Torah E-Thought
 
ב״ה
 
 
This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for Leeds:
Friday, 11th Oct.
6:01 pm
Shabbat, 12th Oct. 7:05 pm
Sunday, 13th Oct.
5:57 pm
Monday, 14th Oct.
6:49 pm
Tuesday, 15th Oct.
6:58 pm
Torah Portion: Ha'Azinu
 
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds• Email: office@judaismlive.com• Tel: 01132663311 www.JudaismLive.com
 
 
Message from the Rabbi
 
 

Dear Friend,

I hope you had a great Yom Kippur!

On Sunday Night we will be celebrating Sukkot. If you know anyone who would appreciate a visit with the Lulav and Esrog, please be in touch. Our Mobile Sukkah will also be visiting offices and schools. There will also be a Torah Tots Sukkot Party.

We are proud to launch Camp Gan Israel Mini Autumn Camp. There are very limited spaces so book early at www.JudaismLive.com/MINICAMP.

This week’s Torah E-Thought is the sermon that I gave on Yom Kippur.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos and Good Yom Tov!


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

 

There is this meme someone forwarded to me. It read, “If I have done or said anything to offend you, there is still time before Yom Kippur to ask yourself what you did to make me feel this way and ask me to forgive you . . .”

Let me say that again:
“If I have done or said anything to offend you, there is still time before Yom Kippur to ask yourself what you did to make me feel this way and ask me to forgive you . . .”

We laugh at this kind of message, then cringe, then reflect.

It is funny because it is ridiculous for an offender to send out that message, but when you stop and think about it, when you take a deeper perspective, you realise that this might be precisely right.

Dabrushy’s great grandfather, Reb Mendel Futerfas sat in a Soviet Gulag for more than eight years because he helped fellow Jews escape the Soviet Union illegally. He demonstrated true Ahavat Yisrael, love our fellow by putting himself in harm’s way to save others.

He was once asked to explain the old Chassidic saying that the love between friends will bring Moshiach. What is so special about the love between friends?

Reb Mendel said, “Let me tell you what it means to be a true friend. If you hear that your friend did something horrible, yet rather than condemn him or grow angry, you sigh deeply and say OY, and your next step is to ask what you can do to help him, you are a true friend.”
Reb Mendel then explained two further levels of friendship.

“Suppose, that you had a profound moral failing, but you have a friend with whom you can come clean about your inner weakness and secret failings knowing that he or she won’t think less of you. On the contrary, he or she will do all they can to help you. That is an even truer friend.”
“The final level of friendship is that when you see your friend, before you even say anything, all your worries melt away because you know that whatever you have done, they will be there for you.”

Do you have such a friend?  The Talmud tells us that a good friend must be acquired. "Acquire for yourself a friend" - friendship can’t be acquired with money. Friendship can only be bought with friendship. If we want to have this kind of friend, we need to become this kind of friend.

What does it take to be such a friend? The answer can be summed up in one word. Humility.
 

Chassidus teaches that each Jew has five leveled souls.  They are called, Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, Yechida.  These five level of soul are embedded in us, but on a regular day, we only are in touch with the outer three: Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama.

This is why according to Chassidus, we pray three times a day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  Because we are only in touch with the bottom three levels of soul.

On Shabbos, first of the month and Jewish holidays, we pray four prayers. This is because we are connected with the Chaya part of the soul.

There is only one day a year that we pray five prayers.  The fifth prayer is called Neila, and we are about to pray it now.  The reason for this fifth prayer is because on this one day a year, Yom Kippur, we can all feel the Yechida. 

Yechida is the soul of Sensitivity. It means oneness. It is the level of soul that stays above in Heaven and is truly humble, at one with G-d and His ideals.

The reason why this is the day of five prayers and five souls, is because it is the day of sensitivity.  It is the one day a year that we are sensitive enough to feel that deepest part of our soul.  It is the one day a year that we feel our Yechida.  The Yechida is where unconditional acceptance comes from.  Yechida is where atonement comes from. 

However, if I’m telling you that Yom Kippur is one day a year that we are sensitive to this soul, what’s the point?  One possible answer, is that Hashem makes us sensitive one day a year.  If we want to retain that level of sensitivity it has to be practiced and rehearsed. 

As we approach Neila, we know that the gates are closing. And as is famously taught, the gates are not closing in front of us, but behind us. We are being ushered into the inner chamber for a private audience with G-d.

Yet it is a private audience that takes place not on a remote mountaintop or alone in private meditation, but with the noise and clamour of communal prayer. While we pray for our deepest desires, we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our fellow worshipers. Praying together and for each other. Sensitive to each other’s needs.

Let me close with two stories.
The first story is about the third Bobover Rebbe, Reb Shlomo Halberstam, who was about to enter his shul for erev Shabbos mincha when a young man walked past on his way to the park. The Rebbe greeted him and invited him to join them.

“Do I look Jewish?” he asked, surprised. The Rebbe smiled. “Yes, you certainly do.”

They exchanged some warm words and the man followed him into shul. The Rebbe asked that he be given a yarmulke and a siddur, and when it came time for kabolas Shabbos he asked the visitor to be the chazzan. Although he was caught by surprise, the man agreed and davened beautifully.

After davening the Rebbe thanked the chazzan, who asked to talk to the Rebbe privately. He explained that before the war he had been the chazzan of his town, but this was the first time he had entered a shul since losing his entire family in the Holocaust. “Please join us tomorrow, too,” said the Rebbe. “We’d love to hear your musaf.”

