Hendon United Synagogue http://www.hendonsynagogue.com Welcome to the the largest and most inclusive shul in Hendon. Thu, 28 May 2015 21:03:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 BAMIDBAR http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/bamidbar-4/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/bamidbar-4/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 08:58:17 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2824 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY DANI SCHIJVESCHUURDER (to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of his cousin Charlie Gittelmon)
Bamidbar opens with … Read more
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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY DANI SCHIJVESCHUURDER (to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of his cousin Charlie Gittelmon)
Bamidbar opens with a Jewish national census. Rashi explains that HaShem counted the Jews three times over the course of a year as they were dear to Him. Every Jew has a neshama (soul), which is literally a part of G-d. Unlike the main census –when only males over and above the age of 20 years were counted – the Levites were counted separately, and from 30 days old (Bamidbar 3:14 ff).
The very young are included in the count to teach us that it is never too early to educate a child. Children are affected by their environment from the very moment they are conceived, and every child counts.
Then the Torah counts the Levites again (ibid 4:1 ff). This time, the census is for the older, mature Levites. The reason for the second count is to teach us that we can never be too old for education either. As we grow, we change. And as we change, we need to continue educating ourselves to ensure that we are always on the right path. So, no baby is too small and no adult is too big to be educated and guided to study the laws and learn the Torah.
May Charlie have only success .as he continues to grow in his Jewish education, and may the wisdom of the Torah inspire him throughout his life
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FRIDAY NIGHT CANDLE LIGHTING TIMES http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/friday-night-candle-lighting-times/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/friday-night-candle-lighting-times/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 13:04:56 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2815 Please note the correct times for lighting Shabbat candles, for members of our Community, during the summer. Obviously, … Read more]]> Please note the correct times for lighting Shabbat candles, for members of our Community, during the summer. Obviously, they may never be lit later than the time when Shabbat itself actually begins. However, there is also an earliest time before which they may not be lit. This is especially relevant over the summer months when our Friday night service begins earlier than the earliest time for lighting candles and thus candles should only be kindled between the following times during the summer:
Friday 29th May: NOT BEFORE 7.24 pm, NOT LATER THAN 7.40 pm

 

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BEHAR – BECHUKOTAI http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/behar-bechukotai/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/behar-bechukotai/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 13:01:47 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2813 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY KARINE MORRIS
If ever you need proof to believe in G-d …
… Look no … Read more
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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY KARINE MORRIS
If ever you need proof to believe in G-d …
… Look no further than the second of this week’s Sidrot. In the middle of the Tochacha– punishments that will happen if we do not keep the mitzvot there is, oddly enough, a piece of good news! The verse says (Vayikra 26:32): “I will make desolate the land, and your enemies who dwell upon it will be desolate”.
How is this meant to reassure us?
Ramban (Nachmanides) says that it is a great proof of the Divine Hand in action. “For there cannot be found throughout the world a land that had been so good and fertile which now became so desolate and inhospitable.” If you want to be a believer, says Ramban, look at the land of Israel: it used to be fertile but, from the moment the Jews were expelled, it lay desolate for 2,000 years while nations failed to make it productive.In 1948 when the Jews claimed Israel back, it was a worthless strip of land.
The nations of the world would have found it much harder to return Israel to us had it held any natural resources such as oil, as found in so many of its neighbouring countries. It was therefore a blessing that the land was so desolate – it did not take much to convince the world to grant it back to us. When G-d promised us exile for our sins, he softened the blow by promising that only when the Jewish people returned would the land be fruitful again. One only needs to look at what has been achieved in Israel in the last 70 years to clearly see revealed the Hand of G-d.
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KASHRUT ASSURANCE PROGRAMME http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/kashrut-assurance-programme/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/kashrut-assurance-programme/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 08:51:18 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2808 A new course of the Shul’s Kashrut Assurance Programme will be starting on Monday 1st June
. Further … Read more
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A new course of the Shul’s Kashrut Assurance Programme will be starting on Monday 1st June
. Further details to follow
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DEDICATION OPPORTUNITIES http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/dedication-opportunities/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/dedication-opportunities/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 08:50:08 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2806 You may have noticed that the side windows in the Beth HaMedrash have recently been embellished with a … Read more]]> You may have noticed that the side windows in the Beth HaMedrash have recently been embellished with a decorative frieze, as have the glass panels to the doors at the front of the Sol Cohen Hall. These, together with the light above the Bimah in the Beth HaMedrash, are available for dedication in honour/commemoration of loved ones. Please contact the Shul office as soon as possible for more details. ]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/dedication-opportunities/feed/ 0 CLOAKROOM REFURBISHMENT http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/cloakroom-refurbishment/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/cloakroom-refurbishment/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 08:49:00 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2804 The cloakroom opposite the Shul Office will be out of use for the next few weeks because of … Read more]]> The cloakroom opposite the Shul Office will be out of use for the next few weeks because of refurbishment. ]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/cloakroom-refurbishment/feed/ 0 EMOR http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/emor-4/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/emor-4/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 08:48:17 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2802 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF REV L HARDMAN MBE MA: THE JEW IS INDESTRUCTIBLE
The Iechem hapanim … Read more
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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF REV L HARDMAN MBE MA: THE JEW IS INDESTRUCTIBLE
The Iechem hapanim or ‘shewbread’ (Vayikra 24:5- 9) one of the most mysterious Temple rituals – comprised 12 loaves made of fine flour (corresponding to the number of tribes). Baked on Erev Shabbat, these were arranged on Shabbat itself in 2 rows of 6 loaves facing each other and left until the following Shabbat, when they were removed and eaten by the Kohanim. Their most remarkable feature was that they remained as fresh as when baked.
However we try to understand the meaning of miracles, it is an accepted teaching that they do not occur in vain. Then what was the purpose of this one, which Maimonides (Rambam) could not understand? (see Hertz Chumash, p329).
In nature, we are told, one inexorable law – that of destruction and termination for all physical things – must one day come to an end. But it does not seem to apply to things found in the House of G-d. The older we get, the more deeply we understand the truth of this; the more we advance (beneficially) in technology, the more we appreciate the Torah, the inspirational guidance of the Prophets, the advice and wisdom of our ethical literature.
This then is G-d’s special manifestation by which He shows His love for Israel – the indestructibility of the spirit of Israel through His word. Israel alone has given to the world things of everlasting value which stand above and beyond time. Hence the Shewbread miracle was a powerful reminder to people of all times that in each generation things in the House of G – d are always fresh an applicable to life.
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KEDOSHIM http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/kedoshim-2/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/kedoshim-2/#comments Sun, 03 May 2015 18:56:55 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2791 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY NICOLA EZRA

