Archive for January, 2019

From The Rabbi – Parshat Beshalach 5779

Late last night, an important and sensitive communal matter was resolved thanks to the intervention of a government official, who was moved to help and was aware to our particular religious needs, due to a close relationship and respect that he had developed for his previous Jewish neighbors. It was heartwarming for me to hear of the positive impression that this gentlemen had gained towards Jewish people because of his Jewish neighbors, who had made a Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name), and reminded me of the tremendous power we all have a make a positive impression on other individuals, through acts of kindness and sensitivity, and the ripple effect this has on transforming the world. 

Where does our food come from? What is the source of our income and livelihood? We get caught up in our own lives and the pressure of the world around us, and we often forget that ultimately it is all in the hands of G-d. This was the lesson of the Manna that fell from heaven for the Jews in the desert, and this is the message of Shabbat that we celebrate every week.

This Monday will be Tu Bishvat, the New Year for trees,when we customarily eat fruit, particularly those fruits of which the land of Israel is blessed,such as grapes, dates, pomegranates, olives, and figs. In recent years, many have adopted the practice of planting trees, and supporting the work of the JNF in Israel.                 

Please try to keep cool and consider joining us next month for our upcoming fascinating JLI Course, Crime and Consequence. Please see information and booking link below.  

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach, we look forward to seeing you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Bo 5779

House burglaries are a common form of theft, and the installation of home security systems is big business. There are many options. Security windows and doors, others install cameras and alarms. But when all is said and done, the most important piece of home security is the one guaranteed by G‑d: the mezuzah—a small scroll that the Torah commands us to place on all the doorposts of our homes.

The idea of displaying our connection to G‑d on our doorposts has ancient roots. Just before their exodus from Egypt, we read this week, of G‑d’s instruction to our ancestors to slaughter a lamb and paint its blood on the doorposts of their homes. This would mark the house as Jewish, and G‑d would pass over the home when He struck the Egyptian firstborn. The mitzvah on the doorpost protected the Jews from the plague.

The same applies to the mezuzah. Our sages taught that when a Jew affixes a Kosher mezuzah to the doorpost, G‑d protects the home from all harm. In fact, on the back of the scroll are three Hebrew letters: shin, dalet and yud, which spell one of G‑d’s ineffable names. Tradition, however, teaches that they are also an acronym for the words shomer daltot Yisrael, “guardian of the doors of Israel.”

A beautiful story is told of Rabbi Judah the Prince and the Roman Emperor Antoninus, who were extremely close and they would spend much time in philosophical discussion. Once, Antoninus sent the Rabbi a very valuable and expensive gift. To his puzzlement the Rabbi reciprocated by presenting him a mezuzah scroll. “Your gift I need to guard – my gift will protect you,” the Rabbi explained.

In addition to serving as a protection for our homes and its inhabitants, the Mezuzah serves as a  constant reminder that G-d is the creator of all, our commitment to Torah study and mitzvah observance and that we should be grateful for our many blessings. It bears testimony to the fact that G-d’s will defines the lifestyle of the home’s inhabitants.

For the Mezuzah to serve its purpose it must fit certain criteria. Contrary to common belief, the case is of little consequence. The scroll is the main player here. It must be produced by a trained and expert scribe according to Jewish law dating back to Sinai. Due to the nature of this scroll it is possible for letters to fade or crack and should be routinely checked by a competent scribe as well. Proper placement on the doorpost is also crucial.

We are committed to helping you observe this beautiful mitzvah properly. If you would like to buy new mezuzahs for your home, check your old ones, or simply want to be sure that they are properly mounted – please do not hesitate to contact me, as I will be happy to conduct a home visit free of charge. It will be my pleasure!

Please try to keep cool and consider joining us next month for our upcoming fascinating JLI Course, Crime and Consequence. Please see infromation and booking link below.  

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov we look forward to see you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

The above was adapted from an article by Rabbi Lazer Gurkov

Shabbat and Festival Times

 

Fri  Jan 4th: Light Candles 6.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 7.27pm

Fri  Jan 11th: Light Candles 6.30pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 7.27pm

Fri  Jan 18th: Light Candles 6.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 19th 7.26pm

Fri  Jan 25th: Light Candles 6.28pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 26th 7.23pm

Fri  Feb 1st: Light Candles 6.24pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 7.19pm

Fri  Feb 8th: Light Candles 6.20pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 7.14pm

Fri  Feb 15th: Light Candles 6.15pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 7.08pm

Fri  Feb 22nd: Light Candles 6.09pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 7.02pm

Fri  March 1st: Light Candles 6.02pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 6.54pm

Fri  March 8th: Light Candles 5.55pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 6.47pm

Fri  March 15th: Light Candles 5.47pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 6.39pm

Thurs March 21st: Purim

Fri  March 22nd: Light Candles 5.40pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 6.31pm

Fri  March 29th: Light Candles 5.32pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 30th 6.23pm

Fri  April 5th: Light Candles 5.24pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 6th 6.16pm

Fri  April 12th: Light Candles 5.17pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 13th 6.08pm

Fri  April 19th: Passover Eve, First Seder: Light Candles 5.10pm
Sat 20th: Second Seder: Light candles after 6.02pm

Fri  April 26th: Light Candles 5.03pm
Shabbat/Passover ends: Sat 27th 5.56pm