Torah E-Thought: Off the beaten track
 
ב״ה
 
 
This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for
Leeds:
Friday, 29 Mar.
6:18 pm
Shabbat, 30 Mar.
7:31 pm
Torah Portion: Shemini
 
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds• Email: office@judaismlive.com• Tel: 01132663311 www.JudaismLive.com
 
 
Message from the Rabbi
 
 

 

Dear Friend,

 

Pesach is approaching! See article, videos and even games online at www.JudaismLive.com/Passover.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

 

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

Recently I was traveling on an unfamiliar road. Waze had diverted me to avoid traffic and I had no idea where I was. My mind wandered to conversations I had with someone about the challenges of growing in Judaism when one's formal education has lapsed. Like traveling on an unfamiliar road, the direction is more or less clear, but the terrain is not recognizable and advice can sometimes seem contradictory.

In this week's parshah we read about the laws of kosher - one of the big challenges to leading a Jewish lifestyle is when one's social life revolves around eating "vegetarian" out. When reading the laws of kosher fish, the Torah teaches: "This you may eat from everything that is in the water, everything that has fins and scales... those you may eat".

The Talmud relates a dialogue between Pappas ben Yehudah and Rabbi Akiva who continued teaching Torah in public after the Roman's had banned all Torah study.

"Akiva are you not afraid of the regime?" Pappas asked. Rabbi Akiva replied; "Once a fox was walking alongside the river bank and saw fish rushing from place to place, as if they were fleeing something. When the fox inquired, 'From what are you running away?' They told him, 'From the nets people set up to catch us.' The fox said to them, 'Come up to dry land and we will live together safely.' The fish responded, 'You are a fool, for if in our habitat where our life is sustained we are afraid, all the more so we should be afraid for our existence if we leave our habitat.'

Rabbi Akiva continued: "If now when we study Torah which is our lifesaver, our existence is threatened, how much are we in danger if we would absent ourselves from Torah."

A fish that has scales will always have fins, but there are fish that only have fins and they are tamei — non-kosher. Scales serve as a protective garment to the fish and through the fins it swims from place to place.

The fins represent the power to accomplish and reach new heights through innovative contributions to Torah, and the scales represent the essential ingredient of yirat shamayim - fear of heaven - through which one's Torah study is preserved.

If a person only has "scales" they are on the right track and eventually will grow in their Torah study and use their "fins." With "fins" alone - with no awe of G-d - the person will quickly go astray.

The Talmud talks about the properties of chumton— a preservative consisting of earth with a high salt content that was used to preserve wheat. Just as the grain will spoil quickly without the preservative, likewise teaches the Talmud, someone studying Torah without fear of Hashem, will easily forget, and his Torah study will be counterproductive.

In recent years, "chumton" has been defined as the teachings of Chassidus which engender a closer relationship with G-d built on feelings of love and awe. When one learns chassidus it enhances and protects all one's other learning.

 
 
 
Service Times

Sunday Morning 
8.30 am

Friday Night 
15 minutes before Shabbat

Shabbat Day
10.00 am

 
 
Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Shemini

On the eighth day, following the seven days of their inauguration, Aaron and his sons begin to officiate as kohanim (priests); a fire issues forth from G‑d to consume the offerings on the altar, and the divine presence comes to dwell in the Sanctuary.

Aaron’s two elder sons, Nadav and Avihu, offer a “strange fire before G‑d, which He commanded them not” and die before G‑d. Aaron is silent in face of his tragedy. Moses and Aaron subsequently disagree as to a point of law regarding the offerings, but Moses concedes to Aaron that Aaron is in the right.

G‑d commands the kosher laws, identifying the animal species permissible and forbidden for consumption. Land animals may be eaten only if they have split hooves and also chew their cud; fish must have fins and scales; a list of non-kosher birds is given, and a list of kosher insects (four types of locusts).

Also in Shemini are some of the laws of ritual purity, including the purifying power of the mikvah (a pool of water meeting specified qualifications) and the wellspring. Thus the people of Israel are enjoined to “ differentiate between the impure and the pure.”

 
 
Featured Event

 
 
Upcoming Events
Friday Night Service
Friday, Mar. 29, 2019 - 6:03 pm
15 minutes before Shabbat
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Mar. 30, 2019 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Mar. 30, 2019 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019 - 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
Monday, Apr. 1, 2019 - 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
Monday, Apr. 1, 2019 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
JLI
Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2019 - 8:00 pm
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Apr. 6, 2019 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Apr. 6, 2019 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Sunday, Apr. 7, 2019 - 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
Monday, Apr. 8, 2019 - 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
Monday, Apr. 8, 2019 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Apr. 13, 2019 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Apr. 13, 2019 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Sunday, Apr. 14, 2019 - 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
 
 
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