Chapter 19 of Vayikra – which begins the second of today’s two Sidrot … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY NICOLA EZRA

Chapter 19 of Vayikra – which begins the second of today’s two Sidrot and which contains Judaism’s foremost ethical/ legislative precepts – is initiated by the command to the entire assembly of our Nation: ‘You shall be holy’ (ibid 19:2).

How should we achieve such ‘holiness’?

Maimonides (Rambam) holds that the obligation to be holy is not an individual commandment but automatically results from our compliance with the 613 commandments. Nachmanides (Ramban), however, teaches that ‘holiness’ is not guaranteed by strict compliance with the commandments, but further requires that we exercise due restraint – even in activities permitted by the Torah – so as to sanctify the spirit of the Law. This view underlies Ramban’s renowned portrayal of one who keeps the technicalities of the Law but flouts its spirit as a naval birshut haTorah – a sordid person within the permissible realm of the Torah!

Ramban’s teaching is beautifully developed by R’ Joseph B Soloveitchik (d. 1993) through analogy with counting the Omer. The discipline of counting, he says, is analogous to halachic thinking in that each requires precision and continuity. Just as a single error or omission suspends the whole count, so too Halacha is concerned with every detail of our individual actions. However, the Torah not only demands precision in our single acts but also that we strive to perfect the entirety – and ‘holiness’ involves integrating our single actions into a lifestyle which represents an exalted, meaningful whole.

The Jew who approaches Mount Sinai to receive the Torah is rooted in our ancient past and simultaneously committed to our unborn future. The mind must be precise as to each component part of that journey but must also behold an exalted vision of the whole. This, says R’ Soloveitchik, is entirely symbolised by the counting of the Omer.

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TAZRIA-METZORA http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/tazria-metzora/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/tazria-metzora/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 19:17:52 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2784 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY ADRIAN FLASHER

At the start of the second of today’s two Sidrot, we learn the … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY ADRIAN FLASHER

At the start of the second of today’s two Sidrot, we learn the process of purification for the Metzora (the person contaminated by tzara’at).

This includes bringing two live birds, of which one is slaughtered and the other is freed to fly away.

Two questions arise: ‘Why bring two birds, not one?’ and ‘Why only kill one and set the other free?’

These can be answered based on a Chumash commentary by R’ Shlomo Ganzfried zt’l (d. 1886), author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.

It is understood that when a person brings an offering to the Temple and sees the Kohen slaughter it, he/she should contemplate that the animal or bird is being offered in the person’s place and that this should bring him/her to teshuvah.

The main cause of tzara’at was the sin of lashon hara (Arachin 15b). When the bird was slaughtered, the Metzora should think about the bad use to which he or she put his or her mouth and resolve to be silent.

However, King David taught (Psalm 58): ‘Can your silence be justified at a time when righteousness you should speak, when with equity you should judge the sons of a man?’

Since there are positive, constructive ways to speak, the Torah commanded that the Metzora also bring a second bird, whose chirping would remind the Metzora that there is good speech which could console, encourage, praise and advise others, as well as speak words of Torah.

Speech can be used for bad, for slander and for falsehood; but it can also be used for good, for praise, for advice, for Torah. Choose the good!

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SHEMINI http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/shemini/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/shemini/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 20:19:39 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2767 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY MARC MEYER

This week’s Sedrah describes permitted and forbidden foods. The Torah lists all the … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY MARC MEYER

This week’s Sedrah describes permitted and forbidden foods. The Torah lists all the distinctive Kosher signs according to the taxonomy of animals: cattle, fowl, fish.

HaShem asks of us (Vayikra 11:43): ‘Do not make your souls abominable … lest you make yourselves impure [venitmetem] through them’. The word venitmetem is written without an aleph, which prompts our Sages to say: ‘Do not read venitmetem [you would make yourselves impure] but venitamten [you would be dulled / simpleminded / closed off from positive influences]’.

From there, we get a glimpse of the importance of Kashrut. To paraphrase the Ramban (Nachmanides): ‘All that is absorbed by Man is transformed into blood and integrated by our organism’ – which the Torah confirms when it states (Vayikra 17:14 [next week’s Sedrah]): ‘For the soul [nefesh] of any flesh is its blood.’ Therefore each particle that we ingest forms part of our ‘soul system’. No wonder that pious individuals require strict standards of Kashrut. It is told that a Kiruv (outreach) Rabbi asked R’ Schach (1899-2001), head of the Ponevezh Yeshiva: ‘What is the first commitment that a Ba’al Teshuvah [someone becoming more religious] must undertake – Shabbat, family purity or Kashrut?’

R’ Schach’s answer was that although transgression of Shabbat or the laws of family purity is susceptible to the higher punishment of karet (spiritual excision), priority should be given to respecting the dietary laws, for if the heart is ‘stopped’, how can one hope to get closer to his Creator?

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