Torah E-Thought : Working by Proxy

ב״ה

 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for Leeds :
 
Friday,  22 May 7:35pm   
 
Shabbat Ends:
10:20pm
 
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 keeping well. Next Thursday night is Shavuot. Next week we’ll be having some pre-Shavuot studying events. Stay posted for more details. This Sunday is the pre-Shavuot Torah Tots. You can see our Shavuot minisite at www.judaismlive.com/shavuot

Did you know that every Tuesday my daughter Leah does a Facebook Live baking event? It streams live in the Alwoodley Ward Residents Facebook Group every Tuesday at 1pm. You can also catch my pre-Shabbat and pre-Yom Tov thoughts in the group at 4pm, every Friday and Erev Yom Tov.

Last night we had a great Ask the Rabbi with the Pinks. You can watch a recording here.
 
All our coronavirus support is online here.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

 

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

On 20th August 1940 Winston Churchill stood in the House of Commons and said "Never … have so many owed so much to so few." The current crisis has turned that adage on its head. Countries across the world have put their entire populations under quarantine to protect a minority of people who are high risk. It is been an amazing show of solidarity and care.

In this week’s parshah we read about the service of the Levites. We read that, “t
hey shall guard all the vessels of the Tent of Meeting, they are the charge of Children of Israel, to perform the service of the Mishkan.”

Maimonides writes that the extraordinary sanctity that G-d conferred upon the tribe of Levi is not exclusive to biological Levites. Rather, “any individual whose spirit motivates him and whose wisdom guides him to set himself apart and stand before G-d to serve Him and worship Him… behold that person is sanctified…”

One might assume, however, that the ability to “be sanctified” to serve G-d, to genuinely and entirely devote oneself to carrying out the Divine mission of making this entire world a “dwelling place” for Him - i.e., the very purpose of Creation - is not for everybody. After all, Maimonides describes the person who can achieve this sanctity as an individual “whose spirit motivates him and whose wisdom guides him.” If one is not yet at that level of inspiration and understanding, how can they can be “sanctified like a Levi,” to truly devote themselves exclusively to the service of G-d?

Yet the Torah tells us about the Levites that, “ they shall guard all the vessels of the Tent of Meeting, they are the charge of Children of Israel, to perform the service of the Mishkan,” which means, the commentaries explain, that although this service is actually the duty of Children of Israel, “the Levites serve in their stead, as their agents.”

One of the principles of the laws of agency is that one cannot commission an agent to act as a legal proxy if the commissioner themselves is not legally allowed to perform that task. But the Torah states that the Levites’ responsibility to sing in the Mishkan, and to transport it from place to place when Jewish people travelled, were in essence “the charge of the Children of Israel” - the responsibility of the entire Jewish nation. It is only that “The Levites serve in their stead, as their agents.” Since one can only empower the Levi to act as their proxy if they can potentially do the service themselves, evidently every Jew has the innate ability “to stand before G-d to serve Him.”

It therefore follows that although the actual service in the Temple was delegated to the tribe of Levi, the Levi-like ability to wholly devote oneself to bringing about the Divine purpose of creation is still within reach for every single person.

It is a powerful lesson for these troubled times. Although the most important work is being done by the NHS, healthcare staff and other key workers, those of us who aren’t can still achieve the same levels of service through our own sacrifices for the wider population.

 
 
 
Featured Event

 
 
Upcoming Events
Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, May 22, 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 22, 2020 - 7:35 pm
Shabbat ends
Shabbat, May 23, 2020 - 10:20 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, May 25, 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 25, 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 27, 2020 - 8:00 pm
With words of inspiration, halachic and medical guidance.
For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344

Light candles
Friday, May 29, 2020 - 7:45 pm
Shabbat and Yom Tov ends
Shabbat, May 30, 2020 - 10:32 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Jun. 1, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Jun. 1, 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, Jun. 3, 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, Jun. 5, 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, Jun. 5, 2020 - 7:50 pm
Shabbat ends
Shabbat, Jun. 6, 2020 - 10:43 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Jun. 8, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
 
 
Business as usual ... Zoom style!
 
 
Service Times

All services are suspended until further notice

 
 
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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Bamidbar

In the Sinai Desert, G‑d says to conduct a census of the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses counts 603,550 men of draftable age (20 to 60 years); the tribe of Levi, numbering 22,300 males age one month and older, is counted separately. The Levites are to serve in the Sanctuary. They replace the firstborn, whose number they approximated, since they were disqualified when they participated in the worshipping of the Golden Calf. The 273 firstborn who lacked a Levite to replace them had to pay a five-shekel “ransom” to redeem themselves.

When the people broke camp, the three Levite clans dismantled and transported the Sanctuary, and reassembled it at the center of the next encampment. They then erected their own tents around it: the Kohathites, who carried the Sanctuary’s vessels (the Ark, menorah, etc.) in their specially designed coverings on their shoulders, camped to its south; the Gershonites, in charge of its tapestries and roof coverings, to its west; and the families of Merari, who transported its wall panels and pillars, to its north. Before the Sanctuary’s entranceway, to its east, were the tents of Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons.

Beyond the Levite circle, the twelve tribes camped in four groups of three tribes each. To the east were Judah (pop. 74,600), Issachar (54,400) and Zebulun (57,400); to the south, Reuben (46,500), Simeon (59,300) and Gad (45,650); to the west, Ephraim (40,500), Manasseh (32,200) and Benjamin (35,400); and to the north, Dan (62,700), Asher (41,500) and Naphtali (53,400). This formation was kept also while traveling. Each tribe had its own nassi (prince or leader), and its own flag with its tribal color and emblem.