Hendon United Synagogue http://www.hendonsynagogue.com Welcome to the the largest and most inclusive shul in Hendon. Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:47:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CHATANIM AND N’SHEI CHAYIL http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/chatanim-nshei-chayil/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/chatanim-nshei-chayil/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:47:09 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2448 We wish Mazal Tov to all the following on being honoured for Simchat Torah 5775:

Main Shul: Rabbi … Read more

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We wish Mazal Tov to all the following on being honoured for Simchat Torah 5775:

Main Shul: Rabbi Yisroel Binstock,  Richard Herman,  Rebbetzen Judy Ginsbury,  Kathryn Fiddler

RCAM: Dan Sacker,  Jamie Peston,  Jayne Goldstone
Youth: Daniel Lederman,  Shimon Ellerman,  Sara Stone
Children – older service Jake Gilbert Jacob Waller Leah Pearl, Tziyona Elf
Children – younger service Rafi Berke Joshua Goldstein Sarah Slonim, Vanessa Hart

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LADIES’ LEARNING TEA — SHABBAT BEREISHIT (18TH OCTOBER) http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ladies-learning-tea-shabbat-bereishit-18th-october/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ladies-learning-tea-shabbat-bereishit-18th-october/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:45:22 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2446 Exploring the topic “After the Garden of Eden: Plant life in Torah”, including presentations and discussion on Shabbat … Read more

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Exploring the topic “After the Garden of Eden: Plant life in Torah”, including presentations and discussion on Shabbat Bereishit, 18th October, 4.30 – 6.00 pm. Enquiries to: Katherine Miller /Sandy Littman. All ladies welcome!

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NITZAVIM/VAYELECH http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/nitzavimvayelech/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/nitzavimvayelech/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:42:57 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2442 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RABBI YISROEL BINSTOCK – WHERE IS THE TORAH?

“It is not in heaven” [Devarim 30:12] … Read more

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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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RCAM lunch- 16th October http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/rcam-lunch-16th-october/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/rcam-lunch-16th-october/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:40:18 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2440 Our Shemini Atzeret lunch is the main event in the RCAM calendar and this year we are keener … Read more

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Our Shemini Atzeret lunch is the main event in the RCAM calendar and this year we are keener than ever to bring as many people together as possible for what we hope will be an enjoyable, stress-free. We have structured the prices to reflect your family needs, with different prices for different ages.

< 3 years – FREE

3 – 6 years – £5

7 – 13 years – £8

>13 years – £13

So please join us in the Community Centre after shul on Shemini Atzeret, Thursday 16th. Please secure your places by emailing rcamevents@gmail.com by Sunday 12th. Bottles of wine are available for purchase so please place your order when you book your places. to honour the RCAM Chatanim and Eshet Chayil of 5775! Children’s entertainment will be provided, courtesy of Tribe. * If you have plans already, why not cancel them and/or bring your guests/hosts to the lunch instead!

Shana Tova and best wishes from David, Shai and Tristan together with your Chatanim, Dan and Jamie, and your Eshet Chayil, Jayne

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KI TAVO http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ki-tavo-4/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ki-tavo-4/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 19:52:25 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2435 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY DAVID & JOSHUA PEARL

Moses instructs the Jewish people (Devarim 27:8) to erect large monoliths … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY DAVID & JOSHUA PEARL

Moses instructs the Jewish people (Devarim 27:8) to erect large monoliths after crossing the River Jordan into the Land of Israel and to inscribe upon them all the words of the Torah “be’er hetev” – translated variously as “well explained” or (Hertz Chumash) “very plainly”.

What is the message of the words be’er hetev? According to Rashi, it means that the Jewish people were to translate the Torah into 70 languages. Why was this necessary? It can be explained very simply, says R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (d 1809), based on what Rashi writes on the first verse of the Torah. Rashi asks why the Torah starts with the story of Creation rather than the first mitzvah. He answers that it is to refute the accusations of the nations who say that the Jewish people are stealing the Land of Israel from them.

The Alm-ghty created the world, He is its master and He can take from whomever He chooses and give it to whomsoever He chooses.

The inscriptions on the monoliths were intended to show the nations that the Jewish people earned the right to the Land because they accepted the Torah while the other nations rejected it; and it had to be translated into 70 languages so that all the nations would understand the message.
The implication for us is clear. By continuing to accept the Torah publicly, we can reaffirm to those who seek to deny us the Land of Israel that we have a Divine right to it.

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KI TETZE http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ki-tetze-3/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/ki-tetze-3/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 19:58:08 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2420 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RICHARD HERMAN

(to mark the 1st Yahrzeit of his father Roy Herman, the Bar Mitzvah … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RICHARD HERMAN

(to mark the 1st Yahrzeit of his father Roy Herman, the Bar Mitzvah of his nephew Joseph Herman and his own Bar Mitzvah anniversary)

B’nei Yisrael stand at the borders of the Land of Israel. We can only imagine their anticipation after 400 years of slavery in Egypt and 40 years of wandering in the desert. We would expect them to be restless, eager to enter the Promised Land and to begin their future as a nation of G-d.

