Hendon United Synagogue Welcome to the the largest and most inclusive shul in Hendon. 2015-02-25T18:38:36Z http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/feed/atom/ mshindler <![CDATA[WINE TASTING – SUNDAY 1ST MARCH]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2691 2015-02-21T20:55:40Z 2015-02-21T20:55:40Z Join us on Sunday 1st March, 7.30 pm, in the Sol Cohen Hall for a wine tasting evening … Read more

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Join us on Sunday 1st March, 7.30 pm, in the Sol Cohen Hall for a wine tasting evening with fabulous wines from France. Come and sample, with the ability to purchase at good prices, in time for Purim. An event not to be missed!

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mshindler <![CDATA[TERUMAH]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2689 2015-02-21T20:50:28Z 2015-02-21T20:50:28Z SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RABBI YISROEL BINSTOCK – Terumah: Desert log-in

Terumah describes the construction of the Mishkan or … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY RABBI YISROEL BINSTOCK – Terumah: Desert log-in

Terumah describes the construction of the Mishkan or Tabernacle in the desert. Our commentators discuss where our ancestors might have found the raw materials needed for such an edifice. We know that they left Egypt with great wealth and they acquired even more from spoils washed up on the shores of the Red Sea after the Egyptians had drowned.

One item is particularly perplexing. The walls were made from huge planks of shittim wood, at least 15 feet long. Where would such lumber have from? Rashi, quoting the Midrash, relates the tradition that Jacob foresaw prophetically the need for such timber; knowing that it was unlikely to be found in the desert, he planted trees in Egypt and left instructions for his children to take the wood with them when they left Egypt.

The medieval commentator Abraham ibn Ezra (d. 1164) finds this answer problematic. He says that in his confrontations with Pharaoh, Moses maintained all along that the purpose of the Exodus was to worship G-d for three days in the desert. If the Israelites were to be seen felling trees and preparing to transport giant logs with them, surely this would contradict their claim to be going only for a temporary sojourn? Instead, ibn Ezra suggests, perhaps adjacent to Mt Sinai was woodland and the lumber they needed was felled from there.

R’ Eliezer Ashkenazi, a widely-travelled 16th-century commentator, challenges ibn Ezra’s objections. If the Israelites were going to worship G-d, they would need some structure in which to worship and protection from the hot desert sun. Indeed, travelling slowly with large logs does not indicate a people looking to escape quickly from enemies who might pursue them: had it not been for Jacob’s instructions, the last thing they would have wanted to do was to transport heavy timber with them.

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mshindler <![CDATA[BNEI AKIVA – Shabbat Ha’Irgun (Friday 27th February – Sunday 1st March)]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2678 2015-02-14T19:50:59Z 2015-02-14T19:50:59Z Every Shabbat, 3.30 – 5.30 pm. Join us for this year’s Shabbat Ha’Irgun (Friday 27th February – Sunday … Read more

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Every Shabbat, 3.30 – 5.30 pm. Join us for this year’s Shabbat Ha’Irgun (Friday 27th February – Sunday 1st March)! Friday night dinner for school years 7 – 10 after davening (chanichim will be walked home), then Shabbat lunch at Shul for years 1 – 10, plus activities after Shabbat and on Sunday morning. Prices: Years 1 – 5: £23 with mas chaver, £25 without; years 6 – 10: £28 with mas chaver, £30 without. Forms (available from hendonbauk@gmail.com) should be returned to the Bayit, 2 Hallswelle Road NW11 0DJ.

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mshindler <![CDATA[MISHPATIM: ‘Na’aseh ve-nishma’]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2675 2015-02-14T19:49:18Z 2015-02-14T19:49:18Z SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY JOSH CAPLIN

In last week’s Sedrah, Yitro, when G-d bids Moses to inform B’nei Yisrael … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY JOSH CAPLIN

In last week’s Sedrah, Yitro, when G-d bids Moses to inform B’nei Yisrael of the covenant, they respond: ‘All that the L-rd has spoken we will do’ (ibid 19:8). In Mishpatim, Moses informs them of ‘all the L-rd commands and all the rules’ (24:3), and again they proclaim: ‘All the things that the L-rd has commanded we will do.’ Then, later in Mishpatim, they issue the famous declaration ‘na’aseh ve-nishma’ – ‘we will do and we will hear’ (Shemot 24:7).

Why only in the final instance do they pledge their commitment both to do and to hear, whereas in the earlier two instances they pledge only to do?

Rabbi Sacks suggests that while we generally translate ‘nishma’ as ‘we will hear’, the verb sh-m-a can denote understanding rather than hearing. For example, Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to purchase grain and do not realise that the viceroy before them is in fact their brother: ‘They did not know that Joseph understood [ki shome’a Yosef], for there was an interpreter between him and them’ (Bereishit 42:23). Clearly, the Torah here employs the verb sh-m-a in reference to comprehension.

By proclaiming ‘na’aseh ve-nishma’, B’nei Yisrael pledge not only to perform the commandments, but also to apply themselves assiduously to their intricacies. Only after Moses recorded the laws he received could they commit themselves to studying and pondering them. So long as their transmission took place only orally, B’nei Yisrael could pledge obedience, but not scholarship. But with Moses now writing these laws for them, they have a written text to which they can apply themselves and which they can understand to the best of their ability.

