Torah E-Thought: Avrohom ben Avrohom

ב״ה

 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Light Candles  - Leeds :
 
Friday,  19 June 8:00pm   
 
Shabbat Ends:
10:50pm
 
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 well.

Our daughter Chaya’le has relaunched the Torah Tots Library in honour of her Bas Mitzvah. Please visit www.JudaismLive.com/TTLibrary for more details.

We heard great feedback from last week’s event with Rabbi Manis Friedman. You can watch the video here. Last night’s guest on our communal Zoom was Rabbi Zalman Lent from Dublin, you can watch the video here.

We’ve got some great events planned for the upcoming month. You can see all the details here.

On Sunday we are excited to be joining with a select group of Chabad Lubavitch Centres across the UK to bring you the incredible story of Maya, the daughter of a high ranking Hamas official who escaped with the help of Yad LAchim.

Please join me at 4pm on Friday when I stream my pre-Shabbat thoughts in the Alwoodley Ward Residents Facebook Group. Alwoodley Ward residents can join the group
here . You can also watch my daughter Leah’s baking shows in the group at 1pm on Tuesday.

All our coronavirus support is online
here .

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

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

The Ger Tzedek - righteous convert - of Vilna, Avraham ben Avraham [c. 1700 - 1749], converted to Judaism while studying at the University of Paris. He eventually returned to Vilna and immersed himself in the study of Torah. He came from a family of noblemen who conducted a massive search for him, and when they found him, he was turned over to the Church authorities. The Church could not persuade him to renounce Judaism so he was sentenced to be burnt to death.

The authorities appointed one of Avraham's friends from his youth to be the one to light the fire. As the executioner approached Avraham, he asked anxiously;

 "When you get to Heaven are you going to ask your G-d to exact heavenly retribution against me?"

Avraham smiled. "Let me tell you a story," he began. "When we were young, my father gave me some beautiful clay soldiers to play with. One day you came to play and because your soldiers were not nearly as nice as mine, you were jealous. When I was not looking you broke all my soldiers. I was very angry and I swore revenge. My father refused to punish you, but I promised myself that when I became the local nobleman I would settle the scores. When I grew older, I saw how silly the whole incident was. I realised that compared to all my accomplishments and all the wealth that I was to inherit, the toy meant nothing."

Avraham laughed. "I am about to enter the World to Come. When I get to heaven and realise how insignificant is this puny little body that you are about to destroy, do you think that I will make an issue of it?"

Judaism actually puts extreme value on a healthy body. We are commanded to keep a healthy body and there are laws about all sorts of medical and health issues. In addition, one of Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Faith is the belief in the resurrection of the dead in the Messianic era. The commentaries explain that the purpose of resurrecting the body is so that the body can also receive its reward for learning Torah and keeping the Mitzvot. The soul is eternal and gets its metaphysical reward in heaven, but the body needs to be resurrected to receive its dues.

Nevertheless Avraham ben Avraham was making an important point. Although the body is key to housing the soul in this world and enabling the soul to perform mitzvot, at the same time it is important to bear in mind that we are created to indulge the soul - not the body.

In this week's parshah we read about the most obscure mitzvah of all, the red heifer. Rashi says that the nations of the world will torment us about this mitzvah because it is unexplainable. The power to withstand these taunts and engage in meaningful mitzvah observance comes from being able to recognise the supremacy of G-d over human intellect and of soul over body.

Every person has mitzvot which are out of our comfort zone and often beyond our understanding, but by recognising what is primary and what is secondary in life, we can continue to grow in our Judaism, perhaps especially during these challenging times.

 
 
 
Events

 

 
 
Upcoming Events
Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, Jul. 3, 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

More Info »
Jewish Daughter of Hamas
Sunday, Jul. 5, 2020 - 2:00 pm
www.yadlachimtour.com
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Jul. 6, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Jul. 6, 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

JLI
Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020 - 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Five-part Jewish literacy series about how Judaism is observed at home, which is particularly relevant at this time. The course will include practical guidance, in the style of DIY, as well as deeper insights about why we do what we do. To register visit or for more details visit here or email education@judaismlive.com or call me on 07875 320 344.
Communal Zoom Call
Wednesday, Jul. 8, 2020 - 8:00 pm
Three Rabbis and a Doctor walk into a Zoom
With words of inspiration, halachic and medical guidance.
For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344

Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, Jul. 10, 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

More Info »
JMT Chocolate Truffle Event
Sunday, Jul. 12, 2020 - 8:00 pm
Book your place : www.jmtevents.co.uk
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Jul. 13, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Jul. 13, 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

JLI
Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020 - 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Five-part Jewish literacy series about how Judaism is observed at home, which is particularly relevant at this time. The course will include practical guidance, in the style of DIY, as well as deeper insights about why we do what we do. To register visit or for more details visit here or email education@judaismlive.com or call me on 07875 320 344.
Communal Zoom Call
Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2020 - 8:00 pm
Three Rabbis and a Doctor walk into a Zoom
With words of inspiration, halachic and medical guidance.
For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344

Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, Jul. 17, 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

More Info »
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Jul. 20, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Paper Mosaic Workshop
Monday, Jul. 20, 2020 - 8:00 pm
Book your place: office@judaismlive.com
 
 
Life ... Zoom style!

 

 
 
Service Times

All services are suspended until further notice

 
 
This Week @ www.JudaismLive.com
  
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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Chukat-Balak

Moses is taught the laws of the Red Heifer, whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body.

After 40 years of journeying through the desert, the people of Israel arrive in the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies and the people thirst for water. G-d tells Moses to speak to a rock and command it to give water. Moses gets angry at the rebellious Israelites and strikes the stone. Water issues forth, but Moses is told by G-d that neither he nor Aaron will enter the Promised Land.

Aaron dies at Hor Hahar and is succeeded in the High Priesthood by his son Elazar. Venomous snakes attack the Israelite camp after yet another eruption of discontent in which the people "speak against G-d and Moses"; G-d tells Moses to place a brass serpent upon a high pole, and all who will gaze heavenward will be healed. The people sing a song in honor of the miraculous well that provided the water in the desert. Moses leads the people in battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og (who seek to prevent Israel's passage through their territory) and conquers their lands, which lie east of the Jordan.

Balak, the King of Moab, summons the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. On the way, Balaam is berated by his donkey, who sees the angel that G-d sends to block their way before Balaam does. Three times, from three different vantage points, Balaam attempts to pronounce his curses; each time, blessings issue instead. Balaam also prophecies on the end of days and the coming of Moshiach.

The people fall prey to the charms of the daughters of Moab and are enticed to worship the idol Peor. When a high-ranking Israelite official publicly takes a Midianite princess into a tent, Pinchas kills them both, stopping the plague raging among the people.