Instead, they would sit and listen to Moses giving them law after law. Ki Tetze alone contains 74 mitzvot, ranging from rules of engaging enemy civilians in wartime to ensuring the accuracy of weighing-scales. Was this the paradise they had been awaiting for centuries? So much to learn, so much to change … In our modern ‘instant’ world, our patience would have been truly tested.

All these mitzvot would, however, prepare them for the new life awaiting them just a short distance away – a life of potential: as has been said, not the ‘Promised Land’ but a land of promise. With the Yamim Noraim now but a few weeks away, we too are waiting at the border … of a new year full of promise. And, as we listen to the leining during Sefer Devarim, with all its detail, we should take the opportunity to prepare ourselves for the future.

We have within each of us the capacity to change and to improve our relationships with our family, friends and the Alm-ghty. We should take inspiration from B’nei Yisrael as they prepared to enter the Land. Don’t expect instant results. G-d is forgiving: don’t be afraid to fail as long as you fail trying and can learn from your mistakes. May we all be granted a year of s’machot, health and happiness.

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EMAIL DATABASE – PLEASE HELP US TO HELP YOU! http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/email-database-you/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/email-database-you/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 20:43:11 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2418 We are pleased to be able to tell members that we have now reconciled the Shul email database … Read more

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We are pleased to be able to tell members that we have now reconciled the Shul email database with that of the Shul’s membership database. This means that those of you who agreed to receive all communications by email will now do so, saving the Shul a large amount in postage.

It is therefore VERY IMPORTANT that members advise us of any new email addresses so that we can keep the database up to date. Thank you for your co-operation!

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SHOFTIM http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/shoftim-2/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/shoftim-2/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 20:40:43 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2414 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY SARA MOLEMAN (on the occasion of Sara & Jason’s 1st Wedding Anniversary, Rosh Chodesh Ellul)… Read more]]> SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY SARA MOLEMAN (on the occasion of Sara & Jason’s 1st Wedding Anniversary, Rosh Chodesh Ellul)

The Sedrah begins with, and takes its name from, the word shoftim (judges). Moses outlines how the Jewish people must set up their legal systems. We are told “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof” – “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Devarim 16:20). The word tzedek is repeated, emphasising the importance that HaShem places in the pursuit of justice. Justice alone is not sufficient; we must carry out justice in a just manner. But what does it mean to carry out justice justly?

The Sedrah clearly sets out that we must have unbiased, incorruptible judges and witnesses to make decisions with “righteous judgement” (ibid 16:18). Yet justice is not only reserved for the courts: we are required to judge people favourably in our personal and communal lives (Pirkei Avot 1:6). Even a person who has accidentally killed another may find sanctuary in a city of refuge (Devarim 19:2).

We read this week’s Sedrah on the first Shabbat in Ellul. In Ellul we reflect upon our deeds of the past year in preparation for the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) and HaShem’s judgement of us. As we start this auspicious month, let us take care to judge ourselves and others justly and favourably. By doing so, we can make amends with those around us and perhaps find our own refuge in teshuva.

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RE’EH http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/reeh-2/ http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/reeh-2/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:19:08 +0000 http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2410 SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY SHELLEY & NATALIA BERKE (on the occasion of Elliot’s Bar Mitzvah)

Re’eh starts with the … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY SHELLEY & NATALIA BERKE (on the occasion of Elliot’s Bar Mitzvah)

Re’eh starts with the concept of choice (Devarim 11:26): “Re-eh anochi noten lifneichem hayom bracha uk’lala” (“See, I am setting before you today [a way to acquire] a blessing or a curse”…). Commentators ask why the verb noten is written in the present tense (“I am setting …”) rather than, as one might expect, the past (“I have set …”).

The Vilna Gaon (1720-97) explains that the Torah uses the present tense to teach us that the choice HaShem has given us between good and evil is not a one-off test. Rather, it should be in our minds every day of our lives as we deal with dilemmas requiring us to choose between different courses of action.

For example, we hear about athletes taking drugs to enhance performance and of politicians being paid to raise questions in Parliament to benefit a particular group. We too face many distractions every day. These can be so tempting that Hillel advised: “Al ta-amin be’atzmecha ad yom motcha” (“Do not believe in yourself [your capacity to resist] until your last day on earth”).

They are precisely what makes life such a challenging experience – but they also show how being a Jew can make things easier; for, without the Torah laws and commandments, we would suffer greatly in a world of temptation.

So it is worth remembering the Vilna Gaon’s words on the use of the continuous tense of the verb noten in order to understand that our lives are continually full of choices.Every day we should respond to HaShem’s will by making the right and noble choices and thereby receive an abundance of blessing.

We hope that, now he has become Bar Mitzvah, Elliot will always strive to make the correct choices in life and B’H we will all receive HaShem’s blessings.

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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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