December 23, 2016

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Chabad of Summerlin• Email: office@• Phone: 702-855-0770 •



Message from Rabbi Schanowitz  


Rabbi Schanowitz.JPGAs related in this week's Torah portion, Vayeisheiv, when Joseph went at his father's behest to check on his brothers in Shechem he met a man "wandering in the field," who was actually the angel Gabriel. In response to Joseph's question if he knew where they might be, the man replied, "They have departed, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dotan.' "

Rashi, the foremost Torah commentator, explains that with these words the angel was trying to warn Joseph to keep away from his brothers, who were intending to harm him. "They have departed" suggested "they have removed themselves from brotherhood," and "let us go to Dotan" meant they were looking for a legal way ("datot") to kill him. Nonetheless, Joseph ignored these veiled warnings and continued on his way.

Thus we see that in his desire to fulfill his father's request Joseph demonstrated true self-sacrifice, to the point that he was willing to endanger his life. Yet this in itself raises several questions: Jacob had asked Joseph to "go see the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring me back word." If Joseph were to be killed by his brothers, he would obviously not be able to report back to Jacob.

Furthermore, what justification did Joseph have for endangering his life in order to fulfill the commandment of honoring one's parents, when it is not one of the three mitzvot a Jew is permitted to give up his life rather than transgress: idolatry, illicit relations and murder?

The great codifier of Jewish law, Moses Maimonides, explains that in certain circumstances it is indeed permissible to demonstrate this extreme level of self-sacrifice, even when it isn't "necessary": "If the person is tremendously great, pious and G‑d-fearing, and sees that the generation is reckless [in observing that particular mitzva], he is permitted to sanctify G‑d's Name and sacrifice his life for even a minor commandment, in order that the people see and take note."

Joseph was well aware that his brothers were lacking in the mitzva of honoring parents, which had been amply demonstrated by their behavior in the incident of Shechem as well as in their antipathy toward him. He thus resolved to fulfill his father's wishes at all costs.

The same dynamics are also evident in the story of Chanuka, which we are now celebrating. Strictly speaking, there was no need for Matityahu and his sons to risk their lives and engage in war against the Syrian-Greeks. Nonetheless, it was their willingness for self-sacrifice above and beyond the "letter of the law" that ultimately led to miracles and wonders.

In fact, in the merit of their deeds they found the "cruse of pure oil with the High Priest's seal," symbolic of the inner essence of every Jew, and merited "to institute these eight days of Chanuka to give thanks and praise to Your great Name."

Adapted from Vol. 35 of Likkutei Sichot


A Thought for Chanukah



Noting that one should spend time in close proximity to the Chanukah lights, the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe would say, “We must listen carefully to what the candles are saying.” So what are the flickering flames telling us? Here are some messages:

 a.    Never be afraid to stand up for what’s right. Judah Maccabee and his band faced daunting odds, but that didn’t stop them. With a prayer on their lips and faith in their heart, they entered the battle of their lives—and won. We can do the same.

 b.    Always increase in matters of goodness and Torah-observance. Sure, a single flame was good enough for yesterday, but today needs to be even better.

 c.    A little light goes a long way. The Chanukah candles are lit when dusk is falling. Perched in the doorway, they serve as a beacon for the darkening streets. No matter how dark it is outside, a candle of G‑dly goodness can transform the darkness itself into light.

 d.    Take it to the streets. Chanukah is unique in that its primary mitzvah is observed in public. It’s not enough to be a Jew at heart, or even at home. Chanukah teaches us to shine outwards into our surroundings with the G‑dly glow of mitzvahs.

 e.    Don't be ashamed to perform mitzvahs, even if you will feel different. Rather, be like a menorah, proudly proclaiming its radiant uniqueness for all to see.

  Click here  for a full menorah-lighting guide.



Chanukah with Fireman Sam!  


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Senior's Social Event!  


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Women's Events This Week  


 Women's Weekly Tehillim Gathering at Chabad of Summerlin

Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 11:00 AM 

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Weekly Chavura.jpg 


3rd Annual Menorah Lighting at Downtown Summerlin!  


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Join Us at Smith's Menorah Lighting!  


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8th Day Band on the 8th day of Chanukah!  


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New Class! Register Now!  


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Shabbat Times


Candle Lighting Times for

Las Vegas, NV [Based on Zip Code 89128]:


Shabbat Candle Lighting:

Friday, Dec 23

4:14 pm

Shabbat Ends:

Shabbat, Dec 24

5:14 pm

Torah Portion: Vayeishev


What's Happening?

Upcoming Events


Shabbat Mevorchim Tehillim
Dec. 24, 2016 - 8:00 am

Tanya Shiur
Dec. 24, 2016 - 9:00 am

Chanukah Family Fun Day
Dec. 25, 2016 - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Chanukah Fun with Fireman Sam! Free!

Torah Topics with Rabbi Schanowitz
Dec. 26, 2016 - 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Senior's Chanukah Party
Dec. 26, 2016 - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Our annual event! Free Admission, Raffles & Prizes

Menorah Lighting at Downtown Summerlin
Dec. 27, 2016 - 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
3rd Annual Menorah Lighting in conjunction with Chabad of Red Rock & the JCC. Free admission! Music, entertainment, refreshments.

Menorah Lighting at Smith's
Dec. 29, 2016 - 4:30 pm
Annual Menorah lighting with music, entertainment and treats from Smith's Kosher Experience


• View all upcoming events


Daily Quote

He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name

Psalms 147:4


Community Notebook


Mazal Tov to Reuven & Rochel Frosberg on the birth of a boy!

Sholom Zochor at 8400 Surfs Up Drive after the Friday night Shabbat meal.

