New Course: Dr. Binyamin Mehler - The Korbanot Service

When: Tuesday January 10, 17 and 24 between 3-4:30 pm. The course will be offered by Zoom. The recording will be available for those who wish to register but cannot attend live. Advance registration required by Monday, January 9. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.

For those who have never studied with Dr. Mehler – you will be entertained, you will be astonished, you will be challenged, and you will learn!

This seminar will be an exploration of a part of the morning service no longer included in the Sim Shalom. The Sim Shalom begins the morning service with the morning blessings followed by “Rabbinic texts.” After the morning blessings in the traditional siddur comes the “Korbanot” section containing 19 paragraphs mostly biblical paragraphs describing the various offerings (e.g. sin offerings, thanksgiving offerings) and a recipe for the incense.

“For me, the most esoteric parts of the morning service are the most meaningful. We read the recipe for incense that has not been burned in 2000 years, details of services abandoned for centuries, whose memory was rescued from oblivion by the heroic efforts of teachers who believed that if the incense could not be smelled, at least the recipe could be recited. If the meal could not be eaten, at least its preparation could be recalled, reminding us always of how much we have lost; of our hunger.” – Dr. Mehler, 4/5/2011.

According to “Peninei Halakha (

“When someone does not have time to say the Tamid paragraph, the verses of the Ketoret, and all of Pesukei d’Zimrah, it is best that he omit Psalm 30 (“Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit L’David,” and Sephardim begin “Aromimcha Hashem”) so that he can recite them. If time does not allow him, he should also omit Hodu LaHashem. It is even permissible to skip Vayevarech David, Az Yashir, and Yehi Chevo in order to recite the paragraph of the Tamid offering and the verses of the Ketoret. This is because the foundation for the recital of the Tamid passage and verses of the Ketoret is in the Talmud, whereas the other passages were added to Pesukei d’Zimrah by the Savora’im and Geonim.”

Dr. Mehler will explore the meaning of these esoteric texts and why the reading of the Tamid and Ketoret (recipe for the incense) was so much more important to read than Psalms 30, which we would never think to skip.

Those who sign up will receive a pdf of the Korbanot service with Dr. Mehler’s notes compiled in 2011.

Ahavas Israel Book Group

Ahavas Israel’s Book Group News:

Wednesday, November 23, 7:00 p.m.

Barbara Rapaport, Reimagined

All her life, Barbara Rapaport had been struggling to reconcile two sides of her personality: the one who felt compelled to remain behind the scenes and the one who gave herself permission to stand in the spotlight. In this candid and emotionally true memoir, Rapaport recounts her harrowing experience battling a rare form of cancer. The story of Rapaport’s suffering as a result of her cancer surgery, and subsequent prolonged recovery, reveals that the tyranny of her physical pain wasn’t the worst of what she had to endure. Rather, it served as a smokescreen for an even greater agony – that neither of her personas, the quiet good girl nor the successful warrior deserved to live. With extraordinary self-awareness, Reimagined toggles back and forth between Rapaport’s adult cancer journey and the childhood trauma that gave rise to these false beliefs. Her story beautifully illustrates a truth many of us live with: that our childhood demons are never very far away. But with courage and fortitude we can gain the perspective necessary to acquire what’s long avoided us: radical self-acceptance.

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 889 1338 4550
Passcode: 413183


January 24th 10:00 a.m. on Zoom

We have been invited by Congregation of Moses to join a book group conversation on Zoom with Rabbi Dr. Haviva Ner-David on January 24th 10:00 a.m., on “Dreaming Against the Current, A Rabbi's Soul Journey.” She also wrote “Life on the Fringes” and three other book, including a novel. To receive the zoom link, register for the group at


Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 7:00 p.m.

Ilana Kurshan, If All The Seas Were Ink

Ilana Kurshan’s memoir is impressive for many reasons. On its face the story is about a woman — the author — and how she recovered from her divorce through daf yomi, the daily practice of studying the Talmud, which took over seven years to complete. But Kurshan’s divorce is neither the focus of her book nor the main story of her life. Rather, the book’s topics range widely, from Kurshan’s childhood to her aliyah to Israel, to parenthood. Organized in a loosely chronological fashion, it is arranged by Talmud tractates.The power of this memoir arises from the expert connections Kurshan draws between her personal story and the talmudic anecdotes.

Evident from the beginning is Kurshan’s expertise in the Talmud, rabbinic Judaism, midrash, and Jewish topics more generally. Perhaps due to the nature of daf yomi, which is less deep dive and more high-level, she strikes the right balance between explanation, detail, and depth in her retelling of talmudic stories. This is helpful because the Talmud is, frankly, complicated, and the numerous stories occasionally make the memoir a touch too dense. Fortunately, for the majority of the book, Kurshan’s skilled writing makes the stories accessible and also animates the rabbis and their debates for a modern audience.

Kurshan’s passion for the written word is a key feature of her inner self. She is not only an expert in rabbinic literature; she also weaves secular literature and poetry throughout the book. The literary quotations add emotional richness to the memoir.

Due to Kurshan’s deft explanations of Talmudic personalities and principles, even readers without a background in Jewish topics will enjoy this insightful memoir. Readers will be inspired by Kurshan’s resilience and renewal, with the Talmud by her side.

Rabbi Krishef’s study groups and classes

Rabbi Krishef’s study groups and classes

Hanukkah dinner December 25

Save the date community hanukah dinner



Let's get festive during the Festival of Lights with a Community Hanukkah Dinner! Join Congregation Ahavas Israel and Temple Emanuel (at Congregation Ahavas Israel) on Sunday evening, December 25th, at 6:00 p.m. Chanukah dinner and activities. Come enjoy a dairy meal of Salmon and Latkes (fish sticks for the little ones).  A vegan and gluten fee option will be available. Bring your Hanukkiah and candles to light.

More information to come.

If you are able to help cook, PLEASE notify Ann Berman, 616-633-7922.

Torah Reading with Cantor Fair

On Tuesdays, beginning January 3, 2023:

Cantor Fair will teach a 12 week class on how to chant Torah (or “leyn”) on weekdays and Shabbat. Students will study how to chant, what the trope markings look like, perfect their Hebrew-reading skills, and even learn a bit of history behind this sacred and holy art. Contact Cantor Fair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to register.

Community Tu B'shavat Seder, February 5, 2023

Save the Date:

Congregation Ahavas Israel and Temple Emanuel  are joining together to celebrate Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for trees, Sunday, February 5, 2023. Join us for a Seder and light dinner, $10/person.

Purim 5783/2023

Join us for Purim celebrations:

Monday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Ahavas Israel

  • Joint Temple Emanuel and Congregation Ahavas Israel Purimshpiel
  • Two Megillah readings/experiences, one by Congregation Ahavas Israel, one by Temple Emanuel


Tuesday, March 7 at 8:00 a.m. at Ahavas Israel,

Purim morning minyan -in person, in the Sanctuary. It will include a Megillah reading. We will broadcast the service on our usual platforms -- see the eVoice for the direct links.

Text Size

Jewish Date

Facebook Twitter RSS Feed 

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Email type
Please wait