Hendon United Synagogue http://www.hendonsynagogue.com Welcome to the the largest and most inclusive shul in Hendon. Sat, 16 Aug 2014 20:31:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 EKEV http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ekev-3/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ekev-3/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 20:31:57 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2405 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY DAVID COWAN

Moses tells B’nei Yisrael that they will live a fulfilled and prosperous life … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY DAVID COWAN

Moses tells B’nei Yisrael that they will live a fulfilled and prosperous life if they keep HaShem’s commandments (Devarim 7:12 ff). They would have no fear of the Canaanites already living in what would become Eretz Yisrael, but as part of its conquest they would have to destroy all forms of Canaanite idol worship. He also reminds them of their earlier acts of rebellion, including the Golden Calf and the spies’ report. Subsequently he also champions their cause by asking HaShem to recall the merits of the Patriarchs; and then returns to Mount Sinai to receive a second set of tablets which are placed in the Ark.

It is in Ekev that we find the second paragraph of the Shema (ibid 11:13-22), following on from the first paragraph last week. There is a major distinction between the two paragraphs; the first is aimed at the individual –Ve’ahavta (“And you [singular] shall love”) – while the second refers to the entire congregation – Vehaya im shamoah tishme’u el mitzvotai (“And it will be if you [plural] listen to My commandments”). Our Sages explain that the most effective way of keeping certain mitzvot is through a group (eg, tefillah [prayer] and limmud [learning]); others, such as those in the first part of the Shema, are to forge a personal connection with HaShem which individuals need to express in their own way. Similarly, reward and punishment are only mentioned in the second paragraph: the incentive of reward can best be achieved through an increase in the number of collective mitzvot.

Just as Moses had told B’nei Yisrael that HaShem required love, fear and observance of the mitzvot, it is equally incumbent on us to continue to reinforce those teachings from generation to generation so that this message can be heard just as clearly today.

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SHABBAT UK (24TH / 25TH OCTOBER) – SAVE THE DATE! http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/shabbat-uk-24th-25th-october-save-date/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/shabbat-uk-24th-25th-october-save-date/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 18:02:52 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2399 A truly ground-breaking initiative, the Chief Rabbi’s Shabbat UK is about inviting all Jews around the country to … Read more

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A truly ground-breaking initiative, the Chief Rabbi’s Shabbat UK is about inviting all Jews around the country to celebrate Shabbat as they never have before! Everybody can participate, from the most observant to those who may never have experienced the beauty of Shabbat.

Our programme of events at Raleigh Close will be inspirational, uplifting and inclusive, with something special for everyone! We
hope that as many people as possible – young and old, committed and not so committed, members and non-members – will come
and join us for a truly memorable and engaging series of experiences.

On Friday night, we will be holding an enlightening Kabbalat  Shabbat, followed by a special dinner. Shabbat day itself will comprise a communal Shacharit and Musaf service with a spectacular breakfast Kiddush, treats for all the children and the biggest and best Children’s Service ever!

We really want this to be a Shabbat with a difference, and are counting on all of you to bring someone to Shul, and to the dinner – relatives, friends and neighbours that are less involved – so that we can all experience the beauty of Shabbat together. For further
information please contact Tamara in the Office or tamara@hendonus.org.uk.

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ELLUL PROGRAMME 5774 – 6th Sep http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ellul-programme-5774-6th-sep/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ellul-programme-5774-6th-sep/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 18:01:20 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2397 Our Ellul programme launches on Shabbat 6th September with a Seudah Sh’lishit featuring guest speaker Rabbi Dr Raphael … Read more

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Our Ellul programme launches on Shabbat 6th September with a Seudah Sh’lishit featuring guest speaker Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum
(Dean, London School of Jewish Studies). All welcome! Further details of the Ellul programme to follow.

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VA’ETCHANAN (SHABBAT NACHAMU) http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/vaetchanan-shabbat-nachamu-2/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/vaetchanan-shabbat-nachamu-2/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 17:59:13 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2393 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY BERND KOSCHLAND

Keriat HaTorah (leining) requires meticulous knowledge and preparation. The stress must be on … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY BERND KOSCHLAND

Keriat HaTorah (leining) requires meticulous knowledge and preparation. The stress must be on the right syllable(s): if misplaced, it can change the meaning, such as in today’s Sedrah (Devarim 6:5, the Shema): ve’ahavta (‘and you loved’) for ve-a-hav-ta (‘and you shall love’).

