Torah E-Thought: The most important institution

ב״ה

 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Times for Leeds :
 
Light Candles Friday 24th:  7.30pm
 
Shabbat ends: 9:21pm 
 
Torah Portion:
 

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

 
 
Message from the Rabbi
 
 
Dear Friend,
 

I hope you are staying safe and keeping well.

Hebrew’s Cool Club has restarted online. You can see details
here . I’m also giving a regular Friday afternoon introduction to Shabbos at 4pm on Facebook Live in the Alwoodley Resident’s Group as well as on Zoom.

This week we held an online memorial with words of comfort to a month since the passing of Dayan Yehuda Refson. You can watch the event
here (starts at minute 13). We also held an evening of study with a great line-up of speakers. You can watch that event here .

All our coronavirus support is online
here .

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

.........................

The Office of National Statistics has recently released the latest official figures on marriage in the UK. In 2017 the number of marriages that took place in the UK dropped by 2.8% from 2016 and only 22% of the marriage that did take place were religious. The number of people choosing to get married has been dropping year on year and has now dropped 45% since 1972.

A stable marriage is the foundation of Jewish life with Judaism valuing marital harmony above almost all else. In kabbalistic teachings, the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people is portrayed as the relationship between a loving husband and wife. The entire book of Song of Songs follows this theme.

Through our activities with JMT Events, Dabrushy and I often talk to young people who are dating or looking to get married. It is striking how little preparation for marriage is normally made. Marriage is probably the biggest decision of a person’s life, yet couples are often too scared to discuss their opinions about marriage, children and education for fear of scaring the other one off!

Towards the end of this week’s parshah we learn the laws about Family Purity and Mikvah. An intensely private mitzvah, many people grow up not hearing about mikvah until right before their wedding, and even then they only learn the “how” and not the “why.” And it is not the sort of discussion that is conducive to a romantic engagement, or so they think.

A common refrain that I keep hearing when discussing mikvah is “it sounds like a really good idea, but we’re not that frum.” But being Jewish isn’t about being frum. As the current crisis has shown, being Jewish is about building your personal relationship with G-d. If we have a kosher mezuzah on our doors we bring G-d’s blessing into our homes. If we keep a kosher kitchen, we bring G-d’s blessing into our food and our health. If we keep the laws of family purity, we bring G-d’s blessing into our marriages.

Astoundingly, while the synagogues, schools, community centres and even men’s mikvas have been shuttered, there is one facility that clergy and leadership across all denominations of Orthodoxy have agreed should remain open. Medical guidance has been taken and is being carefully followed and some procedures have been changed, but women’s mikvas remain open. Halacha has long taught that a community is obliged to sell their Torah scrolls if they need the funds to build a ladies mikva. Their function in Judaism is more vital than every other element of communal and religious life.

At the beginning of this week’s parshah, we read about the laws of purifying a person who had contracted tzara’at – the Biblical affliction associated with those who have spoken slanderous talk. The ceremony included use of both hyssop grass and cedar wood. Hyssop grass is a very low growing grass, symbolising humility. Cedar trees grow very tall. The idea is that a person who had been afflicted by tzara’at for slanderous talk should cease to act like a haughty cedar tree and instead act like lowly hyssop grass.

But both hyssop grass and cedar wood were used in the service because they both have a role to play. Although humility is good, false humility is certainly not. When we say “this mitzvah is not for me” we are doing ourselves an injustice.

Leeds has a beautifully ladies mikvah. You can contact any of the Rebbetzins in town to find out more details.

 
 
 
Pesach Update

 
 
Upcoming Events
Light Candles
Friday, Apr. 24, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat ends
Shabbat, Apr. 25, 2020 - 9:21 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Apr. 27, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Apr. 27, 2020 - 8:30 pm
Mondays 8.30pm
Ruth Bell's weekly class covers current and relevant points of interest in the yearly cycle beginning with counting the Omer; a look at the weekly sedra, and the daily schedule of Tanya (Chassidic teachings) and Tehillim (psalms).
Via Zoom. For details please contact Ruth on 07963 316 279

Rabbi Pink's Communal Zoom Conference
Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2020 - 8:00 pm
With words of inspiration, halachic and medical guidance.
For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344

Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, May 1, 2020 - 4:00 pm
Friday afternoon introduction to Shabbat on Facebook Live in the Alwoodley Residents’ Group as well as on Zoom. For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344
Light Candles
Friday, May 1, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat ends
Shabbat, May 2, 2020 - 9:36 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, May 4, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, May 4, 2020 - 8:30 pm
Mondays 8.30pm
Ruth Bell's weekly class covers current and relevant points of interest in the yearly cycle beginning with counting the Omer; a look at the weekly sedra, and the daily schedule of Tanya (Chassidic teachings) and Tehillim (psalms).
Via Zoom. For details please contact Ruth on 07963 316 279

Rabbi Pink's Communal Zoom Conference
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 8:00 pm
With words of inspiration, halachic and medical guidance.
For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344

Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, May 8, 2020 - 4:00 pm
Friday afternoon introduction to Shabbat on Facebook Live in the Alwoodley Residents’ Group as well as on Zoom. For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344
Light Candles
Friday, May 8, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat ends
Shabbat, May 9, 2020 - 9:51 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, May 11, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
 
 
Service Times

All services are suspended until further notice

 
 
This Week @ www.JudaismLive.com
  
New Course
Your Path to Purpose
The search for a meaningful and purposeful life is the great equalizer among people of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds. We all want to believe that we’re a part of something bigger; we want to feel that our existence means something. But what does it mean to live with purpose? And how can we reconcile personal hardship, sudden tragedy, and feelings of emptiness with living a life of belief, happiness, and meaning? In this course, we will uncover eight paths to purpose in the face of both ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.
  
Inspiration During Corona
Why I Decided to Immerse in the Mikvah During the Coronavirus Epidemic
I had heard that many women were reluctant to immerse at this time.
  
Your Questions
Is Tzaraat Really Leprosy?
According to many historians, the disease known as leprosy did not exist in the Middle East in the times of the Torah.
  
Parshah
Treasured Words
Our brains prefer the ease and simplicity of clear distinctions. Life, however, is more complicated than that.
 
 
Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Tazria-Metzora

The Parshahs of Tazria and Metzora continue the discussion of the laws of tumah v’taharah, ritual impurity and purity.

A woman giving birth should undergo a process of purification, which includes immersing in a mikvah (a naturally gathered pool of water) and bringing offerings to the Holy Temple. All male infants are to be circumcised on the eighth day of life.

Tzaraat (often mistranslated as “leprosy”) is a supra-natural plague, which can afflict people as well as garments or homes. If white or pink patches appear on a person’s skin (dark pink or dark green in garments or homes), a kohen is summoned. Judging by various signs, such as an increase in size of the afflicted area after a seven-day quarantine, the kohen pronounces it tamei (impure) or tahor (pure).

A person afflicted with tzaraat must dwell alone outside of the camp (or city) until he is healed. The afflicted area in a garment or home must be removed; if the tzaraat recurs, the entire garment or home must be destroyed.

When the metzora (“leper”) heals, he or she is purified by the kohen with a special procedure involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedar wood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.

Ritual impurity is also engendered through a seminal or other discharge in a man, and menstruation or other discharge of blood in a woman, necessitating purification through immersion in a mikvah.