פרשת ויגש
Shabbat Parshat Vayigash

11th of Tevet, 5781

December 25th-26th, 2020

Candle lighting: 4:15 PM

Havdalah:  5:16 PM
(Kiddush Levana if moon is visible)


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
Parshat Vayigash
December 25th at 9:00 am
(Please note that we will begin davening a half hour later)


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 will be limiting attendance to 12 men and 12 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 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


Mincha/Maariv: December 27th - December 31st

Davening at 4:15 pm

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

Password:  113089


Parshat Vayechi 

If you would like to watch the video from this past week's shiur, 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.

ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם


As many families are now enjoying a well deserved break from the school semester, please remember to be steadfast in mask wearing, keeping socially distant and staying home if not feeling well.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable break.
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.


10th of Tevet - Friday, December 25th
Fast begins: 6:06 AM

Fast ends:   5:08 PM

What Is Commemorated on Asara b'Tevet?
The three events:
  • 8th of Tevet: the event with Ptolemy who forced the 70 chachamim to translate the Torah
  • 9th of Tevet: Ezra and Nechemia had died. 
  • 10th of Tevet: Siege around Yerushalayim

The tenth of Tevet is considered such a significant day for fasting and teshuva that even if it were to fall out on Shabbat, one would not push off the fast and the fast day would take place on Shabbat.  Since the establishment of the calendar, the 10th of Tevet can not occur on Shabbat.

The Beit Yosef in Orach Chaim, 550, quoting the Abudaraham, mentions that were Asara B'Tevet to fall out on Shabbat, one would fast.  The reasoning is due to the actual date that is mentioned in Ezekiel:  24:1-2.  It also appears in Jeremiah 52:6-7.
The Shulchan Aruch's final ruling, however, is that, as with all the 4 minor fasts, one would not fast on Shabbat.
 However, when the 10th of Tevet occurs on a on Friday, like this year, the 10th of Tevet is not postponed.  

Some have made this the general Memorial Day for those who perished during the Shoah and  Kaddish is recited. 

May the 10th of Tevet be a day involving 
Teshuva, Tefilah and Tzedakah 

The Sunshine Committee wishes 

Mazal tov to...

Aviva Taubenfeld and Daniel Schloss on the bar mitzvah of their son


Mazal tov to proud sister, Leora and to the entire Schloss/Taubenfeld family.
May you see Jonah grow l'Torah, l'Chuppah, u'l'Maasim Tovim in good health.


Happy Birthday to...

Laura Cohen Brem

Amy Jonas

Gloria Perelman Schneider

May they have good health, success and joy ad me'ah v'esrim shana in good health.

Happy Anniversary to...

Naomi and Yehuda Najman

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


Notes from this past book club... 
We were privileged to have Dr. Marilyn Jacobs inspire and engage us in lively discussions about “The Survivors” by Adam Frankel. Marilyn, our facilitator, made the book come alive for us and we appreciated her probing questions which created enthusiastic participation. Dr. Rachel Yehuda, a prominent psychologist explained Adam Frankel’s trauma and the intergenerational trauma of Adam’s family.
We thank Rosh Kehilah Dina for enabling us to Zoom in and benefit from the
dialogue of our Kehilah Book Club members.
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.
An Environmental Message

Single or Double?

If you have single-pane windows, consider installing storm windows or replacing them with windows that qualify for the tax credit for home efficiency upgrades. Make sure to select windows suited for your climate and home by looking for a low U-factor in the north and low SHGC in the south.


Short Vort for Shabbos:
Parshat Vayigash

In Parashat Vayigash, after Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers, he instructs them to return to Canaan and bring Yaakov, his father, to Egypt.  Since Yosef had risen to the esteemed position of viceroy in Egypt, he was in a position to support Yaakov and his entire family during the remainder of the famine years. 
Before the brothers leave, Yosef instructs his brothers to not divert their attention away from the path of where they are going:


וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת-אֶחָיו, וַיֵּלֵכוּ; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, אַל-תִּרְגְּזוּ בַּדָּרֶךְ.

This phrase "al tirg'zu baDerekh" is a difficult phrase with many different interpretations. 

Rashi raises two Midrashic interpretations:  
He begins with the Gemara in Makekhet Taanit (10b), explaining that Yosef is cautioning the brothers not to engage in complex halakhic discussions or debate during their travel.  In this way, they would not get side tracked and lose their way.
The second opinion in the Gemara explains that Yosef gave his brothers advice:  Travel patiently and make sure to stop over for rest before nightfall.

Yet, along with Chazal's perspectives, Rashi decides to offer his own explanation.  Rashi suggests that this statement should be placed within the context of what just occured moments earlier.  Yosef's brothers just found out about their brother being alive.  The same brother who they sold twenty two years earlier into slavery.  Perhaps, Yosef wanted to warn his brothers to make sure not to speak about the event of the sale of Yosef.  He was concerned that the brothers, feeling humiliation and regret after now speaking face to face with Yosef - the very same brother they planned to rid themselves of, would now start re-hashing that very event.  As the brothers make their way back to Chevron, these feelings of guilt and shame may cause the beginnings of pointing fingers who is to blame in addition to deep regret. Focusing on that episode may cause further strife or self belittling.  Yosef's advice is:  Don't speak about this matter at all.  Yosef urges the brothers to let the past rest.  The Teshuva they demonstrated will stand and they should not harbor resentment  towards one another or continue to bear the guilt of their wrongdoings.
This, of course, is easier said than done.  Perhaps this is one reason why Yosef is considered a Tzadik by Chazal.  A tzaddik is truly able to move forward and allow those who have wronged him to do teshuva and start a new.  Understandably, it is not always possible to forgive.  Yet, when a person engages in teshuva and the parties make room for forgiveness, like we ask Hashem when we engage in Teshuva - is the slate really clean?  It is one thing to bring oneself to forgive.  But, it is another to put those words into action. This articulation that Yosef would like his brothers to recognize that they have truly been forgiven will serve Yosef well for the future nation of Am Yisrael. Moreover, individually, it will enable Yosef to restore what he was missing in his life - his connection to his family: His Brothers.  This time, the relationship will be stronger.  This is not only a reinstatement of a family, but, through Yosef's forgiveness and request for the brothers to forgive themselves, we witness an actual birth of a family unit.  One that will be able to graduate to the next stage of forming the nation - the Am, which will become Am Yisrael.

This pasuk perhaps teaches us a simple lesson in the area of interpersonal relations: To allow oneself to be able to let go of hurtful events of the past.  More often than not, friends, siblings, spouses, and parents-children who have fought in the past and have since rehabilitated their relationship are best advised to find a way to move forward and set their sights on the future, rather than dwelling on the painful experiences of the past.
When there is rupture in our interpersonal relationships, may we merit to have the strength to restore Shalom Bayit within our homes,  find harmony and reconciliation among our friends and peace between each other within our community and create the space to move forward after there is repair.

Shabbat Shalom.



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

SAR Academy Information Sessions
Open your world to a school where your child's unique spirit and talents are respected, valued, and nurtured. Our open architecture promotes open thinking, boundless energy, and a warm inclusivity. We cultivate in our children the understanding that Torah informs who we are in all of our interactions, and how we carry ourselves in the world. 

Join us at an information session for prospective parents to learn about our Early Learning Center, Lower School, and Middle School:
January 7

Register for a session at
Prospective ELC families are also invited to attend Parsha Live, a chance to participate virtually with current ELC students in Shabbat singing and a lively parsha discussion. Register for Parsha Live at

For questions: call (718) 548-1717 x1251 or email
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