Refuah Shleimah to Miriam Blom





Quick Links

Jewish Birthday Converter


This Week @

Chanukah Info Center
How to Light the Menorah

Breeze through the Chanukah Menorah lighting with a step by step guide on everything from which menorah is kosher to how to arrange and light your own menorah.

The Inner Meaning of Yud Tes Kislev

With the Alter Rebbe's release from prison in 1798, he began to teach Torah's secrets in a way that would brighten every Jewish home, and would permeate the outside world.

A Cruel Uncovering

Joseph’s famous multi-colored tunic is the unmistakable marker of his identity. It was the symbol of his prestige.

The Other Black Box on the Plane

He was standing with his huge prayer shawl, his tallis, draped over his head, with his tefillin strapped to his head and arm when a sweet-faced little girl skipped up to him and asked plainly: “What are you doing?”

Chabad-Lubavitch News from Around the World

Holiday Watch
Prepping for Chanukah in 90 Countries Around the World
Increase in Chanukah Activities Urged in Response to Berlin Terror Attack
Holiday Watch
Chanukah Time Means Camp Time for Kids Across America
Holiday Watch
It’s Après-Ski Menorahs for a Snowy Chanukah in Vail


The Jewish Calendar

  Friday Kislev 23 | December 23
Today in Jewish HistoryJews Accused of Poisoning the Wells (1348)
  Shabbat Kislev 24 | December 24
Today in Jewish HistoryConstruction of the Second Temple Resumes (353 BCE)
Laws and CustomsBless New Month
Laws and CustomsKindle One Chanukah Light after nightfall
  Sunday Kislev 25 | December 25
Today in Jewish HistoryCain Kills Abel (3720 BCE)
Today in Jewish HistoryMishkan completed (1312 BCE)
Today in Jewish HistoryChanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Today in Jewish HistoryR. Chizkiah Medini (1904)
Laws and CustomsKindle 2 Lights tonight
Laws and CustomsHallel & Al HaNissim
Laws and CustomsChanukah Foods
Laws and CustomsDreidel
Laws and CustomsChanukah Gelt
  Monday Kislev 26 | December 26
Today in Jewish History2nd Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Today in Jewish HistoryRaavad's Passing (1198)
Today in Jewish HistoryOldest US Synagogue Dedicated (1763)
Laws and CustomsKindle 3 Lights tonight
  Tuesday Kislev 27 | December 27
Today in Jewish HistoryFlood rains cease (2105 BCE)
Today in Jewish History3rd Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Today in Jewish HistoryR. Chaim of Tchernovitz (1817)
Today in Jewish History2nd liberation of R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1800)
Laws and CustomsKindle 4 Lights tonight
  Wednesday Kislev 28 | December 28
Today in Jewish History4th Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Laws and CustomsKindle 5 Lights tonight
  Thursday Kislev 29 | December 29
Today in Jewish History5th Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Laws and CustomsKindle 6 Lights tonight
  Friday Tevet 1 | December 30
Rosh Chodesh
Today in Jewish HistoryEsther made Queen (362 BCE)
Today in Jewish History6th Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Laws and CustomsRosh Chodesh Observances
Laws and CustomsKindle 7 Lights before sunset
  Shabbat Tevet 2 | December 31
Today in Jewish History7th Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)
Laws and CustomsKindle Eight Lights after nightfall

Daily Thought

Related to Wonder



Yes, there is wonder in the world, but we do not stand on the outside gaping in.

This wonder, it is our parent.
We are its child.
It is our G‑d and we are its people.


Likkutei Sichot, vol. 16, p. 482; Hayom Yom, 12 Cheshvan.






The Parshah In A Nutshell

Parshat Vayeishev


Jacob settles in Hebron with his twelve sons. His favorite is seventeen-year-old  Joseph, whose brothers are jealous of the preferential treatment he receives from his father, such as a precious  many-colored coat that Jacob makes for Joseph. Joseph relates to his brothers two of his  dreams which foretell that he is destined to rule over them, increasing their envy and hatred towards him.

Simeon and  Levi plot to kill him, but  Reuben suggests that they throw him into a pit instead, intending to come back later and save him. While Joseph is in the pit,  Judah has him sold to a band of passing  Ishmaelites. The brothers dip Joseph’s special coat in the blood of a goat and show it to their father, leading him to believe that his most beloved son was devoured by a wild beast.

Judah marries and has three children. The eldest,  Er, dies young and childless, and his wife,  Tamar, is given in levirate marriage to the second son,  Onan. Onan sins by spilling his seed, and he too meets an early death. Judah is reluctant to have his third son marry her. Determined to have a child from Judah’s family, Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute and seduces Judah himself. Judah hears that his daughter-in-law has become pregnant and orders her executed for harlotry, but when Tamar produces some personal effects he left with her as a pledge for payment, he publicly admits that he is the father. Tamar gives birth to twin sons,  Peretz (an ancestor of King David) and  Zerach.

Joseph is taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar, the minister in charge of  Pharaoh’s slaughterhouses. G‑d blesses everything he does, and soon he is made overseer of all his master’s property.  Potiphar’s wife desires the handsome and charismatic lad; when Joseph rejects her advances, she tells her husband that the Hebrew slave tried to force himself on her, and has him thrown into  prison. Joseph gains the trust and admiration of his jailers, who appoint him to a position of authority in the prison administration.

In prison, Joseph meets Pharaoh’s  chief butler and  chief baker, both incarcerated for offending their royal master. Both have disturbing  dreams, which Joseph interprets; in three days, he tells them, the butler will be released and the baker hanged. Joseph asks the butler to intercede on his behalf with Pharaoh. Joseph’s predictions are fulfilled, but the butler  forgets all about Joseph and does nothing for him.




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