פרשת יתרו

שבת מברכין החודש

Shabbat Parshat Yitro

Shabbat M'varchin haChodesh

24th of Shevat, 5781

February 5th-6th, 2021

Candle lighting: 5:00 PM

Havdalah:  6:02 PM


The Kehilah of Riverdale

will, BE"H, be davening Shabbat Morning

5022 Arlington Avenue (off of West 252nd Street)
Bronx, NY 10471

Click here to sign up for Shabbat Morning
Parshat Yitro
February 6th at 8:30 am

Sponsored by Dr. Sherrell and Hazzan Chaim Najman and Suzanne and Dr. Ruby Levy
- in honor of Ilan Avraham Najman's bar mitzvah this Shabbos
- in loving memory of Ilan's paternal great grandfather, Isadore Jerome Reisman, Yisrael Yitzhak ben Daniel v'Pesel, z"l, whose Yahrzeit we observe this month. Petira: 6th of Adar, 5762.
- in loving member of Ilan's maternal grandfather, Chaim Dovid Zions, Chaim Dovid ben HaRav Avraham Abba HaLevi, z"l. Petira: 27th of Shvat, 5779.


Given the cold temperatures, The Kehilah urges people in attendance to dress warmly and in layers.

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 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 will be limiting attendance to 16 men and 16 women above the age of bar/bat mitzvah.

  • 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 a kiddush to go and no congregating.


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


Mincha/Maariv: February 7th - February 11th

Davening at 5:00 pm

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

Password:  113089

at 7:30 PM

Password:  113089

THIS WEEK:  Parshat Mishpatim 

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

If you would like to watch the video from 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:
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.


The Sunshine Committee wishes 

Mazal tov to...

Hazzan Daniel Najman & Aviva Zions on the bar mitzvah of their son

Ilan Avraham Najman

Mazal tov to proud siblings Tal, Eliyahu and Yedida, to proud grandparents, Hazzan Chaim and Dr. Sherrell Najman and Esther Zions, aunts, uncles and cousins.

May Ilan 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...

Linda and Billy Scheiner

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


Happy Birthday to...

Jessica Jesselson

Adam Kahn

Rebecca Kobrin

Yehuda Najman

Elissa Ordan

Neshama Ryman

May they have good health, success and fulfillment 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 Yitro

When we read Parshat Yitro this coming Shabbat, we will be reciting the עשרת הדברות - The Ten Commandments.
There is a widespread custom to stand during the reading of the עשרת הדברות.  We rise in deference to this majestic moment in our history where every member of Bnei Yisrael beheld the vision of God.

Yet, some authorities, most notably the Rambam (Teshuvot HaRambam 46), oppose this practice based on a statement in Masekhet Brakhot, 12a, that the עשרת הדברות were read daily in the Beit HaMikdash. However, Chazal prohibited the daily reading of these verses in locations outside the Beit haMikdash.  The reason not to allow the reading outside the Beit HaMikdash was due to a concern that if we institutionalized reading these ten laws, perhaps an ignorant listener would misunderstand and come to the wrong conclusion that only mitzvot come from God.  Perhaps, the rest of the Torah was not, Chas v'Shalom, from God.  Therefore, Chazal tried to prevent a daily public reading of the Ten Commandments.  Thus, the Rambam took this teaching and extended it to any practice which would set the Ten Commandments apart from any other part of the Chumash - like standing specifically for the reading of the Ten Commandment during parshat Yitro or when they are read on Shavuot.

Jews from Yemen, who strictly uphold the Rambam's ruling, and remain seated during a minyan even where others stand for the עשרת הדברות.  Even though, normally, Yemenite Jews would conform to the customs of other communities, here, they refuse to conform given the Rambam's strong stance on this issue.

Rashi understands that the Aseret HaDibrot form a compact version of what the entire corpus of halakha is. 
In Shmot, 24:12, Rashi says:    

כל שש מאות ושלש עשרה מצות בכלל עשרת הדברות הן, ורבינו סעדיה פירש באזהרות שיסד לכל דבור ודבור מצות התלויות בו: 

"All six hundred and thirteen mitzvot are included within the Aseret Hadibrot, and Rabbeinu Saadya explained in the Azharot that he established for every one of the dibrot the mitzvot that are dependent on it."

Not only do the Aseret Hadibrot set forth fundamentals of Jewish ethics, but they also conceptually encompass all mitzvot. In addition to the broad-reaching halakhic significance of the Aseret Hadibrot, moreover, the experience of mass revelation that occurred on the sixth of Sivan has significant philosophical ramifications. 

Additionally, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, in his Sefer HaKuzari, speaks about the revelation at Har Sinai as a proof for the Torah’s authenticity; the fact that Matan Torah was experienced by an entire nation rather than by an individual prophet is a testimony to the historical accuracy of the story. As a result, the revelation of the Aseret Hadibrot set the stage for and substantiated the more comprehensive revelation that Moshe experienced in the forty days that he spent on Har Sinai immediately after the giving of the Aseret Hadibrot. Since all of Bnei Yisrael experienced the initial stage of revelation and believed in its truth, they also accepted the truth of the subsequent revelation that Moshe received. 

In his Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chaim, vol. 4, 22, Rav Moshe Feinstein therefore, understands the practice of standing during the reading of the עשרת הדברות differently.  Rav Moshe says that that standing during the reading of the Ten Commandments should be upheld because there is little danger of misrepresenting that only the 10 commandments come from God - even if there was a public reading daily of these pesukim each day. Rav Moshe quotes multiple sources which demonstrate that actually the ten commandments may have been read in outside shuls, not just in the Beit HaMikdash.  Reading these pesukim would not lead to a misunderstanding, thinking that the entire Torah does not come from Hashem, chas v'shalom.  Rav Moshe explains that one can appreciate that the quality of these ten laws form a strong foundation of the rest of the Torah - appreciating the revelatory moment and therefore, specific emphasis on them. In the Beit HaMikdash, Rav Moshe emphasized that there were many kohanim and chachamim available to teach and guide the people.  Where misunderstandings would be prevented.

Therefore, Rav Moshe is not concerned about standing during the Aseret haDibrot.  In fact, this pivotal moment in Jewish history, where all of the people came together and bore witness to this extraordinary event is critical.  According to Rav Moshe, rising in commemoration of this new beginning for the Jewish people will not run the risk of leading to misrepresentation of the Divine nature of the Torah.  As a result, Rav Moshe maintains that one should not remain in one's seat during the reading of the Aseret haDibrot if everyone around this person is standing.  One should not go against the place's custom.

Most follow the custom where if someone prefers not to stand, many poskim rule that one should then stand for the entire Torah reading or at least for one aliyah to give the impression that one is standing for more than just the ten commandments.

In our Kehilah, we stand for the entire 6th aliyah of the Aseret haDibrot.  We commemorate the initial revelation at Sinai and the transmission of the Aseret haDibrot.  Here the Torah was given beyond the Aseret HaDibrot.  This transformative and historical moment both for the mass revelation and the Aseret haDibrot gives us a deeper appreciation of this historical moment.  

Shabbat Shalom,


An Environmental Message

Make Energy Saving Automatic

Install a programmable thermostat. You can program it to reduce your home temperature while you’re at work or school, and raise it up before you return. You can program it to reduce temperatures in the evening when all are sleeping, and raise it up before the first person rises in the morning.

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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