Torah E-Thought: Foreign Aid

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This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds
Shabbat Times for
Leeds, England:
Candle Lighting Friday, Dec 22 
- 3:29 pm
Shabbat Ends, Dec 23 
- 4:46 pm
Service Times
Friday Night - 3:15 pm
Shabbat Day - 10:00 am
Motzei Shabbat - 5:00 pm
Weekday Shachris
Sunday - 8:30 am
Tuesday - 7:30 am
Friday - 7:30 am
Message from the Rabbi


Dear Friend,

I hope you had a great Chanukah!

We had a record breaking time here in Leeds with more events and record turnouts. You can see all the details below in our infographic. We’ve also updated our photo albums here.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

In the lead-up to the recent vote in the UN General Assembly to counteract the American decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as the State of Israel, much was made about the threats made to countries that received US aid. Some political commentators pointed out that one of the biggest receipients of US aid is in fact Israel, the very country the vote was about.

Many years ago the Lubavitcher Rebbe discussed whether foreign aid actually helped Israel or made them too reliant on others, With one of the world’s most resilient economies it is question worth asking.

When the Land of Canaan was struck by famine, Jacob encouraged his sons to travel to Egypt to buy grain. According to Rashi, he told them, “Why should you show yourselves before the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Esau as though you are sated?” Rashi’s words imply that if not for the resentment of the sons of Ishmael and Esau, Yaakov’s family could have subsisted without purchasing additional grain from Egypt.

Grain, the staple of the human diet, is analogous to wisdom and knowledge. Just as food is absorbed into the bloodstream and becomes one with the body, the wisdom one studies is absorbed by the brain and becomes one with the mind.

Egypt was once the world capital of science and wisdom. As an indication, the wisdom of King Solomon, the wisest of all men, is lauded as being “even greater than the wisdom of Egypt” [Kings I 5:10]. Corresponding to its role of providing civilisation with “intellectual sustenance,” Egypt became the world’s primary supplier of physical sustenance. As such, Rashi’s inference that Jacob and his family were not actually dependent on Egypt for their food alludes to the Jewish people’s inherent independence from Egypt for their knowledge and wisdom.

Instead, the Jewish people were independent of all foreign aid. We have been given the Torah from which to draw our wisdom. Even the knowledge of the sciences that is necessary for comprehension and observance of the Torah is essentially contained within the Torah itself. In addition, where necessary, the Jewish sages themselves composed scientific works. In the era of the prophets, for example, sages from the tribe of Issachar wrote texts explaining principles of astronomy and geometry relevant to the workings of the Jewish calendar. This allowed a Jew’s knowledge of the sciences to be entirely independent of secular influence.

As Jacob travelled down to Egypt with his large family, we read how he sent Judah ahead. The commentaries say that Jacob tasked Judah with setting up Jewish educational institutions so that their study of Torah could continue.

Alas, due to the travails of exile we must now rely to some degree on secular scholarship for knowledge of the sciences relevant to the Torah. With the coming of Moshiach, however, the Jewish people’s intellectual independence from Egypt will be restored, and we will once again draw all our wisdom from the Torah alone. Then we will have true independence from any foreign aid.

The Parshah In A Nutshell

Parshat Vayigash

Judah approaches Joseph to plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin’s stead. Upon witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another, Joseph reveals his identity to them. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still alive?”

The brothers are overcome by shame and remorse, but Joseph comforts them. “It was not you who sent me here,” he says to them, “but G‑d. It has all been ordained from Above to save us, and the entire region, from famine.”

The brothers rush back to Canaan with the news. Jacob comes to Egypt with his sons and their families— seventy souls in all—and is reunited with his beloved son after 22 years. On his way to Egypt he receives the divine promise: “ Fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again.”

Joseph gathers the wealth of Egypt by selling food and seed during the famine. Pharaoh gives Jacob’s family the fertile county of Goshen to settle, and the children of Israel prosper in their Egyptian exile.

Featured Event
Chanukah is Leeds was fantastic & enjoyed by hundreds of people at many events!
Latest Photos
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Friday Morning Minyan
Dec. 22, 2017 - 7:30 am
Candle Lighting Friday Night @ 3.29pm
Dec. 22, 2017 - 12:00 pm
motzei shabbat Minyan
Dec. 23, 2017 - 5:00 pm
Bagels, lox & Tefilliin DeTThe Weekly Bagel, Lo;x & Tefillin Minyan will commence at 8:30 am  on Sunday Dec 24 followed by a bagel breakfast.
Tefillin will be provided for those who need and women are also welcome.
Where: Lubavitch Centre of Leeds.
Ladies Class
Dec. 25, 2017 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Tuesday Minyan
Dec. 26, 2017 - 7:15 am
Parshah Class
Dec. 27, 2017 - 8:30 pm
Weekly Parshah Class with Mr Chaim Bell.
Friday Morning Minyan
Dec. 29, 2017 - 7:30 am
Candle Lighting Friday Night @ 3.35pm
Dec. 29, 2017 - 12:00 pm
Tuesday Minyan
Jan. 2, 2018 - 7:15 am
Friday Morning Minyan
Jan. 5, 2018 - 7:30 am
Candle Lighting Friday Night @ 3.43pm
Jan. 5, 2018 - 12:00 pm
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Jan. 8, 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 »
Tuesday Minyan
Jan. 9, 2018 - 7:15 am
Friday Morning Minyan
Jan. 12, 2018 - 7:30 am
Candle Lighting Friday Night @ 3.53pm
Jan. 12, 2018 - 12:00 pm
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Jan. 15, 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 »
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