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Rabbi Lipskar's weekly devar torah


Miketz – Chanukah 5779


This week’s Torah portion Miketz, coinciding with Chanukah, has a very significant and relevant message to each of us today.

In our Torah portion we learn about Joseph, a Jew, who entered Egypt in slavery having been purchased and traded multiple times after being kidnapped and sold by his brothers. In every environment where he is, he excels in an extraordinary way. In his first position as a servant in Potifar’s (a Minister in Pharaoh’s court) home, he became the CEO. In prison, he immediately rises to the top and becomes the jail-keeper’s personal representative in keeping order. He further reveals his brilliance by interpreting dreams that would occur precisely in the way that he stated. He then becomes the second most powerful person in Egypt, single-handedly responsible for not only salvaging Egypt and saving its population from hunger and starvation, but also supplies the needs for all the surrounding lands.

This is the story of a single Jew who joins the succession of his majestic, royal ancestry to make a positive difference in the world, utilizing every aspect of his capacity.  Joseph is recognized for his intellectual powers, management capacity and highest levels of ethics, morality and trust. It is noteworthy that in all his successes he gives pubic credit and recognition to Almighty G-d, thereby promulgating faith and reliance on G-d.

This is not only the story of Joseph. It is the story of the Jewish people who are Al-mighty G-d's representatives to bring light into the world. Joseph emphasizes that special role that the Jewish people have in this world and our innate capacity to connect with the most energetic source of light in the world, Al-mighty G-d, to fulfill this holy task and mission.

The holiday of Chanukah also sends this very significant message, as a small group of dedicated Jews who sought to serve G-d freely withstood and overcame the mightiest army in the civilized world at that time. The objective was to kindle lights and to bring enlightenment, light, goodness and holiness into an otherwise dark world and space.

It is the reason that the Chanukah candles/Menorah is lit in a place where it proclaims its visibility in the most prominent manner.  The Talmud tells us that the time of the lighting of the candles is until the last person who boards up the storefronts leaves the marketplace, or another interpretation of that statement is until even those who generally are somewhat rebellious against what is good and proper also are challenged by light which will surely illuminate and permeate them.

Legally it would have been permissible to kindle the lights of the Holy Temple with the defiled, impure oil. G-d caused a supernatural, over-the-top miracle in finding a single carafe of holy oil and then allowing it to light for enough days (eight) for them to replenish the pure oil. Al-mighty G-d tells the Jewish people and teaches us a lesson for all of history that even light sometimes can be construed and utilized in negative ways. The flashing lights, that sparkle and glow in the centers of the world’s hedonism, are bright and forceful but not necessarily good and positive.

As we light up the world, we must make sure that it is a light that dispels the darkness not a light that summons one to the darkness.

It was about 32 years ago that our first public Menorah illuminated Bal Harbour Square. It was 14 feet high with giant cotton wicks and oil but stood somewhat lost in the shadows among the vast array of colored, secular seasonal lights that surrounded it. Many people commented that we must do something to emphasize the Menorah lights’ presence. That year, on the eighth night of Chanukah when all eight torches were flickering on top of our Menorah, there was a sudden electrical blackout in the entire area. Everything was dark. No streetlights, no holiday lights, no shopping lights. No light except for that Menorah standing in the Square of Bal Harbour, with its eight lights plus the serving light burning with bright and dancing flames, proclaiming that when all artificial light somehow recedes into darkness, the holy lights of Chanukah continue to illuminate and dispel the darkness.

Joseph said Thank You to G-d. The Maccabbees said Thank You to G-d. And we must say Thank You to G-d.

May we all have an enlightened Chanukah with everything good. Have a great Shabbos, a good week, a happy Chanukah and a Chodesh Tov.


The Shul Pushka Campaign


It's the little things in life that count. G-d fills the world every moment with His divine energy. Tzedakah is one of the special and significant ways to create an all-encompassing Mitzvah, and in today's world, we need more Mitzvot than ever. It doesn't matter where or how much you give, just make Tzedakah part of your day.

The Shul provides beautiful Pushkas (Charity Boxes)* to the community and to all those that would like to participate in the important Mitzvah of Tzedakah. To request a ShulPushka please call: The ShulShul Office: 305-868-1411 or fill out this form below.


To Learn More About The Meaning of Tzedakah Click Here

Jewish Holidays


All Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified on most calendars. This is because a Jewish "day" begins and ends at sunset, rather than at midnight. If you read the story of creation in Genesis Ch. 1, you will notice that it says, "And there was evening, and there was morning, one day."

From this, we infer that a day begins with evening, that is, sunset. Holidays end at nightfall of the date specified on most calendars; that is, at the time when it becomes dark out, about an hour after sunset.


List of All Holiday Dates

Below is a list of all major holiday dates for the next four years. All holidays begin at sundown on the day before the date specified here.







Rosh Hashanah






Yom Kippur












Shemini Atzeret






Simchat Torah
























Pesach (Passover)






Lag B'Omer



















For more information Click here

Project 33154


Project 33154 is a community wide program to create a neighbor to neighbor Jewish experience. The initial case study started Chanuka 2002 where 10 young Yeshiva boys visited every home in Bay Harbor to identify which ones were Jewish and give them the necessary items (Menorah, Candles, Guides etc.) for the Holiday of Chanuka.

Over 250 Jewish Homes were identified together with a color coded map or Members, Non-Members and Unaffiliated Jews. Over the next Purim and Passover the same idea was used in the Surfside and Bal Harbour area and over 800 new Jewish homes were contacted and had a taste of The Shul.


Block Shluchim

Together with color coded map each neighborhood was split up into different areas that include a lay leader from The Shul.

Before each Yom Tov The Shul prepares a special food package which promotes holiday awareness.

Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Succot, Chanukah, Purim, Pesach andShavout

Every newly identified Jewish household in the Bal Harbor, Bay Harbor Islands and Surfside areas has been contacted with thousands of Apples and Honey packages, Chanukah kits and Purim Mishloach Manos and food packages distributed this year.

Over 350 pounds of hand-made Shemurah Matzo (that’s about 2,450 pieces of matzah) has been distributed throughout 33154. If you are new on the 33154 area, please let us know so you can be included on this amazing and inspiring Jewish Program.

Send a letter to the Rebbe זי"ע


Throughout his lifetime, the Rebbe received hundreds of letters every day, from people of every conceivable background, occupation and faith. Today people continue to send letters to be placed at the Ohel for the Rebbe's guidance and intervention On High, in the age-old tradition of written prayer petitions at our holiest sites

Whether referring to one's own self or mentioning someone else's name in a letter, one should always include the name and mother's name (e.g. Isaac the son of Sarah) of both the one(s) who are in need of blessing and the signer. is preferable to use one's Jewish name. (Customarily gentiles use their father's name.) Letters can be written in any language. You can fax directly to the Ohel at: (718) 723-4444 Or you can use the form below to have the rabbis at Ohel Chabad Lubavitch bring your prayers to the Rebbe’s resting place.

The Rebbe

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory, the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was -- and still is, despite his passing -- "the Rebbe."

Whether referring to one's own self or mentioning someone else's name in a letter, one should always include the name and mother's name (e.g. Isaac the son of Sarah) of both the one(s) who are in need of blessing and the signer.

Click Here to Know More Click Here.

Mon, December 10 2018 2 Tevet 5779