Torah E-Thought: Seeing Eye to Eye

 
ב״ה
 
 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Light Candles  - Leeds :
 
Friday,  21 August  7:30pm   
 
Shabbat Ends:
9:13pm
 
Torah Portion: 
 

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

 
 
Message from the Rabbi
 
 
DearFriend,

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, the month that is the prelude to the High Holy Days.  You can read all about it at www.JudaismLive.com/Elul

Last night we hosted my brother Rabbi Shmuli Pink of Leicester on the Communal Zoom, you can watch the video recording here.

We’ve had a great first week at Camp Gan Israel at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds. You can see all the pictures here. Due to the COVID precautions this year, we are operating in a bubble and we are now fully booked.

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.

All our coronavirus support is online here.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

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

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. We blow the shofar every day of the month and say Psalm 27 twice daily to rouse us to repentance. Elul is the month of reckoning and accounting, when we look through our Jewish observance and study of the previous year and resolve to improve in the next.

However, the prayers and accounting are all inward looking. Elul is also the time of looking outward, doing acts of goodness and kindness for others. Essentially we are asking G-d that just as we have acted towards others over and above the letter of the law, so too, come Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, G-d should act towards us in a similar manner – even if he finds us undeserving, He should write and seal us for a happy and sweet New Year.

In this week’s parshah we read about the obligations of the Beth Din. They are to judge between “if a matter is hidden from you, whether matters of blood and blood, verdict and verdict… matters of disputes in your cities.” The commentaries ask why the Torah finds it necessary to repeat each word; why not “between bloods, between verdicts?”

The words of the Torah are precise and are telling us a narrative. Throughout our history Jews have wondered why we have been dealt with differently to all other nations. We have tried both assimilation and segregation, but the “matter is hidden from you,” i.e. we have no idea why we are still treated differently. When it comes to matters of “blood and blood” and “verdict and verdict,” Jews are on their own. When Jews defend themselves from terrorist attacks it is “extra-judicial murder” when other nations do the same it is called a “drone strike.” Our blood is seemingly not the same blood.

The answer is “matters of dispute in your cities.” Lack of unity and baseless hatred in our community opens us up to attack from the outside. Throughout our history we have been at our most vulnerable when we have not been “seeing eye to eye” among ourselves and the month of Elul is a time to rectify this failing.

As the lockdown eases it is easy to be judgemental. Any who is being less cautious then me is being irresponsible and anyone who is more cautious than me is being irrational. Just doing acts of goodness and kindness for others is only the first step. To achieve true unity we need to refine ourselves to the state where we are not just being kind to others because that is what we are supposed to do, but to be kind because that is what we want to do, because we are truly accepting of each other.

Then we can be sure that we will be blessed – with the entire community – with a happy and healthy New Year.

 
 
 
Zoom Event

 
 
Upcoming Events
Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020
For 3 - 4 year olds
Book now www.judaismlive.com/cgi

Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Friday, Aug. 21, 2020
For 3 - 4 year olds
Book now www.judaismlive.com/cgi

Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, Aug. 21, 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 »
Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Monday, Aug. 24, 2020
For 5 - 6 year olds
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Aug. 24, 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

Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020
For 5 - 6 year olds
Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020
For 5 - 6 year olds
3 Rabbis and a Dr walk into a Zoom
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 - 8:00 pm
3 Rabbis and a Dr walk into a Zoom
With words of inspiration, halachic and medical guidance.
For details contact Rabbi Eli Pink on 07875 320 344

Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020
For 5 - 6 year olds
Summer Camp - Camp Gan Israel
Friday, Aug. 28, 2020
For 5 - 6 year olds
Introduction to Shabbat
Friday, Aug. 28, 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 »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Aug. 31, 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

3 Rabbis and a Dr walk into a Zoom
Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2020 - 8:00 pm
3 Rabbis and a Dr 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, Sep. 4, 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 »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Sep. 7, 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

 
 
Having fun at Camp!

 

 
 
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All services are suspended until further notice

 
 
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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Shoftim

Moses instructs the people of Israel to appoint judges and law enforcement officers in every city. “ Justice, justice shall you pursue,” he commands them, and you must administer it without corruption or favoritism. Crimes must be meticulously investigated and evidence thoroughly examined—a minimum of two credible witnesses is required for conviction and punishment.

In every generation, says Moses, there will be those entrusted with the task of interpreting and applying the laws of the Torah. “According to the law that they will teach you, and the judgment they will instruct you, you shall do; you shall not turn away from the thing that they say to you, to the right nor to the left.”

Shoftim also includes the prohibitions against idolatry and sorcery; laws governing the appointment and behavior of a king; and guidelines for the creation of “ cities of refuge” for the inadvertent murderer. Also set forth are many of the rules of war: the exemption from battle for one who has just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or is “ afraid and soft-hearted”; the requirement to offer terms of peace before attacking a city; and the prohibition against wanton destruction of something of value, exemplified by the law that forbids to cut down a fruit tree when laying siege (in this context the Torah makes the famous statement, “ For man is a tree of the field”).

The Parshah concludes with the law of the eglah arufah—the special procedure to be followed when a person is killed by an unknown murderer and his body is found in a field—which underscores the responsibility of the community and its leaders not only for what they do, but also for what they might have prevented from being done.