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Kiddush Shabbat Candle Lighting Times

This week's Kiddush has been sponsored by the Lefferts, Botwinick and Herman families.

To sponsor or co-sponsor a kiddush, or to join The Kiddush Club, please contact Rabbi Saacks at

Shabbat Candle Lighting
September 14
 6:46 PM
Shabbat Ends
Shabbat, September 15
7:43 PM

Parshah: Vayelech  

Birthdays & Yahrtzeits A Bit of Humor

This Week's Birthdays
{To have your birthday listed here, please call the office}
Joseph Abel, Rebecca Florence
Ross Greenfield, Marc Strent
Chanan Schupak, Evonne Liss
Dean Rosenzweig, Devorah Rosenzweig
Danielle Rubenfeld, Marilyn Abisror
Ryan Kayton, Aria Eghbali
Alex Jeremy Seligson, Danielle Rubenfeld
Lisa Baldi, Dani Levitsky
Max Caspi, Joshua Cohen
Sam Botwinick, Aidan Nocito


This Week's Yahrtzeits

{Based on Hebrew date}
Leibel Hodkin
Gregory Rosenstein, Saul Milich
Anne Phillipson, Renee Scharf

To have your loved one’s yartzeit listed here, please contact The Chai Center

Moishe the Clerk
A really huge muscular guy with a bad stutter goes to a counter in a New York department store and asks, "W-w-w-where's the m-m-m-men's
Moishe the clerk behind the counter just looks at him and says nothing.
The man repeats himself: "W-w-w-where's the m-m-m-men's
Again, Moishe the clerk doesn't answer him.
The guy asks several more times: "W-w-w-where's the m-m-m-men's
And Moishe the clerk just seems to ignore him.
Finally, the guy storms off in anger.
The customer who was waiting in line behind the guy asks the clerk, "Why wouldn't you answer that guy's question?"
Moishe the clerk answers, "D-d-d-do you th-th-th-think I w-w-w-want to get b-b-b-beat up?!!"

I was recently asked my opinion on is whether fasting on Yom Kippur is important these days or not.  If you would have asked this question of me three years ago I would have responded completely different to the answer I now give.
In the past I would have responded with a gentle warm smile that “ I don’t have opinions on the Torah, I just follow the mandates of the Torah.” You see, in the Torah it states that you have to fast so we fast. The Code of Jewish Law advocates that this is incumbent upon every person over the age of majority, meaning Bar/Bat Mitzvah. I probably would have added that “Please do not shoot the messenger, as I work in sales and marketing and not in management.”
Back to the present. My answer now would be “it depends.”
As your typical Rabbi I get asked all types of questions on Jewish Law and I answer them (when I can) according to the rule as stated in our Book of Codes. Nothing has changed in that regard. However, as a relative of someone recovering from restrictive anorexia nervosa I have become educated in something I knew nothing about and I credit my relative for giving me new insight.   
Jewish law is very clear when it comes to health and safety that it comes first before anything and everything else. In other words, disregard the law if you need to, in order to save a potential life.
Let’s take fasting on Yom Kippur as a “random” example. As stated above, the law is that if you are a Jewish person over the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah you must fast. However, if by fasting, you will (even) possibly endanger your life, then fasting is not allowed.  Furthermore, if you do fast when told that you must not because of a possible danger, you have now transgressed a Jewish law. Which as a Rabbi, I can honestly tell you that you do not want to break laws especially on Yom Kippur!!
I had no clue until what an eating disorder was until recently. Initially, I scratched my head with wonder as how is it possible that a Jewish child who has Jewish DNA embedded in them, could dislike food so much? In the words of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof “Absurd. Unheard of.” And then I learned and experienced the full wrath of this …… monster that overtook someone’s lifer like a dybbuk, demon, devil, what have you.   
So, if you ask me today whether fasting on Yom Kippur is important in contemporary times or not, I answer it depends. It is ok to fast if you are healthy and show no signs of danger such as low blood sugar, DKA (ketones) dehydration, anorexia, etc.  It is not ok if this will run the risk of a relapse of an eating disorder or some other disorder that will prove to be deleterious to your health.
It is not okay if you have restricted the day before Yom Kippur. It is not okay if you are using this holy day as an excuse to yourself or to others that it is ok to fast. If anything above sounds familiar, then I would say EAT WHAT YOU NEED TO EAT. I am telling you to eat not only as a human being. I am telling you to eat as a Rabbi who practices Jewish Law!!
The same would hold true with all the charity fasts that the high school and college students raise money or awareness for. Think of it this way THIS PARTICULAR CAUSE MAY NOT BE YOUR MITZVAH. Choose another cause that you can put your heart and soul into. You do not have to be all things to all people. The charity organizer may or may not understand your hesitancy in fasting, but hey, it is not your problem. It is clearly not the right fit for you.
This philosophy would apply to non -Jewish religious fasts as well. Although I am not a scholar of comparative religions, I would find it hard to believe that you would be obligated to fast unless the Priest, Pastor, Deacon, Imam or Brother has no clue when you say that you have an eating disorder which is possible because I had absolutely no clue either. 
It is because of this very ignorance (not due to anyone’s fault) that I write this short article. Please dear leader, get yourself educated on matters of eating disorders. You will be glad that you did, as to save a life is to save a whole world.     
As this is a sensitive post, please do NOT write anything of personal nature. If you have a question that includes a name or something else private, please contact me privately. 
Have a meaningful Yom Kippur and a great New Year.