Today’s Sedrah also presents a good example of the importance of reading letters and vowels accurately: ‘Take heed lest you make a graven image … the likeness of anything that creeps bo-adamah / ba-adamah’ (ibid 4:15-18). Which form is correct? The translations make no difference. A note by the Massoretes (scholars who worked on the text of the Tenach in the 6th century onwards and who no doubt had both vowels before them) reads expressly ‘ha-bet b’patach’ – ‘the letter bet is with an a(h)-’.

Technically speaking, there is a grammatical difference between o(h)- (definite article, ‘the’ in English) and a(h)-(indefinite article, ‘a’ in English). The latter is the version found in the Hertz and Soncino Chumashim, among others.

Commentators have not picked up this note by the Massoretes, who – I would suggest – are pointing out a lesson to distinguish the habitat of the ‘things that creep.’ In Bereishit 1:26, they creep ‘on the earth’ (al ha’aretz). Perhaps Va’etchanan, by referring to creatures that ‘creep in the ground’, is indicating different species. This would then mean that all four spheres of Creation are mentioned within this passage – earth, heaven, land below the earth and waters below the earth [seas] (Devarim 4:17-18) – implying that the Torah is forbidding the worship in any form of anything in these four spheres.

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Pre-Rosh Hashanah Gift Fair- 9th Sep http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/pre-rosh-hashanah-gift-fair-2/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/pre-rosh-hashanah-gift-fair-2/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:31:13 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2387 We will be holding Pre-Rosh Hashanah Gift Fair, on Tuesday 9th September 2104 from 6pm-10pm, joint Read more

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We will be holding Pre-Rosh Hashanah Gift Fair, on Tuesday 9th September 2104 from 6pm-10pm, joint with the with fertility charity Chana. Come along for a great shopping experience, featuring hats, clothes, children’s clothes, Judaica, gifts, jewellery, a nail bar and much much more. Food from Sushi Haven will be available too. Admission £5, and all proceeds to charity

Chana Apple A5

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Tisha b’Av http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/tisha-bav/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/tisha-bav/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 16:50:10 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2381 SOME HALACHIC CONSIDERATIONS

Although one may eat a regular meal late on Erev Tisha b’Av (Monday), before the … Read more

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SOME HALACHIC CONSIDERATIONS

Although one may eat a regular meal late on Erev Tisha b’Av (Monday), before the start of the fast, the correct practice is for one’s final pre-Tisha b’Av meal to be just a small one of bread dipped in ashes, a hard-boiled egg and a drink, as a sign of mourning. We are having a Mincha only service in the Beth HaMedrash at 7.15 pm and the preferred approach is to eat one’s main meal before Mincha and the pre-Tisha b’Av meal afterwards. All eating and drinking is prohibited from sunset (8.43 pm on Monday).

One may only wear non-leather shoes on Tisha b’Av. We sit either on the ground itself or low down from the start of the fast until ‘midday’ on Tuesday (1.07 pm). The pre-Tisha b’Av meal referred to above is also eaten whilst sitting low down, although one does not have to change into one’s non-leather shoes to eat it.

A number of laws, consistent with the extreme collective mood of mourn-ing, apply from sunset on Monday onwards. One does not even extend greetings or exchange pleasantries with others. If greeted by someone unaware of these laws, one should reply respectfully but in a clearly sub-dued manner. Eating, drinking, washing or ‘anointing’ oneself with creams etc, wearing leather shoes and marital relations are all prohibited on Tisha b’Av.

The weekday restrictions of the first 9 days of Av, i.e. not eating meat, drinking wine, laundering clothes or bathing for pleasure, plus the ‘3 Weeks’ prohibitions of listening to music and cutting hair, remain in force until after Wednesday midday (1.07 pm).
Our Sages teach that whoever mourns over the destruction of Jerusalem will merit to behold her rejoicing. May we be privileged to behold and share in this great and long-awaited moment!

