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Weekly Announcements

Ahavat Yisrael of Wesley Hills Announcements


Jul 30 – Aug 6

21 Av – 28 Av


Mask Rules

Based on new CDC guidelines, all unvaccinated children and adults must continue to wear masks inside the shul. Those who are fully vaccinated are not obligated to wear masks, but may certainly do so. Additionally, there will be a section in the garage which will continue to be masked only.


Reminder: While we have relaxed our covid restrictions based on CDC guidelines and do not require masks for those who are fully vaccinated, given the rapid spread of the Delta variety both in Israel and now in America, caution is still most appropriate.


Believe it or not Rosh Hashana is less than 2 months away. If you have any outstanding balances, please make sure to be paid up as we will be sending out seat information in the next few weeks.


Board: We are proposing the same board as last year and if anybody is interested in being on the board, please contact Michael Chasen 845-642-5161 or email

The nominated board will be: Michael Chasen -President, Ari Fishkind – Vice President, Peretz Seltzer - Secretary, Judy Szydlo - Treasurer, Irwin Hollander - Director, Frank Steen- Director



SCHEDULE At Shul & Home


FRIDAY (7/30)

Mincha: 7:00 PM

Candle lighting not later than: 7:56 PM


SHABBAT (7/31)

Shacharis : 9:00 AM  (with R. Yishmael, say brachos at home)

Latest time for shma: 9:26 AM

Parsha Shiur: 6:40 PM

Mincha: 7:20 PM

Shabbos Ends: 8:58 PM

Maariv: 9:04 PM


SUNDAY (8/1)

Shacharis 8:00 AM                                                                                                                                                                 

Rabbi’s Gemara Shiur in person and zoom: 8:45 AM

Mincha/Maariv 8:00 PM



MONDAY – THURSDAY (8/2 – 8/5)

Maariv:  9:00 PM 

Wednesday: 8:15 PM Parsha Preview on zoom

                   Dvar Torah & Thoughts on Eikev

Rabbi Asher Bush

While some might argue, it is quite likely that the most difficult mitzvah to do right is Tefilla. As we recite each morning and night in the second parsha of Shma, ולעבדו בכל לבבכם, to serve Him with all of our hearts. This, as Rashi explains, is the essence of Tefilla. Sure, it is not hard to say the words that are printed in the Siddur, and not even so hard to think about their meaning (although this is all too frequently observed in the breach), but to engage in an act of “service of the heart”, this is not something that most of us experience very often. In other words, outside of times of great need, such as when a loved one is ill, or special moments of inspiration, prayer is all too often a rather mechanical act and not much of a spiritual experience.

These words, to serve Him with all of our hears, the Rambam writes, is the source of the obligation of daily prayer. Accordingly, the idea of daily prayer is not just to offer praises, thanks, or requests, but to truly engage in an act of service of the heart, to speak in a real and meaningful manner with our Maker. It is not just about the words, but to develop and build a relationship. Unlike the recital of Shma which is intended primarily to remind us of our faith and ways to make it real, Tefilla has no formal text, as each person was left to use their own words, the ones that come from their own heart. And as the Rambam writes, it is not just an “idea”, but an obligation. This means that part of our special opportunities and responsibilities as Jews we are bidden to engage with God each day in a meaningful and personal way. For this there is no set text, no formal language, just whatever works for each individual.

Understanding the difficulty in such creativity, our Sages composed the daily Shmone Esrei, which touches on many basic personal and national needs. But the major mistake that many make is to think that this is it. That if we recite these words (and do so with understanding) we have done all there is to do. Texts like the Shmone Esrei, Tehilim and so many other powerful and deep prayers are there to get us started. Sometimes that may be all we need to say and think about, but quite often there is so much more.  How many times have people expressed their frustration to me that the texts in front of them didn’t quite capture what they were feeling or wanted to say? How often have people told me that they assumed that this was all that they should be saying, no matter how much more they wanted to say, to pour out their pain and hearts before God? How many times have people expressed their surprise when I have told them that they can use “the other side of the page” (the one in English)? What all of this is about is making our words, our prayers, into עבודה שבלב, the true service of the heart, something that is not just about opening a sacred book at the right time each day.

Rav Soloveitchik is quoted in different contexts as saying that Halacha is the floor for our conduct and not the ceiling. I can think of no place where this is truer than in the matter of Tefilla. We have our daily prayers, our brachos before and after eating, on various events and experiences; each is designed to help us achieve this experience. It is the experience of having a deep and regular relationship with God, one that involves thought and the heart. These words and so many others can and should be a big part of it, but the most important part cannot come from any text, it must come from inside of each person, with their formal prayers, informal ones, their feelings and their passion.



Mon, August 2 2021 24 Av 5781