Torah E-Thought: Hands, Feet and Faces

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This Week at chabad lubavitch of  Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for
Leeds, England:
Friday, Mar 2
5:27 pm
Shabbat, Mar 3
6:36 pm
Torah Portion: Ki Tisa
Service Times
Shabbat
Friday night - 10 mins before Shabbat commences
Shabbat day - 10.00 am
Motzei Shabbat - 15 mins after Shabbat concludes
Weekday Shachris
Sunday - 8.30 am
Tuesday - 7.30 am
Friday - 7.30 am
Message from the Rabbi

Dear <>,


What an amazing Purim! The warmth of the Leeds Jewish community contrasted with the cold outside has ensured this will be a Purim long remembered! You can see all our pictures online here.

Stay safe. Please help support the shul services for those who need to say kaddish if you can. Besides what better place to warm yourself up!


Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds


In this cold weather there is nothing better than a nice hot bath. For thousands of years, bathing was a luxury, but for Jews it has been part of our daily service since the Giving of the Torah. In fact in the Middle Ages when disease was rife, the Jews were often blamed for the plague as our higher levels of hygiene meant we were less susceptible and therefore suspect.


In this week’s parshah we read how the Kohanim were commanded to wash their hands and feet each morning before serving in the Temple. To commemorate this, the Levites wash the hands of the Kohanim (though thankfully not the feet) before they give the Priestly Blessing in synagogue. Similarly every morning upon awakening we wash our hands to sanctify ourselves for a new day in the service of G-d.

Maimonides in his compilation of Jewish Law writes that before the morning prayers, one must wash not only one’s hands (and feet), but also their face - something which was not even required before the daily service in the Temple! This implies that our daily prayers, which replace the Temple service, require even more preparation than was necessary for the service in the Mishkan and Beit Hamikdash.


Our Hands and feet serve as the body’s primary means of physical activity. The face, in contrast, is home to our higher faculties and senses, such as sight, speech, etc. The face thus represents the things that we are involved in not only technically, but also mentally and emotionally.

In the times of the Beit Hamikdash, the Jewish people, particularly the Kohanim, were in an ideal spiritual state: they occupied their hearts and minds almost exclusively with holy pursuits. Their limited involvement with the mundane, material world was only in deed, not in spirit. The Kohanim therefore needed only to rinse their hands and feet, metaphorically removing themselves from their mundane activities, and then they were ready to devote themselves to the sacred service in the Temple.

Under the stresses and confusion of exile, however, it is not uncommon that material concerns occupy a Jew’s innermost thoughts and feelings. The preparations for prayer today therefore require washing even our faces in order to metaphorically wash away our internal engrossment in the material world and ready ourselves for focused service of G-d.


We’ve had an amazing Purim across Leeds, refusing to let the cold weather stop the spread of warm Judaism. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in negativity and worries. The Torah tells us stop; wash our faces from those thoughts. And prepare for a heightened level of service of G-d.


In his first address upon accepting the mantel of leadership, the Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke about three loves, the love of G-d, the love of the Torah and the love of the Jewish people. As we were forging ahead with our Purim activities yesterday and trying to arrange extra Megillah readings and capacity to compensate for the cancelled events and school closures, it was gratifying to read how the Leeds Jewish Housing Association, despite being understaffed, had made sure to call and visit all their residents, make sure they were safe and help them with their essentials. This is what a Jewish community is all about.

The Parshah In A Nutshell

Parshat Ki Tisa

The people of Israel are told to each contribute exactly half a shekel of silver to the Sanctuary. Instructions are also given regarding the making of the Sanctuary’s water basin, anointing oil and incense. “Wise-hearted” artisans Betzalel and Aholiav are placed in charge of the Sanctuary’s construction, and the people are once again commanded to keep the Shabbat.

When Moses does not return when expected from Mount Sinai, the people make a golden calf and worship it. G‑d proposes to destroy the errant nation, but Moses intercedes on their behalf. Moses descends from the mountain carrying the tablets of the testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; seeing the people dancing about their idol, he breaks the tablets, destroys the golden calf, and has the primary culprits put to death. He then returns to G‑d to say: “If You do not forgive them, blot me out from the book that You have written.”

G‑d forgives, but says that the effect of their sin will be felt for many generations. At first G‑d proposes to send His angel along with them, but Moses insists that G‑d Himself accompany His people to the promised land.

Moses prepares a new set of tablets and once more ascends the mountain, where G‑d reinscribes the covenant on these second tablets. On the mountain, Moses is also granted a vision of the divine thirteen attributes of mercy. So radiant is Moses’ face upon his return, that he must cover it with a veil, which he removes only to speak with G‑d and to teach His laws to the people.

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Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
friday night Minyan
Mar. 2, 2018 - 5.15 pm
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Mar. 3, 2018 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Mar. 4, 2018 - 8:30 am - 9:30 am
The weekly Bagels, Lox & Tefillin minyan will commence at 8.30am on Sunday Dec 3rd followed by a bagel breakfast.
Tefillin will be provided for those who need and women are also welcome.
Where: Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Mar. 5, 2018 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bagels and brain storming on the weekly Parshah and contemporary events. Weekly excluding public Holidays at Ward Hadaway Solicitors, Wellington Street.
More Info >>
Ladies Class
Mar. 5, 2018 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Tuesday Morning Minyan
Mar. 6, 2018 - 7:30 am
Friday Morning Minyan
Mar. 9, 2018 - 7:30 am
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Mar. 10, 2018 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Mar. 11, 2018 - 8:30 am - 9:30 am
The weekly Bagels, Lox & Tefillin minyan will commence at 8.30am on Sunday Dec 3rd followed by a bagel breakfast.
Tefillin will be provided for those who need and women are also welcome.
Where: Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Mar. 12, 2018 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bagels and brain storming on the weekly Parshah and contemporary events. Weekly excluding public Holidays at Ward Hadaway Solicitors, Wellington Street.
More Info >>
Ladies Class
Mar. 12, 2018 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Tuesday Morning Minyan
Mar. 13, 2018 - 7:30 am
Friday Morning Minyan
Mar. 16, 2018 - 7:30 am
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Mar. 17, 2018 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Mar. 18, 2018 - 8:30 am - 9:30 am
The weekly Bagels, Lox & Tefillin minyan will commence at 8.30am on Sunday Dec 3rd followed by a bagel breakfast.
Tefillin will be provided for those who need and women are also welcome.
Where: Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Mar. 19, 2018 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bagels and brain storming on the weekly Parshah and contemporary events. Weekly excluding public Holidays at Ward Hadaway Solicitors, Wellington Street.
More Info >>
This week @ www.JudaismLive.com
This Week @ www.JudaismLive.com
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