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DEVARIM (SHABBAT CHAZON) http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/devarim-shabbat-chazon-3/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/devarim-shabbat-chazon-3/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 16:43:56 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2375 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY MARC MEYER

In fixing the Jewish calendar (intercalation of leap year and splitting of Torah … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY MARC MEYER

In fixing the Jewish calendar (intercalation of leap year and splitting of Torah portions), our Sages made sure that we always read Devarim on the Shabbat before Tisha b’Av. This year Devarim becomes the culmination of a cycle of three weeks on which we read the three separate Sidrot of Mattot, Massei and Devarim. These three weeks span the period between 17th Tammuz, marking the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of both Temples, and 9th Av, marking their actual destruction.

What is the connection between these three Sidrot and the ‘Three Weeks’ of communal mourning? Mattot begins with the law of nedarim (vows). The Torah teaches us to be careful with words and to fulfil our commitments.

Massei describes the journey of B’nei Yisrael through 42 stages in the desert. It alludes not only to the national journey to the promised land but also to each private journey that we, as individuals, undertake over a lifetime. In addition, it parallels the 42 times that the word ahava (love) appears in the Torah, thus alluding to the fact that even in conditions of hester panim (hiding of His face), HaShem never ceases to love us.

Devarim, the last Sedrah of the Three Weeks, means ‘words’. Hence the whole period focuses on the importance of words and oral communication. Devarim, which directly precedes the day of national tragedy, is Moses’ recounting of the people’s journey and responsibilities – in essence, the leader’s final speech to prepare his flock for a future without him. With its recollection of the people’s failings, its warnings and meaningful words, it is a fitting eternal message of behavioural change and ideals.

May we heed the message and transform Tisha b’Av into a Yom Tov with the coming of Mashiach!

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HENDON MDA – THEATRE TRIP- 11th Sep http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/hendon-mda-theatre-trip-11th-sep/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/hendon-mda-theatre-trip-11th-sep/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:17:12 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2371 Hendon MDA invites you to see ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on … Read more

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Hendon MDA invites you to see ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on Thursday 11th September (2.15 pm performance). Tickets £40. Coach leaves Hendon 12.00 pm and returns at 6.00 pm. To support MDA Israel and for an enjoyable afternoon, please phone David, Norma or Stephen via the shul office.

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Security Status Update http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/security-status-update/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/security-status-update/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:12:10 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2365 In view of the current situation in Israel, the Security Team Leaders are moving to a higher alert … Read more

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In view of the current situation in Israel, the Security Team Leaders are moving to a higher alert status and have personally agreed to do two shifts of 2 hours each every five weeks over the summer. They are committed to your safety — please show your commitment by willingly doing your allocated 30 minute shift. If you don’t know when your shift is, or want to volunteer to join the rota or do extra shifts, email the Office (admin@hendonus.org.uk).

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MASSEI http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/massei/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/massei/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:05:53 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2361 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RABBI MS GINSBURY

Towards the end of today’s Sedrah (Bamidbar 35; 9-28) we read how … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RABBI MS GINSBURY

Towards the end of today’s Sedrah (Bamidbar 35; 9-28) we read how a person who commits a non-intentional act of murder has to spend time dwelling in one of the ‘Arei Miklat’, Levitical cities of refuge, until the death of the Kohen Gadol.

The Abarbanel (d.1508) wonders as to the connection between the Kohen Gadol’s death and the release of such murderers from their confinement. The Rosh (d.1327) wonders as to the significantly different – almost apparently random – lengths of ‘sentence’ that different non-intentional murderers would serve.

Abarbanel answers that the Kohen Gadol’s death would serve to calm the feelings of the ‘Go’el Hadam’ (murder victim’s close relative), thus making it safe for the unfortunate murderer to leave the city of refuge. If even the holy Kohen HaGadol cannot live forever, the Go’el Hadam will think, then I have to accept that my relative’s ‘time had come’ and relax my vengeful intent towards the one who apparently caused his demise.

The Rosh explains that the sentence depended on the level of ‘nonintent’. Some murderers would seem to serve minimal sentences, if their exile began just before the Kohen Gadol’s death; others might languish for years. Only G-d can truly know the degree of intent; making the length of sentence contingent on the Kohen Gadol’s death – something in the hands of HaShem alone -meant that the whole process from act of murder till release from the Arei Miklat was in the hands of HaShem, Who alone can perfectly calibrate action, consequence, confinement and release therefrom.

As we proceed through the Three Weeks and agonise over Israel’s current difficulties, may HaShem extend mercy to us, helping us to dispel any negative thoughts and unjust intents and thereby find us worthy of being released from our current troubles and constraints.

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