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mshindler <![CDATA[PURIM PARTY- 4th March]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2671 2015-02-07T20:48:56Z 2015-02-07T20:48:56Z Join us on Wednesday 4th March for the Megillah reading in the Main Shul at 6.40 pm, followed … Read more

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Join us on Wednesday 4th March for the Megillah reading in the Main Shul at 6.40 pm, followed by a party and fancy dress parade, with light refreshments

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mshindler <![CDATA[PRE-PURIM SUPER MITZVAH EXTRAVAGANZA! – SUNDAY 1ST MARCH]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2669 2015-02-07T20:48:05Z 2015-02-07T20:48:05Z Come along from 1.30 pm on Sunday 1st March in the Community Centre for a whole range of … Read more

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Come along from 1.30 pm on Sunday 1st March in the Community Centre for a whole range of fun activities. Make Mishloach Manot, make your own Havdallah kit, plait Challah, learn how to check fruit & veg for bugs, string Tzitzit, learn calligraphy from a Sofer (also with free Mezuzah checking). Admission £3 per person.

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mshindler <![CDATA[COMMUNAL SHABBAT LUNCH – 28TH MARCH]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2667 2015-02-14T19:53:51Z 2015-02-07T20:47:14Z Forget about your Pesach preparations and come and join us for Shabbat lunch on Shabbat HaGadol, 28th March, … Read more

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Forget about your Pesach preparations and come and join us for Shabbat lunch on Shabbat HaGadol, 28th March, with guest speaker Dr Steven Wilson, Chief Executive of the United Synagogue. Adults £17, Children £8, family ticket £55. For more information or to book a place, contact Tamara 8202 6924 / tamara@hendonus.org.uk.

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mshindler <![CDATA[YITRO]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2663 2015-02-07T20:44:14Z 2015-02-07T20:44:14Z SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY JOE BLOOMBERG

Lo tachmod (“do not covet”), the last of the Asseret HaDibrot, immediately follows … Read more

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SEDRAH REFLECTIONS BY JOE BLOOMBERG

Lo tachmod (“do not covet”), the last of the Asseret HaDibrot, immediately follows a series of fundamental negative commandments (eg murder, adultery) and yet is of a rather different type. Whereas those preceding it are transgressed by a clear action, lo tachmod appears to be forbidding the desire of one’s heart to own items that belong to someone else.

R’ Mecklenburg (d. 1865) in his work Haketav VeHakabalah suggests that transgression of lo tachmod is a direct consequence of the transgression of the command, well known from the first paragraph of the Shema, “to love HaShem with all your heart”. If this has not been fulfilled, then inevitably the heart will attempt instead to fill the void by coveting inappropriate items. In contrast, a person who has learned to observe this precept properly has simultaneously rejected the temptation to covet.

R’ Bachya (d. 1340) provides a different insight. He makes the point that the prohibition of robbery is conspicuous by its absence from the Asseret HaDibrot (lo tignov – “do not steal” – refers to kidnapping), for the reason that it is an integral part of coveting. A person does not commit robbery until he has first coveted the object that he robs. Thus, the prohibition of coveting is more all-embracing – if HaShem views so negatively a person who (only) desires the property of another, how much more so does He react against a person who proceeds to commit robbery. Yet coveting can on occasion be meritorious. “The envy displayed by scholars of the knowledge of other scholars who are their superiors leads to an overall increase in wisdom” (Baba Batra 21). Such coveting is not only permissible, but is rewarded by HaShem. May we all reap our due reward in this manner and by virtue of our undiluted love for HaShem.Lo tachmod (“do not covet”), the last of the Asseret HaDibrot, immediately follows a series of fundamental negative commandments (eg murder, adultery) and yet is of a rather different type. Whereas those preceding it are transgressed by a clear action, lo tachmod appears to be forbidding the desire of one’s heart to own items that belong to someone else. R’ Mecklenburg (d. 1865) in his work Haketav VeHakabalah suggests that transgression of lo tachmod is a direct consequence of the transgression of the command, well known from the first paragraph of the Shema, “to love HaShem with all your heart”. If this has not been fulfilled, then inevitably the heart will attempt instead to fill the void by coveting inappropriate items. In contrast, a person who has learned to observe this precept properly has simultaneously rejected the temptation to covet. R’ Bachya (d. 1340) provides a different insight. He makes the point that the prohibition of robbery is conspicuous by its absence from the Asseret HaDibrot (lo tignov – “do not steal” – refers to kidnapping), for the reason that it is an integral part of coveting. A person does not commit robbery until he has first coveted the object that he robs. Thus, the prohibition of coveting is more all-embracing – if HaShem views so negatively a person who (only) desires the property of another, how much more so does He react against a person who proceeds to commit robbery.

Yet coveting can on occasion be meritorious. “The envy displayed by scholars of the knowledge of other scholars who are their superiors leads to an overall increase in wisdom” (Baba Batra 21). Such coveting is not only permissible, but is rewarded by HaShem. May we all reap our due reward in this manner and by virtue of our undiluted love for HaShem.

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mshindler <![CDATA[PURIM SEUDAH 5th March]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2658 2015-02-01T13:42:28Z 2015-02-01T13:42:28Z Come and join us for a communal Purim Seudah on Thursday 5th March at 4.30 pm and make … Read more

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Come and join us for a communal Purim Seudah on Thursday 5th March at 4.30 pm and make your Purim one to remember! Adults £14, children £5. Please contact Tamara for more information or to book a place. Further details about our Purim programme to follow.

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mshindler <![CDATA[70 DAYS FOR 70 YEARS – FRIDAY NIGHTS]]> http://www.hendonsynagogue.com/?p=2654 2015-02-01T13:28:57Z 2015-02-01T13:28:57Z ‘70 Days for 70 Years’ is the US’s very own international memorial learning project in honour of the … Read more

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‘70 Days for 70 Years’ is the US’s very own international memorial learning project in honour of the martyrs of the Holocaust. It involves studying a short Torah idea every day, for 70 consecutive days, in memory of an individual victim. Following our moving Melave Malka launch event, and to help build momentum for this incredible project, we are coming together as a community every Friday night to share what we have learned. Each week there will be an Oneg Shabbat to discuss our highlights from the week’s learning.

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