Tuesday, September 18
Light Candles at                                                              6:39 PM
Kol Nidre                         
                                               6:45 PM
Rabbi’s Sermon                        
                                       7:15 PM              

Wednesday, September 19         
Morning Services                               
                             9:30 AM
Junior Congregation                                      
                11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Rabbi’s Sermon                        
                                     12:15 PM
                            1:00 PM
                              5:00 PM
                              6:15 PM
                              7:36 PM
Break-Fast at The Chai Center - All Welcome

There is a blood shortage on Long Island. Please donate blood Wednesday, September 26th from 3:30 – 7:30pm at The Chai Center . Please TEXT 516 325-8689 for a convenient  appointment.

The Chai Center has been challenged by a unique and generous donor who will donate $50,000 if we raise $150,000.  Please help us get to this number as we could seriously use the funds and more. LOG ONTO  WWW.THECHAICENTER.COM/HH2018 to make your donation.  We can facilitate corporate matching funds as well.  Thank you for helping us raise these important funds for The Chai Center!

Over the last few month we have started a nightly Mincha and Marriv Minyan every weeknight at 7:00pm.
We have 4 of our dear friends in the community that are saying Kadish at the moment for their loved ones, and each and every night (most nights)  is a struggle to get a Minyan.
We are asking people to commit one or two nights a week to assure that they will be able to say.
The Minyan starts at 7:00 pm and is over at 7:20.
Please click HERE and write which nights you can commit to coming. Lets come together as a community and help each other.

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Due to the overwhelming response to our awesome preschool, we now proudly offer a second 2 year old class 3 times a week! This is great for parents who only wish to enroll their toddler part time. Please call the office at 631 351 8672.

As you may have heard, we are installing a new set of 8 gorgeous stained glass windows in the Chai Center sanctuary.  The theme are the days of the week. ALL 8 WINDOWS HAVE NOW BEEN SPONSORED - THANK YOU! We hope to have them installed within 2-3 weeks!
View the window designs by clicking here    >>     
Thank you to our sponsors: Day 1   Mindy & Michael Ashley  Day 2   Eileen Dreksler and Joel Seleznow  Day 3   Judi & Marvin Milich   Day 4  Drs. Robin & Jeff Goldstein  Day 5  Rene & Isaac Fialkoff   Day 6  Carolyn & Martin Cohen   Day 7  Ivana & Fabio Novick   Day 8  Phyllis & Neil Frank

From the Desk of the Chai Center Israel Committee
The US gets a big nod as this week's Hero of the Week for its decision to shutter the PLO headquarters in Washington D.C. The decision, along with the announced intention to defund UNWRA, changes the decades-old narrative that unfairly put the onus for a peace agreement at Israel's feet. For too long, so-called peace advocates have nodded in agreement with anything the Palestinians threw into the mix, from its refusals to negotiate in good faith to the shocking payments it makes to the terrorists and their families—with Western funds. The PLO's allies in Europe are sure to cry foul, but perhaps this, and similar moves, will be enough of a crack in the armor to lead everyone back to reality.
Thank you to all who nominated this week's heroes and villains. If you would like nominate a Hero (someone doing right by Israel and the Jewish people) or Villain (someone doing her and us harm) of the Week, email Allan Richter at


Junior Congregation – Join us every Saturday!
Did you know that the Chai Center has a new and improved Junior Congregation every Shabbat morning from 11:00 – 12:15.  The children have a great time and learn many fascinating things. Call Rabbi Dovid at 351-8672 if you have questions or just come.