He came back the next week, and again delighted them with his davening, and the Rebbe asked that he return again the following week. But Friday night came and the man didn’t show. Shabbos morning, the Rebbe sent his son, Reb Naftali Tzvi, who in time became the next Bobover Rebbe, to look for him in the park. He found the man sitting on a bench, reading a newspaper and smoking.

The frazzled Naftali Tzvi ran to his father. “I found him, but he’s smoking on Shabbos!” His father didn’t hesitate. “Please tell him that the amud – the lectern - is waiting for him.”

His son couldn’t understand, “But he’s smoking! He’s breaking Shabbos in public!”  Now, with a sterner look, the Rebbe replied, He’s smoking?! The Nazi is smoking! and repeated, “Please ask him to come.”

Naftali Tzvi returned to the park and told the man that the Rebbe’s waiting for him.

“Did you tell him you saw me smoking?”  “Yes.” And he repeated his father’s response.

Visibly shaken, he told Naftali Tzvi that he didn’t feel right going straight from a cigarette to leading the services, but promised to come the following week.

And he did. And again, after davening Reb Naftali Tzvi asked his father how he allowed this, and again came the same response, He’s smoking?! The Nazi is smoking!

Shortly afterwards the Rebbe moved to Boro Park and the chazzan was not seen again.

Forty-five years later the Bobover Rebbe was greating his chassidim as they passed by in Boro Park and an elderly man with a white beard and a walking stick introduced himself as the chazzan from the park, and invited the Rebbe to officiate the wedding of his grandchild. The Rebbe greeted him warmly, said that he certainly remembered him, and that although he didn’t officiate weddings anymore, he’d be happy to join one of the sheva brachos.

The Rebbe took his son, Reb Naftali Tzvi, along with him to sheva brochos. As they entered the full hall, the elderly man beamed to the Rebbe, “These are my 150 grandchildren, and it’s all thanks to you.”

The Rebbe turned to his son and said, “Didn’t I tell you it wasn’t he who was smoking?”

The second story took place two days ago. I was having a class about Yom Kippur in a nearby prison, when one of the prisoners opened up. He said he’s been suffering with PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder – as he is reliving the violent crimes he committed. He went on to say that he feels a strong regret that some of the people he hurt he will never be able to make amends to and he lives with these acts every day.

As he left he said to me, “do you think you could visit John ….. He’s on my wing and not in a good way. He could do with talking to someone.”

This was a violent criminal, locked away for a long time. Yet I was seeing teshuva take place in front of my eyes.

The theme of the last forty days has been teshuva. In chassidus, teshuva is defined as the ability to return to our true selves. But who are we really?


The Alter Rebbe takes the name of every Jew, “Yisrael,” and interprets it as “Sar E-l,” which means “E-l is the master.” The true master of every Jew is the G-dly soul inside of him. Everything else is additional to his true essence.

And it’s not only about us. There are Jews all around us who have “Nazis” inside them. In some cases, it’s trauma or pain that hold their neshamos captive, causing spiritual or even physical self-destruction. In others, it’s a lack of education. No matter the cause, these people are not truly content. They can’t be. No one is happy being someone else.

A friendly smile or an invitation to learn Torah together can be more healing than we’ll ever know. Never underestimate how quickly a Yid will leave his cigarette behind and feel at home in shul.


As we go into Neilah, we ask Hashem to bless us all together. May I humbly suggest that we go through the gates with love. We think of someone who is not comfortable with us and make a resolution to reach out to them. That they should feel the friendship again. Because love between friends will bring us all the blessing we need in Gezunt, Parnono and Yiddishe and Chassidisher Nachas, until the ultimate blessing of Moshiach, the ultimate good for us, the wider Leeds Jewish Community and all of Israel.

 
 
 
Service Times

Sunday Morning 
8.30 am

Friday Night 
15 minutes before Candle Lighting

Shabbat Day
10.00 am

 
 
Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Ha'Azinu

The greater part of the Torah reading of Haazinu (“Listen In”) consists of a 70-line “ song” delivered by Moses to the people of Israel on the last day of his earthly life.

Calling heaven and earth as witnesses, Moses exhorts the people, “ Remember the days of old / Consider the years of many generations / Ask your father, and he will recount it to you / Your elders, and they will tell you” how G‑d “found them in a desert land,” made them a people, chose them as His own, and bequeathed them a bountiful land. The song also warns against the pitfalls of plenty—“Yeshurun grew fat and kicked / You have grown fat, thick and rotund / He forsook G‑d who made him / And spurned the Rock of his salvation”—and the terrible calamities that would result, which Moses describes as G‑d “ hiding His face.” Yet in the end, he promises, G‑d will avenge the blood of His servants, and be reconciled with His people and land.

The Parshah concludes with G‑d’s instruction to Moses to ascend the summit of Mount Nebo, from which he will behold the Promised Land before dying on the mountain. “For you shall see the land opposite you; but you shall not go there, into the land which I give to the children of Israel.”

 

 
 
 
Featured Event

 
 
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Candle Lighting
Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 - 6:01 pm
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Oct. 12, 2019 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Oct. 12, 2019 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Mincha and Maariv
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 - 5:57 pm
Candle Lighting
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 - 5:57 pm
Cteen Sukkot ion site
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 - 7:30 pm
Shacharit
Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 - 10:00 am
Mincha & Maariv
Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 - 5:55 pm
Candle Lighting
Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 - 6:49 pm
Shacharit
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 - 10:00 am
Mincha & Maariv
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 - 5:55 pm
Torah Tots and Hebrews Cool Club Sukkah Party
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Cteen Sushi in the Sukkah
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Candle Lighting
Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 - 5:45 pm
Shacharit
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 - 8:00 am
 
 
 
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