burials has created a critical fiscal emergency for this important communal organization. Due to this tremendous surge in burials, the Hebrew Free Burial Association is currently facing a $650,000 shortfall and needs everyone across the broader Jewish community to rise to the occasion to help them perform this tremendous mitzvah.

Each burial in Mount Richmond Cemetery costs more than $5,000. This includes some of the following costs:
 Tachrichim (burial shrouds) – $54
 PPE equipment (for all people involved in the burial) – $100
 Daily cost to operate 40 foot refrigerated trailer (includes generator rental and fuel) – $150
 Tahara – $250
 Kosher coffin (simple pine box) – $300
 Grave opening – $650
 Additional grave digger needed due to COVID-19 – $650


1) DONATE NOW to help cover some of the costs of these burials:
2) Thank you to those who have donated more than 2,000 taleisim in the last few weeks, but don’t need more of these at this time. We respectfully ask that you please focus your giving solely on our extreme financial needs at this time.
Please open your hearts and participate in the highest mitzvah one can perform by supporting the Hebrew Free Burial Association TODAY.
The Hebrew Free Burial Association devotes its resources to chesed shel emet (the ultimate act of loving kindness), burying indigent Jews with dignity and respect. It is the only agency in the New York metropolitan area dedicated to assuring that every Jew, regardless of financial means or religious affiliation, receives a dignified, traditional Jewish funeral and burial.
An Environmental Message
How to Waste Less Food

Did you know that Americans spend $90 billion each year on food that never gets eaten? That 40% of our food ends up in the trash instead of our stomachs? Those are just two of the sobering statistics from an NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) report.

Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way. The United Kingdom cut down their food waste by 18% in just five years through better awareness. And you can too, with these tips from NRDC:

  • Shop Wisely. Plan meals, use shopping lists, buy from bulk bins, and avoid impulse buys. Don't succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need, particularly for perishable items.
  • Buy Funny Fruit. Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not "right". Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer's market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.
  • Learn When Food Goes Bad. "Sell-by" and "use-by" dates are not federally regulated and do not indicate safety, except on certain baby foods. Rather, they are manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. Most foods can be safely consumed well after their use-by dates.
  • Mine Your Fridge. Websites such as can help you get creative with recipes to use up anything that might go bad soon.
  • Use Your Freezer. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you won’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad.
  • Request Smaller Portions. Restaurants will often provide half-portions upon request at reduced prices.
  • Eat Leftovers. Ask your restaurant to pack up your extras so you can eat them later. Freeze them if you don't want to eat immediately. Only about half of Americans take leftovers home from restaurants.
  • Compost. Composting food scraps can reduce their climate impact while also recycling their nutrients. Food makes up almost 13 percent of the U.S. waste stream, but a much higher percent of landfill-caused methane.
  • Donate. Non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food can be donated to local food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. Local and national programs frequently offer free pick-up and provide reusable containers to donors.
For more information, go to:
Community Happenings at the Riverdale Y:

Riverdale Y Sunday Market
There are still a few spots remaining for the Riverdale Y Sunday Market. After an amazing first two weeks, come join us to see what the entire community is talking about. You must register for a time slot, for more information or to register, please visit

KCI Community Food
KCI Community Food provides fresh Kosher food delivery to anyone in the community. The economic downturn has affected many people, and the Met Council and UJA Federation of New York are helping the community get these food resources to help. Please call (646) 647-1380 or email All requests are confidential, and all food is delivered to your door. 
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