Shabbat & Weekly Services This Week's Classes

FRIDAY EVENING           6:00 PM (Following Cholent & Whiskey)
SATURDAY NIGHT          8:10 AM

SUNDAY               9:40 – 10:30am The Weekly Torah Portion
MONDAY             8:00am Daily Tanya Class
MONDAY             7:00pm Jewish Law  
TUESDAY             8:00am Daily Tanya Class
WEDNESDAY      8:00am Daily Tanya Class
THURSDAY          8:00am Daily Tanya Class
FRIDAY                 8:00am Daily Tanya Class
SHABBAT             9:00am The Kabbalistic take on the Parsha

Business Spotlight  




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Thought for the Week

Story of the Week
Son of an Esrog
Acquiring an esrog was not as easy as it is now (you can get an esrog on-line for as little as $19 plus shipping). There were times when there would be one or even no esrog for an entire village. As soon as Rosh Hashana was over, Rabbi Chaim Meir Yechiel Shapira of Mogelnitz would send a messenger to comb the environs for a suitable esrog. One year, there were no esrogim to be had. The messenger went from town to town with no luck. Finally, on his way back to Mogelnitz, he heard two people talking in an inn of a wonderful esrog one of the locals managed to find.
The messenger went to the house of the wealthy merchant. He told the merchant of the saintliness of his Rebbe and the importance of having a fine esrog. The messenger was prepared to pay whatever the merchant wanted. The merchant said the esrog was not for sale.
After much cajoling, the merchant finally came to terms. "I am married many years and have no children. If your Rebbe is as holy as you say, my price is that my wife and I be blessed with a son this year. If by this time next year we have not had a child, then the sale is retroactively null and void and your entire village will not have fulfilled the mitzvah of esrog (The esrog must belong to the user. It is customary when borrowing an esrog for the lender to say, "I am giving this to you outright on condition you return it when finished.") The messenger thought a moment and then agreed. The messenger brought the esrog to Reb Chaim who was very pleased with its quality. His face paled when he heard the stipulations of the sale. He sat is deep contemplation for some time and finally said, "Alright, he will have a son by this time next year."
Reb Chaim received a package the following year on the day before Rosh Hashana. It contained a beautiful esrog with a note from the merchant thanking the Rebbe. His wife had given birth two weeks earlier. Each year, that merchant would send an esrog to Mogelnitz. One year, the messenger handed the esrog to the Rebbe and said, "My father wanted me to deliver this esrog to the Rebbe." Reb Chaim was ecstatic. He blessed the teenager and said, "Not only are you the bearer of an esrog, you are the son of an esrog!"

Chai Center Preschool

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Hebrew School, CTeen & STP

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Friendship Circle Highlights

Welcome back to the Friendship Circle.  If you have not already updated your information from last year, or filled out a new application to volunteer or a new registration for returning participants, please do so on our website  HERE.

Please join us at our volunteer orientation, Thursday Sept. 20, at 7pm at the Chai Center.  If you are a returning volunteer please fill out an update of information form  HERE.   If you are a first time volunteer please register  HERE
Please reserve your spot at our orientation HERE .  Bring a friend, and make a friend. 
Musical Theater Program Sunday Sept. 30, 12-3pm.  We have teamed up with the Lerner Social Competence and Treatment Lab to bring you this exciting musical theater program.  Due to the unique nature of this program you must register in advance and be screened for the program prior to the start date.   This program is open to all 12-21.  Please register on the website
Hip Hop will begin Oct. 3,  Computer Coding will begin Oct. 9,  Music Therapy will begin Oct. 15th, Teen Scene returns Oct. 21 and Puppy Fun returns Oct. 2.

If you would like to be part of the Friendship Circle, please go to our website and fill out this year's registration forms.  Volunteers please find your forms under the volunteer tab on our website.
If you have any questions we can be contacted at
We hope to see everyone there.


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Community Resources
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