Archive for March, 2018

From The Rabbi – Parshat Tzav / Shabbat Hagadol 5778

This past week I came across an article about Paul McCartney being interviewed by National Geographic Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg to discuss his family’s Meat Free Monday campaign, to encourage people to go just one day a week without eating animal products

This is not the forum to discuss vegetarianism within Judaism but, during the interview Susan asks Paul why the campaign encourages people to abstain from meat for only one day a week and his clever response was in essence that, if you ask people to take one small step, they will be more likely to give it ago, rather than requesting of people to make major changes in their life.

Next week Shabbat commences Pesach and one of the main themes of the Festival is our freedom from Egypt which, is not merely a historical experience but rather,as we recite in the Hagaddah “in every generation we should see ourselves as if we actually came out of Egypt”. Our sages explain that Egypt is not merely a geographical location but rather a physiological state of being, in which we become emotionally trapped by our inhibitions, addictions and various other unhealthy behavior patterns.

While our technical devices have opened up wonderful opportunities and help make many areas of life more convenient and comfortable, for many they have become destructive and addictive, and another form of modern day Egyptian slavery.

Taking a page out of Paul McCartney’s book, I would like to suggest that we launch a ‘Tech-free Friday night’, during which we turn off our various electronic devices, for at least a few hours from sundown until we go to sleep, and focus on communicating with each other in the good old traditional Shabbat spirit. I am sure that many of us will find that freeing ourselves from this ‘Egypt’ will be a liberating for body and soul and perform wonders to enhance our relationships.

 

With Pesach (Passover) only one week away, please see information below regarding Passover Shopping, communal Seders and more, and look out for further information in the post and via email over the next week.

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Hagadol (the Great Shabbat). Among the reasons suggested for this is, that prior to the Jewish people leaving Egypt, they were instructed to take a sheep and to tie it to their bed post in preparation for its slaughter four days later. When the Egyptians asked the Jews about this, they were informed about the impending plague of the killing of the first born, during which the blood of the sheep sprinkled on the doorposts would be a sign that Hashem would Passover the homes of the Jewish people. Upon hearing about this, the first-born among the Egyptians waged a civil war against Pharaoh and his people. This was considered a great miracle as it diverted the attention from the Jews and caused our enemies to wipe out each other without the need for special Divine intervention or any effort on behalf of the Jews.

Thank you to the dedicated members of our community who assisted last Sunday with the working bee to clean up our Shul for Pesach. It was a real nachas to witness the communal spirit in this regard. Kol Hakavod!

 

Shabbat Shalom              

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayikra / Hachodesh 5778

This past week, we received the news of the sad passing of Stephen Hawking, the brilliant British theoretical physicist who overcame a debilitating disease to publish wildly popular books probing the mysteries of the universe. Hawkins was considered by many to be the world’s greatest living scientist, Hawking was also a cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and author of numerous books including the landmark “A Brief History of Time,” which has sold more than 10 million copies.

So, what does Judaism have to say about these existential questions,such as the reality of the world and the concept of time? Please join us in May for our upcoming fascinating JLI course, ‘What is?’, in which we will address these questions and other major philosophical issues such as the existence of Hashem, free choice and more. Information regarding the course will be distributed in the coming weeks.

With Pesach (Passover) just two weeks away,please see information below regarding Passover Shopping, communal Seders and more, and look out for further information in the post and via email over the next couple of weeks.

This Shabbat we will read from THREE Torah scrolls as, in Addition to the weekly Parsha, we will read for Rosh Chodesh and, this month Parshat Hachodesh, which extols the unique nature of Rosh Chodesh Nissan,the first of the Jewish months, as we count them by number.

If you are able to assist with the working bee this Sunday morning, please come along and join the team!

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.             

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times

 

Fri  May 4th: Light Candles 4.56pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 5.50pm

Fri  May 11th: Light Candles 4.52pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 5.45pm

Fri  May 18th: Light Candles 4.48pm
Sat 19th: Erev Shavuot Light Candles after 5.42pm.
Sun 20th: Shavuot Day 1. Light after 5.42pm. : Mon 21st Shavuot Day 2. Yom Tov ends 5.41pm

Fri  May 25th: Light Candles 4.45pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 26th  5.40pm

Fri  June 1st: Light Candles 4.43pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 5.38pm

Fri  June 8th: Light Candles 4.42pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 5.38pm

Fri  June 15th: Light Candles 4.43pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 5.39pm

Fri  June 22nd: Light Candles 4.44pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 5.40pm

Fri  June 29th: Light Candles 4.46pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 30th 5.42pm