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Shavout 2012 Bulletin

Congregation Shaare Zedek

5308 Palisade Avenue
West New York, NJ 07093


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Shavout Schedule 5772 (2012)

Friday May 25th– Light Shabbos Candles at 7:58PM(L’hadlik ner Shel Shabbos)

(Please prepare a Yorzait candle to use as pre-existing flame to light the candles on Yom Tov before lighting the Shabbos candles).

Saturday May 26th-Shabbos Services 9:30AM

Saturday Night –May 26th - Shavuot Eve

Light Candles from Pre-existing flame at 9:10PM ( L’hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov and Shehecheyanu).

Sunday May 27th- Shavuot  1st Day- morning Services 9:30AM

Light Candles from pre existing flame at 9:11 PM (L’hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov and Shehecheyanu)

Monday May 28th–Shavuot 2nd  Day – morning services 9:30AM – Yizkor Memorial Services     Yom Tov ends 9:12PM.



Tasty tidbits on Shavuot


  1. Why is this holiday called Shavuot?

The commentary of the Ohr HaChaim states that the name Shavuot alludes to the respective oaths (shevuah) that were taken by G-d and the Jewish People not to forsake each other. It is also possible to explain that the name reminds us of counting of seven weeks (shevuah) from Pesach to Shavuot. These seven weeks remind us of the seven days of purity that result in a woman being able to immerse in the mikvah and to resume a state taharah.

  1. Why is the holiday of Shavuot also referred to as Chag Haatzeret?

Each of the other festivals of the year are marked by two distinct types of observance that connect us with G-d.  Each of these holidays is marked by our refraining from melacha (those activities prohibited on the Shabbat and Yom Tov), as well as the special and unique mitzvoth that are associated with each , such as the eating of matzah on Pesach and the sitting in the sukkah on Sukkot. Shavuot, though, is not marked by any unique mitzvoth and therefore only has one type of observance that distinguishes it, namely the different from any other day of the week, and gives it its special name. Additionally, both Pesach and Sukkot have intermediate days of the festival on which certain types of melacha are permitted. Only Shavuot has no Chol Hamoed and therefore is a holiday complete in its avoidance (atzeret) of melacha.

  1. What is the reason for the custom of placing trees and greenery in the synagogue on Shavuot?

This custom reminds us that at Shavuot time G-d determines the quality of the spring harvest of fruits, literally “judging” the fruits of the tree. It is accordingly a time of prayer for a bountiful harvest. Additionally it is a reminder of the great occurrence of the Giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, an event that even occasioned the barren Mt. Sinai to bring forth lush greenery in its honor. We know this from the warning given to Moshe not to allow the animals to pasture on Mt. Sinai, implying that there was indeed pasture available there.

  1. Why is there a custom to remain awake the entire night of Shavuot and engage in the study of Torah?

This is because of the Midrash records that on the morning of the Giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai the Jews were still sleeping, and it was necessary for G-d to wake them. We therefore remain awake all night and davven at sunrise as an eternal response to our having overslept.

  1. Why do we read the book of Ruth on Shavuot?

At the very end of the Book of Ruth the line of decent from Ruth and Boaz to King David is recorded. The Jerusalem Talmud tells us that King David died on Shavuot, and since we follow the principle that G-d always completes the years of the righteous, we can assume that King David was born on Shavuot as well. It is therefore appropriate to read the Book of Ruth on the Birthday of King David, in his honor. Additionally, Shavuot represents 606, when added to the 7 Noachide commandments, total the 613 commandments with which we are familiar. The numerical values of the letters of “Ruth” equal 606, and remind us of the commandments received on Shavuot.

  1. Why is there a custom to eat dairy on Shavuot?

There are many who say that this custom applies to the first day of Shavuot and then only to the beginning of the meal, after which meat should be eaten as on any other Yom Tov or Shabbat… Accordingly, the explanation is as follows.  On the plate there are physical reminders of the two special sacrifices that were offered on Pesach, the shank bone representing the Korban Pesach ( Paschal lamb) and the roasted egg representing the Korban Chagigah (Festival Offering).Similarly

On Shavuot there was a special korban of the Shtei HaLechem(two specially prepared loaves of bread that where offered as a wave offering on Shavuot).If we are to eat our meal in such a way as to begin with dairy and afterwards to eat meat, then we will need two different loaves of bread , since the same loaf may not be used at both a milchik and fleishig meal.These two loaves will remind us of the Shtei HaLechem sacrifice that was unique to Shavuot.

Another reason is that milk is symbolic of chesed (as in the milk that a mother provides for her baby).The Giving of the Torah was a chesed  done for us by G-d ,who chose to share His ways and directives for the world. Similarly the first letters of the expression “Lehagid baboker chasdecha” (to recount your chesed  in the morning) spells out the word “chalav” (milk).

Additionally , all of the commentaries agree that the Torah was given on Shabbat . Until that Bnei Yisrael  were allowed to eat meat with only a few restrictions, however when the Torah was given , all of the laws applied to them , such as eating certain species of animals , and only through the process of slaughtering , etc. Because of these new laws Bnei Yisrael were unable to use their utensils which had suddenly become non-kosher , and were unable to kosher them because it was Shabbat and Yom Tov. Accordingly they were only able to eat dairy, and  we do so today as a reminder of that practice. Another reason is that one of the names of Mt. Sinai is Givnonim , similar to givina(cheese) and therefore we eat dairy to remind us of this name Mt.Sinai.


Shosana and I and Rachel Leah, Sarah Temima, Ezra Joseph and Boaz Eliezer would like to wish the entire congregation a happy and healthy Shavuot.



Once again I appeal for your support now that the New Year is almost upon us. Your financial
generosity is, as always, desperately needed. We sustained significant water damage from
Hurricane Irene: our roof needs repairs, and our interior needs spackling and repainting.

You can now donate securely online from our web site

You may also send checks, money orders, etc made out to:
Cong Shaare Zedek
5308 Palisade Avenue
West New York, NJ 07093

With best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year and may you all be inscribed in the Book of Life.

PRESIDENT MARTIN BOCK passed away Friday January 13, 2012, 18th of Tevet, 5772

View/download/print the following forms as a Word document

Yitzkor-Memorial Services Appeal


In Memory of_____________________________________

Pledge $_________________________________________

If you want Sponsor a Shabbos Kiddush please mail check payable to

Cong Shaare Zedek (write memo Kiddush)

5308 Palisade Ave, West New York, NJ 07093

You can now donate securely online from our web site

Shaare Zedek News

Dear Friends:

We had a great winter not cold at all but we had a major plumbing problem with broken pipes not one but three times and with that the water bill went over $ 4500.00 and you all know our financial situation plus our monthly expenses.

Please be generous and give a little extra to help us get back in track and to continue having our shul for many years to come, if you have not been here lately come and visit us and see the many renovations that we have made to keep our synagogue safe and beautiful .


Shaare Zedek goes cyber we have a web site

You can check it out for news and  print the bulletin, also share pictures and memories.

David Babani- Treasurer



Babani Family                                            Jeff Bernstein                                         

Ira Cohen                                                    Morris Herzig

Murray Handler                                        Bernard Kaminsky                                    

Dante Medici                                             Emanuel DeMiranda

Carlos Palacio                                             Mr. & MRS. Rice                                            

Gary Pollack                                                Mrs. Shiloh

Duved Stroble