Welcome

Welcome to the the largest and most inclusive shul in Hendon.

Within our community you will find a full range of activities for all ages and lifestages within a vibrant, modern orthodox framework. This pack highlights just a few of the activities that take place regularly on the Synagogue campus and I am sure that you will find something here for you.

Our synagogue has served the community for over 60 years and has seen many changes both within our membership and beyond. Throughout that time, Hendon United Synagogue has adapted to meet its members needs in a huge variety of ways.

Weekly Parsha

NITZAVIM/VAYELECH

SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RABBI YISROEL BINSTOCK – WHERE IS THE TORAH?

“It is not in heaven” [Devarim 30:12] The Talmud (Bava Metzia 59b) relates that R’ Eliezer and R’ Yehoshua were once deep in discussion about a difficult law on whether an oven was spiritually contaminated. R’ Eliezer declared it to be pure but he was unable to persuade the other Sages of his position. In growing desperation, he called to G-d to offer a series of heavenly signs to support his view. Each sign occurred as he asked but R’ Yehoshua was unconvinced. Even when a voice from heaven declared R’ Eliezer to be correct, R’ Yehoshua remained undeterred. He stood up and responded to all those present, “Lo bashamayim hi” – “It is not in heaven”.

R’ Yehoshua argued that when the Torah [including both the Written Law and Oral Law] was given to Israel at Sinai, it was complete. From that point on, the Torah itself became the only source for legal decisions. It was the Sages’ responsibility to explore and expound the legal sources available to them – namely, the Written Torah and Oral Torah, to reach a conclusion when an issue arose. Even when there is a question about the law in a specific instance, the Torah says that it is to be decided by a majority vote. Both R’ Eliezer and R’ Yehoshua had expounded those sources but had come to opposite conclusions. R’ Eliezer thought that perhaps miraculous signs would convince his colleagues that he was correct, but they were unmoved. Since R’ Yehoshua was speaking in the name of the Sages who were in the majority, R’ Eliezer’s opinion could not become law.

R’ Ovadia Sforno (d. 1550) understands “It is not in heaven” as teaching us that the Torah, like repentance, should never be viewed as being too distant, and we should realise that it is always within our reach.

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Our Rabbi

Rabbi Ginsbury

Rabbi Mordechai and Judy Ginsbury joined Hendon United Synagogue in February 1999. Prior to this they had spent nearly 14 years as Rabbi and Rebbetzen of the Prestwich Hebrew Congregation in Manchester.

During their tenure with us they have endeared themselves to the Community with their warm, intelligent and welcoming approach and have enhanced and furthered Hendon’s reputation as a dynamic and vibrant Kehilla.

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