Torah E-Thought: The scapegoat

ב״ה

 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Time to Light candles in Leeds 
 
Friday 2 May, 7:30pm
 
 
   
 
Shabbat ends: 9:36pm 
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.

With the lockdown lengthening, it is an opportunity to do some more studying. Perhaps you’d like to join the Lunch and Learn which takes place every Monday (details here)? At the moment you need to bring your own lunch!

Another amazing resources is www.JNET.org. JNET has years of experience in matching up people with study partners from across the globe. It is run by a good friend and classmate of mine Rabbi Yehuda Dukes, who is currently in ICU in hospital in New York. Please consider signing up for a study partner and the merit of your studying should bring Chaim Shneur Zalman Yehuda ben Hinda Yocheved a complete and speedy recovery!

All our coronavirus support is online here.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

.........................
 
As the lockdown lengthens, with no end in sight, we can wonder what the world will be like when it is finally over. Will there be a “new normal”? This week the CEO of Barclays said big offices may be a thing of the past. What other changes will we face?
 
To some, world events seem to be heading to an apocalyptical end. To others, the world is constantly throwing new challenges in our way, and as humans we will adapt to them. Whether it was the industrial revolution or two world wars, we seem to muddle through.
 
The first part of this week’s double parshah talks about the service on Yom Kippur. Among many things, the Yom Kippur service has added the word ‘scapegoat’ to our dictionaries; every Yom Kippur two goats were chosen, one was sacrificed in the Beit Hamikdash and the other was taken by a special messenger and thrown off a cliff (Azazal).
 
The Talmud relates that Rabbi Eliezer was asked, "If the goat becomes ill, may [the messenger] carry it on his shoulder?" Rabbi Eliezer replied, "Yachol hu leharkiv ani ve'atem" — "He is capable of carrying me and you."
 
Rabbi Eliezer's response is enigmatic: Who is 'He' referring to, and how do his words answer the question posed to him? ‘He’ is clearly not referring to the goat!
 
The Azazel goat is a metaphor for the Jewish people, under oppression or persecuted throughout their history. Whether being blamed for the Black Death, the economic meltdown, or even – in recent comments – singled out by New York Mayor De Blasio for criticism during the current lockdown, while crowds of non-Jews were gathering to watch a state arranged fly past, the Jews have always been a convenient ‘scapegoat.’ Like the scapegoat who was sent out of the camp to the wilderness, the Jewish people, too, have been expelled from one country after another, and have gone through stages of wilderness before establishing themselves in another part of the world.
 
However, regardless of our trials and tribulations, the Jewish people have always managed to ‘stand on their feet’ and remain firm in their commitment to Torah and mitzvot.
 
The question being asked of Rabbi Eliezer was theoretical: if the ‘scapegoat’ – the Jews – are ill, i.e. they no longer have the strength to stand up to the incessant barrage of attacks, can they allow themselves to be carried on the shoulders of those sending them to the Azazal? Can they compromise their core values and assimilate with the world?
 
Rabbi Eliezer's answer is an unequivocal "no." He told the worried Jews, "Yachol hu leharkiv ani ve'atem — He [G-d] is capable of carrying me and you. Whatever the world can throw at us, we can be sure that G-d will indeed carry us through, to an end that is not apocalyptical in the common meaning, but instead to a Messianic Era filled with only goodness and kindness, may it be speedily in our days, AMEN!
 
 
 
Lunch and Learn

 
 
Upcoming Events
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 »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, May 11, 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 13, 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 15, 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 15, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat ends
Shabbat, May 16, 2020 - 10:06 pm
 
 
Service Times

All services are suspended until further notice

 
 
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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Acharei-Kedoshim

Following the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, G‑d warns against unauthorized entry “into the holy.” Only one person, the kohen gadol (“high priest”), may—but once a year, on Yom Kippur—enter the innermost chamber in the Sanctuary to offer the sacred ketoret to G‑d.

Another feature of the Day of Atonement service is the casting of lots over two goats, to determine which should be offered to G‑d and which should be dispatched to carry off the sins of Israel to the wilderness.

The Parshah of Acharei also warns against bringing korbanot (animal or meal offerings) anywhere but in the Holy Temple, forbids the consumption of blood, and details the laws prohibiting incest and other deviant sexual relations.

The Parshah of Kedoshim begins with the statement: “You shall be holy, for I, the L‑rd your G‑d, am holy.” This is followed by dozens of mitzvot (divine commandments) through which the Jew sanctifies him- or herself and relates to the holiness of G‑d.

These include: the prohibition against idolatry, the mitzvah of charity, the principle of equality before the law, Shabbat, sexual morality, honesty in business, honor and awe of one’s parents, and the sacredness of life.

Also in Kedoshim is the dictum which the great sage Rabbi Akiva called a cardinal principle of Torah, and of which Hillel said, “This is the entire Torah, the rest is commentary”— “Love your fellow as yourself.”