Torah E-Thought: Meat and Potatoes


This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Light Candles in Leeds :
Shmini Atzeret, Friday, 9 Oct 6:04pm   
Simchat Torah Candle Lighting: 
Yom Tov ends Sunday 7:08pm   
Torah Portion: 

Lubavitch Centre of Leeds   Email:   Phone:

Message from the Rabbi
Dear Friend,

We’ve had a great time this Sukkot with the Sukkah Mobile and a fun session at Torah Tots! You can see some pictures here. Last night we held a virtual Simchat Beit Hashoeva, you can watch it here.

You can now book for services for Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah here. We’re going to be holding children’s services both days.

Bookings for Autumn Mini Camp are now open! Details here.

Please join me at 4pm on Friday when I stream my pre-Sukkot 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


‘It is a pity on our brethren in the Holy Land,’ Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch once commented, ‘for they must condense the two days of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah into one. They have no choice but to mix their meat with their vegetables.’


The last two festive days of the month of Tishrei, grouped together at the conclusion of Sukkot, differ as widely as the animal kingdom and the vegetative world.


Shemini Atzeret is a festival given to us by G-d. After having spent Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot together at home and in the synagogue, G-d turns to us and says ‘your parting is going to be difficult, stay another day.’ On a simple level this is taken to mean that G-d wishes to celebrate one more day with us, however the Chassidic Rabbis have suggested that the ‘parting’ that G-d is referring to is the parting of families and friends, the feeling of goodwill that is engendered over the holidays. As we are about to go back to the daily drudge of our existence, G-d wishes that we hold this festive spirit for one more day and gives us the extra holiday.


Simchat Torah on the other hand is a day that we have earned through our Torah studies over the past year. Every Jew, whether aware of it or not, is inextricably bound with the Torah. For a Sefer Torah to be kosher, it must not be missing even one letter, so too for our joy to be complete, we must include every single Jew. Studying the Torah would unfortunately lead to divisions among our people; some can study better, some need help to read. Dancing is a great unifier. We join in a circle, dance with the Torah and the Torah dances with us.


‘But, L-rd! To see the disorder, laughing, sporting, and no attention, but confusion in all their service, more like brutes than people knowing the true God…’ To be sure, much has not changed since Samuel Pepys described Simchat Torah in his famous diary. Not for us a symposium on the lessons of the Torah, or an international conference of its scholars – we celebrate the completion of the Torah by dancing with it. On Simchat Torah, we are celebrating with the Torah and the Torah is celebrating with us. The Torah wishes to dance and we are but its feet.


The Hebrew term for ‘on credit’ is ‘hakafah’, the same word used for our festive circles (hakafot) that we dance with the Torah around the synagogue. After we have paid in cash with all our mitzvot and prayers throughout Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Succot, we are now able to take our blessings ‘on credit’ for the new year ahead, and in token of this we begin dance the hakafot on Simchat Torah.


This year the dancing will be different, but the Torah still wants to dance and rejoice. Whether you are in a shul that is able to facilitate covid-secure dancing, or you need to dance in your place and with an inner joy, it is time to lift those feet and head for your closest synagogue – the next dance is yours!

Mini Autumn Camp

Upcoming Events
Sukkot Torah Tots
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 - 3:30 pm
Friday Night Shmini Atzeres
Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 - 6:04 pm
Kiddush in the Sukkah, Shmini Atzeres - Individual Kiddush Packs will be prepared.
Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Priority will be for those who don't have a Sukkah at home.
Shabbat Morning, Shmini Atzeres
Shabbat, Oct. 10, 2020 - 10:30 am
Children's Services, Shabbat Morning - Ages 3-6.
Shabbat, Oct. 10, 2020 - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Kiddush in the Sukkah, Shabbat Morning - Individual Kiddush Packs will be prepared
Shabbat, Oct. 10, 2020 - 12:30 pm
Priority will be for those who don't have a Sukkah at home.
Sunday Morning, Simchas Torah
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 - 10:30 am
Children's Services, Sunday Morning, Simchas Torah, Ages 3-6.
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Oct. 12, 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

Hebrew Cool Club
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Hebrew Cool Club
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
3 Rabbis and a Dr walk into a Zoom
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 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, Oct. 16, 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 »
Shabbat service
Shabbat, Oct. 17, 2020 - 10:30 am
Succot fun!
Service Times

Friday Night Shmini Atzeres, 9 October - 6:04pm 

Kiddush in the Sukkah, Shmini Atzeres, 9 October - 7:30pm. Individual Kiddush Packs will be prepared. Priority will be for those who don't have a Sukkah at home. 

Shabbat Morning, Shmini Atzeres, 10 October - 10:30am 

Children's Services, Shabbat Morning, 10 October - 11:00 - 12:00. For ages 3-6. 

Kiddush in the Sukkah, Shabbat Morning, 10 October - 12:30. Kiddush Packs will be prepared. Priority will be for those who don't have a Sukkah at home. 

Mincha, Maariv & Hakafos Shabbat Evening, Simchas Torah, 10 October - 6:04pm

Sunday Morning, Simchas Torah, 11 October -10:30am. 

Children's Services, Sunday Morning, Simchas Torah, 11 October - 11:00 - 12:00. For ages 3 - 6


We will be having a Socially Distanced kiddish in the Sukkah. Priority will be given to those who do not have their own Sukkah.

This Week @
By the Numbers
10 Tips for an Amazing Simchat Torah @ Home
Your Questions
Why Circle 7 (or 3) Times on Simchat Torah?
The earliest known source for specifically going around seven times is Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the Arizal (1534-1572). But he provides no source.
On Simchat Torah, a Jew Never Dances Alone
Moses’ Blessing and Jacob’s Blessing
Parshah in a Nutshell

The Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret Torah readings are from Leviticus 22-23, Numbers 29, and Deuteronomy 14-16. These readings detail the laws of the moadim or " appointed times" on the Jewish calendar for festive celebration of our bond with G-d; including the mitzvot of dwelling in the sukkah (branch-covered hut) and taking the " Four Kinds" on the festival of Sukkot; the offerings brought in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Sukkot, and the obligation to journey to the Holy Temple to "to see and be seen before the face of G-d" on the three annual pilgrimage festivals -- Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

On Simchat Torah ("Rejoicing of the Torah") we conclude, and begin anew, the annual Torah-reading cycle. First we read the Torah section of Vezot Haberachah, which recounts the blessings that Moses gave to each of the twelve tribes of Israel before his death. Echoing Jacob's blessings to his twelve sons five generations earlier, Moses assigns and empowers each tribe with its individual role within the community of Israel.

Vezot Haberachah then relates how Moses ascended Mount Nebo from whose summit he saw the Promised Land. "And Moses the servant of G-d died there in the Land of Moab by the mouth of G-d... and no man knows his burial place to this day." The Torah concludes by attesting that "There arose not a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom G-d knew face to face... and in all the mighty hand and the great awesome things which Moses did before the eyes of all Israel."

Immediately after concluding the Torah, we begin it anew by reading the first chapter of Genesis (the beginning of next Shabbat's Torah reading) describing G-d's creation of the world in six days and His ceasing work on the seventh--which He sanctified and blessed as a day of rest.