פרשת ויקהל -פקודי

שבת החודש

שבת מברכין החודש


Shabbat HaChodesh

Parshat Vayakhel-Pikudei

Shabbat M'varchin haChodesh

 29th of Adar

March 12th-13th, 2021

Candle lighting: 5:41 PM

Havdalah:  6:42 PM


The Kehilah of Riverdale

will, BE"H, be davening Shabbat Morning

The back patio of the home of: 
Jessica and Chad Haller
4503 Fieldston Rd., Bronx, NY 10471

Click here to sign up for Shabbat Morning
Shabbat HaChodesh/Parshat Vayakhel-Pikudei
M'varchin haChodesh
29th of Adar
March 13th at 9:00 am


Given the cold temperatures, The Kehilah will be meeting for approximately an hour, from 9:00am - 10:00 am
We will begin at Nishmat.

If you have any questions or require any further clarification, please feel free to contact Rabbi Dina Najman at

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 patio of the home of: 

    Jessica and Chad Haller
    4503 Fieldston Rd., Bronx, NY 10471

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


Protocols in place for those attending davening:

  • 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 warm coat and hat if needed.

  • Please bring your own water bottle or container of a hot beverage.

  • 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, snow, ice or the temperature drops to a dangerous level, 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.


Kol tuv,

R’ Dina Najman, Rabbi

Jonathan Konovitch, President

Rosh Chodesh Nisan, 5781

Rosh Chodesh will be:
This coming Motzai Shabbat, March 13th
through Sunday, March 14th daytime.


On Motzai Shabbat evening, 1st of Nisan:
In Maariv:
-Ya'aleh v'Yavo in Shmoneh Esrei

On Sunday, 1st of Nisan:
In Shacharit:
-Ya'aleh v'Yavo in your Shemoneh Esreh
-Half Hallel after Shacharit Shemoneh Esreh
- No Tachanun
- No Lam'natzaiach
-Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
-Barchi Nafshi

In Mincha: 
-Ya'aleh v'Yavo in Mincha Shemoneh Esreh
-No Tachanun

Throughout the month of Nisan we do not recite Tachanun.

Chodesh Tov!!!


Mincha/Maariv: March 14th - March 18th

Davening at 6:45 pm

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

Password:  113089


The legal act of designation of the Rabbi as agent for the sale of Chametz, is best performed in a personal meeting with Rabbi Najman by engaging in the act of Kinyan Suddar—a contractual form in Jewish law in which the transfer of a garment (e.g. a handkerchief, keys, etc) from the Rabbi to yourself is a visible manifestation of contractual intent and in which the garment serves as consideration for the contract. 

However, there may be members of the community who will not find it possible to meet personally with the Rabbi. It is for such persons that there will be another form sent on Sunday, with a written contract designating the Rabbi as agent for the sale of chametz provided. If you make use of this form, please fill it in completely and contact Rabbi Najman before the deadline.








Password:  113089

THIS WEEK:  Parshat Vayikrah

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

Image result for fruit tree


Starting in the month of Nisan, there is a bracha
"ברכת האילנות" (the blessing over trees in Bloom),
which is recited.

Rosh Chodesh Nisan marks the beginning of the season for Birkat haIlanot. This Bracha  is recited only once a year extolling Hashem's renewal of creation each year.


When one sees blossoming fruit trees for the first time during the month of Nisan, one should say this blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא חִסַּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם.

Translation: Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has made nothing lacking in His world, and created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give mankind pleasure.

Early Sources for this Bracha:
This bracha is spoken about in many early sources, like Brachot 43b, Rokeach (pg. 235), Or Zarua (1:179), Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim, 226), Aruch haShulchan (226:1) and many others.

When to say this Bracha?
The best time to recite this bracha is the first time seeing a fruit tree in bloom during the month of Nisan.  Meaning:  Upon seeing the actual blooming or flowering of the tree.  According the Mishna Brurah, seeing the leaves grow is not enough to recite the bracha - one must see the budding or flowering.  
However, where trees start to bloom in Adar or where they begin to bloom in Iyar or Sivan, the bracha can be said then.  In the countries like Australia, where fruit trees blossom in Tishrei or Cheshvan, the blessing should be said at that time.

If there was a tree which began to bloom in Nisan but a person did not see it until later, he or she may make the bracha the first time he or she has seen the tree, provided that the fruit of the tree has not ripened.  Once the fruit is ripe, the bracha can no longer be recited.
- Along those lines:  If someone saw a tree in bloom but forgot to recite the bracha or was unable to say the bracha, one may say the bracha at a later time, provided that the fruit of the tree has not begun to grow.

Some poskim maintain that this bracha should not be recited on Shabbat or Yom Tov since it may lead to shaking or breaking the branch off the tree.
However, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 336:10) states that we may smell the Hadas attached to a tree on Shabbos, since we are not concerned that the branch will be broken off.  Therefore, most poskim permit saying the bracha on Shabbat or Yom Tov, since we are not concerned that a person will break off a branch while reciting the bracha.
Even for those who customarily recite the bracha only during the week, if the last day of Nisan falls on Shabbat, the Yechave Da'at (1:2) says that one may recite this bracha on Shabbat.

- According to the Tzitz Eliezer (12:20-6), Rav Eliezer Waldenberg, this bracha may be recited at night.

