Torah E-Thought : Action vs. Words

ב״ה

 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for
Leeds:
 
Friday,  10 Jan 3:49pm
 
Shabbat Ends: 11 Jan 5:05pm
 
Torah Portion:  Vayechi
 

Lubavitch Centre of Leeds   Email: office@judaismlive.com   Phone: 0113-2663311www.JudaismLive.com

 
 
Message from the Rabbi
 
 
Dear Friend,
 

A new school term brings a new term of activity. This week we began the new term of  Hebrew’s Cool Club and the children are having a great time! This Friday night there is both a Cteen Friday Night Dinner and a JMT Chabad Young Professionals Friday Night Dinner.

Have you seen the promotional video for our Shabbat in the Heights community trip? You can watch it  here .

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

 



Jacob’s sons gathered around his bed for the last time. We learn this week about Jacob’s blessings and his reproof to his children and encouragement to learn from their failings. Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah were all rebuked by Jacob in his final words.

Reuben had interfered in his father’s marriage – after the passing of Rachel many years earlier, he had moved his father’s bed from the tent of Bilha the maidservant to the tent of Leah, his mother. The Torah scathingly accuses him of a sin akin to adultery. Judah meanwhile, widowed of his wife, consorts with a prostitute not realising that it his widowed daughter-in-law Tamar. When news gets out that Tamar, was pregnant out of wedlock, Judah and his judicial court sentenced her to death.

A mess of their own making, both Reuben and Judah repent. Reuben spends the rest of his life fasting and in penitence for his sin, while Judah – having been discreetly made aware by Tamar that the child was his - admits his indiscretion in the nick of time, saving his daughter-in-law, despite considerable embarrassment to himself.

Reuben’s repentance seems far superior to Judah's. Firstly, Judah simply admitted that he was guilty, whereas Reuben repented through fasting and other forms of penitence for many years. Secondly, Judah knew that if he did not admit his guilt, three lives would have been taken unjustly – Tamar was pregnant with twins – there would have been no comparable consequence to pressure Reuben to repent. Nevertheless, Reuben lost his status as firstborn and was stripped of all his rights – the double portion of inheritance went to Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, the priesthood went to Levi and the kingship went to the descendants of Judah. Why was Judah rewarded when Reuben was passed over?

Despite Reuben’s superior repentance, Judah's actions actually helped people, whereas Reuben's did not. In fact, had Reuben not been preoccupied with his personal repentance, he might have been able to save Joseph. Instead he had failed to provide leadership and left the brothers for his daily routine of penitence. Therefore, Reuben lost the kingship to Judah and the priesthood to Levi, for the primary function of the king and the priest is to serve others.

Furthermore, the difference between self-involvement and care for others can spell the difference between exile and redemption: Reuben's preoccupation with his own spiritual state contributed to Joseph's sale to Egypt and the eventual exile in Egypt, the precursor of all future exiles. Judah's repentance, in contrast, may not have been as profound as Reuben's, but it saved three lives, one of which was the ancestor of the Messiah, who will end all exile. 

We cannot be satisfied with devoting ourselves only to our own spiritual perfection; we must also be people of action, engaging in helping others.

 

 
 
 
Featured Event

 
 
Upcoming Events
Friday Night Service
Friday, Jan. 10, 2020 - 3:39 pm
Candle Lighting
Friday, Jan. 10, 2020 - 3:49 pm
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Jan. 11, 2020 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Jan. 11, 2020 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush and Mincha.
Sunday Morning Minyan
Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 - 8:30 am
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 - 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, Jan. 13, 2020 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Jan. 18, 2020 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Jan. 18, 2020 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush and Mincha.
Sunday Morning Minyan
Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 - 8:30 am
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 - 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, Jan. 20, 2020 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Chassidus Class
Shabbat, Jan. 25, 2020 - 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Join us for a Chassidus Class with coffee and cake.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Shabbat, Jan. 25, 2020 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush and Mincha.
Sunday Morning Minyan
Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 - 8:30 am
 
 
Service Times

Sunday Morning 
8.30 am

Friday Night 
15 minutes before Candle Lighting

Shabbat Day
10.00 am

 
 
Kiddush Sponsored By:

Sponsored by Yechiel Conway in honour of his birthday

 

Mazel Tov!

 
 
Donate
Join in and become a partner in the work we do!

 

Help us continue our work»

 

 
 
This Week @ www.JudaismLive.com
  
Your Questions
Should We Have a Second Child?
If not now, when?
  
10 Tevet
What Is Asarah B'Tevet (Tevet 10)?
What does this day commemorate? Well, three things, actually.
  
Rising Above Challenges
Setback or Springboard?
Chapter 20 of Positivity Bias
  
Jewish News
Sonia Kaplan, 98, Stood Up to Stalinist Persecution and Raised Chassidic Family
 
 
Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Vayechi

Jacob lives the final 17 years of his life in Egypt. Before his passing, he asks Joseph to take an oath that he will bury him in the Holy Land. He blesses Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, elevating them to the status of his own sons as progenitors of tribes within the nation of Israel.

The patriarch desires to reveal the end of days to his children, but is prevented from doing so.

Jacob blesses his sons, assigning to each his role as a tribe: Judah will produce leaders, legislators and kings; priests will come from Levi, scholars from Issachar, seafarers from Zebulun, schoolteachers from Simeon, soldiers from Gad, judges from Dan, olive-growers from Asher, and so on. Reuben is rebuked for “confusing his father’s marriage bed”; Simeon and Levi, for the massacre of Shechem and the plot against Joseph. Naphtali is granted the swiftness of a deer, Benjamin the ferociousness of a wolf, and Joseph is blessed with beauty and fertility.

A large funeral procession consisting of Jacob’s descendants, Pharaoh’s ministers, the leading citizens of Egypt and the Egyptian cavalry accompanies Jacob on his final journey to the Holy Land, where he is buried in the Machpelah Cave in Hebron.

Joseph, too, dies in Egypt, at the age of 110. He, too, instructs that his bones be taken out of Egypt and buried in the Holy Land, but this would come to pass only with the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt many years later. Before his passing, Joseph conveys to the Children of Israel the testament from which they will draw their hope and faith in the difficult years to come: “G‑d will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

 

 
 









This email is sent from Chabad-Lubavitch Leeds. We'd love to stay in touch with you, but if you wish to be unsubscribed from this list please click here, or click here to manage your subscriptions. Sent via ChabadOne Communicator