Which Trees require Birkat HaIlanot?
Only on fruit bearing trees.
Even if a tree does not bear fruit and a person said it on that type of tree, he or she does not need to repeat the bracha.

There is a disagreement if one can make the bracha on an Orlah tree (a tree that is not fully 3 years old). Many poskim permit it.

Reciting the Bracha During a Shmita Year:
It is allowed to recite the bracha on a tree during the Shmita year, even if the tree was cultivated and in violation of the Shmita laws.

How Can I Make the Mitzva of Birkat HaIlanot More Beautiful: Hiddur Mitzvah?
1.  Make the bracha on two or more trees ( the two trees do not have to be from different species).
2. Saying the bracha in a the presence of a minyan followed by Kaddish.
(Before hand, V'yehi Noam followed by the Psalm 143 is recited).
3. Trying to say the bracha as ealy as possible (From Rosh Chodesh Nisan)


Chodesh Tov!
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:
To donate though Paypal use this button


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
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.

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.

Vort for Shabbos:

Parshat Vayakhel/Pikudei

In addition to the reading of Parshat Vayakhel/Pikudei, it is Parshat haChodesh.  One of the 4 Parshiyot. Chazal decreed that Parshat haChodesh be recited on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nisan or on the Shabbat of Rosh Chodesh Nisan. Our Rabbis taught that forced labor in Egypt ceased on Rosh Chodesh Nisan. In this month of our national freedom from slavery, people were given the capacity to have mastery over their own time and set the Jewish Calendar. Since we follow a lunar calendar where the seasons are determined in relation to the sun, Pesach would rotate among the seasons. However, the Sanhedrin’s power to add a month (7 times in a 19-year cycle), ensures that Pesach always coincides with spring. In keeping with the pasuk in Devarim, perek 16, pasuk 1:  
שָׁמוֹר, אֶת-חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, וְעָשִׂיתָ פֶּסַח, לַה' אֱלֹקיךָ:  כִּי בְּחֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, הוֹצִיאֲךָ ה' אֱלֹקיךָ מִמִּצְרַיִם--לָיְלָה. 
Guard the month of spring and make a Pesach to Hashem your God because in the Month of Spring, Hashem your God took you out of Egypt by night.
This perhaps informs Rav Shimshon Rephael Hirsch's statement:  "Only free men and women can worship God."

The moon waxes, wanes and waxes renewed every month, in the same way Israel, no matter to what level of physical slavery and to what spiritual poverty it may be brought, nevertheless it arises anew and never can be destroyed.
Rav Hirsch celebrates this moment of HaChodesh for free people where “God took this race by the hand and showed them the gleam of the new-born moon. This renewal of light is not only up there in the sky, but calls each person in Israel to their own fresh illumination, to their own human spring. So, He spoke and made the most oppressed and grief-laden race into the joyous heralds of hope to mankind, the announcers of deliverance from darkness into light, from slavery to freedom and from death to life.”

Hence, each year we experience a rebirth of our people on Rosh Chodesh Nisan.  

As this is also the week of Parshat Vayakhel/Pikudei, a time where we appreciate the coming together and volunteer work of community in the building of the Mishkan, we take note of our exceptional community who have come together in the service of all those in need and to help prepare for the needs that will come.  We have demonstrated over the past few weeks how we are able to come together, support and care for the other.  This value of peoplehood is true to the season of Nisan.  Each year, at this time, we reexamine our commitment to our people and celebrate each year with the replanting, rebirth and rebuilding of a people.  It is with great hakarat haTov for all you and our religious, lay and organizational leadership have done to guide us and give us the opportunity to support each other and blossom forth as a strong community.

Shabbat Shalom. 



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
An Environmental Message

Choose the right grass for your climate. 

If your area gets very little rain, don't plant a type of grass that needs a lot of water. Select grass seed that is well suited to your climate and other growing conditions such as the amount of sunlight and rain you lawn receives. Over-seed your lawn each Fall by spreading seeds on top of the lawn. A thicker lawn helps to crowd out weeds. Your local County Extension Service can advise you on which grasses grow best in your area.

For more information, go to:


Riverdale Blood Drive
Masks may hide your face but they do not hide the heroism inside. Be a part of the solution and sign up to donate blood at the Riverdale Y on Sunday, March 14 (9:00 am - 3:00 pm). We could always use heroes like you! For more information and registration details, please click here.

DOROT Summer Teen Internship
Starting on July 27, the Internship Program brings together a diverse group of teens for four weeks of developing leadership skills and building friendships across generations. Together with older adults, interns create art and documentary film projects, lead discussions on current events, produce radio shows, and so much more. Early admission deadline is Sunday, March 14. For more information, please visit

Israeli Cuisine @ Home - Coconut Macaroon
Join Israeli Emissary, Shani, on March 16 at 7:00 pm for a tastebud adventure and a fun time making Coconut Macaroons! For a list of ingredients you'll need and the Zoom link, please click here.

Sunday Market Selections
The Riverdale Y Sunday Market is organizing a preorder/pickup service for our customers. We understand that people want fresh food throughout the year, and we appreciate that you want to continue buying that food from your favorite vendors at the Market. For a full list of vendors and information on the pre-order process, please visit
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