Torah E-Thought: Conflicting Passions

 
ב״ה
 
 
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Friday, 5th March  5:34pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Torah Portion: 
 

Lubavitch Centre of Leeds   Email: [email protected]   Phone: 0113-2663311www.JudaismLive.com

 
 
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Dear Friend,

I hope you had a great Purim! Our photo album is online here .

Last night we hosted Rabbi Mendy Singer, Chabad on Campus, Bristol University on the communal zoom. You can watch it online on Vimeo
here , the password is CLL. Next week we are hosting Dr. Laz, bestselling author of Skullcaps and Switchblades as he speaks on Project Cure – Bridging Racial Diversity.

Next Thursday we will be marking the first yahrzeit of Dayan Refson z”l. You can read more details and book in for the event here.

You can nominate someone (or yourself) for a Shabbat Pack here . We are also excited to be able to provide Seder-to-Go packs again this year. Bookings are now open here .

There will be a Shabbat Service this week. Book in online
here . Please join me at 3pm on Friday when I stream some pre-Shabbos thoughts in the Alwoodley Ward Residents Facebook Group. Alwoodley Ward residents can join the group here.


Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

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

Something that has struck me during conversations about the pandemic – and especially when observing discussions on social media – is that while everyone seems to be full of opinions about how the government should be running the crisis, nowhere in the world has done particularly better than anywhere else.

I was contemplating this with the latest news about the budget. Does the Chancellor try to open up the economy? Does he borrow more?

Having a conflict of interests is nothing new. We find Moses’ himself being conflicted in this week’s Parshah.

Moses’ life was defined by two passions: his passion for the Torah and his passion for the Jewish people. On the one hand, Moses was “the law-giver,” the perfect conduit through whom G-d communicated His Torah to humanity. G-d Himself chose that Moses should be the one who imparted His wisdom to the Jewish people and the world. The prophet Malachi refers to the Torah as “Moses’ Torah.”

In his other role, Moses was Jewish people’s faithful shepherd. His devotion to leading his nation was such that the great commentator Rashi writes, “Moses is Israel, and Israel is Moses.”

In the parshah we read how, less than forty days after having a direct revelation from G-d at Mount Sinai, the Jewish people had already strayed and built the Golden Calf. When they rebelled against the Torah’s most basic principle and worshipped the Golden Calf, Moses’ passions clashed. As a result of their transgression, G-d threatened to wipe Jewish people out and start a new nation from Moshe alone. But Moshe pleaded with G-d to spare Jewish people, ultimately demanding, “If You will not forgive them, erase me now from Your Torah” - i.e., his attachment to the Jewish people ran even deeper than his attachment to the Torah.

With his demand, Moses secured forgiveness for Jewish people and saved them from destruction. By expressing his unbreakable attachment to Jewish people, Moses similarly evoked G-d’s affection for the Jewish people - an affection that transcends even His oneness with the Torah. This in turn made G-d’s love for Jewish people reawaken. Moses caused G-d to accept and forgive them - and grant them another opportunity to keep His Torah.

Leadership means making difficult choices. Most of us are not in a position that we need to make judgements that affect entire nations, but in our own lives all have choices to make. Following the example of Moses and putting our fellow first is the basis of good decisions.

 
 
 
Seder to go

 
 
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1st Yahrzeit Dayan Yehuda Yaakov Refson z”l
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Introduction to Shabbat
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Friday afternoon introduction to Shabbat on Facebook Live in the Alwoodley Residents’ Group as well as on Zoom.
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Lunch and Learn
Monday, Mar. 15, 2021 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This will be running as an online Zoom Class
More Info »
Ruth Bell's weekly session
Monday, Mar. 15, 2021 - 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
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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Ki Tisa

The people of Israel are told to each contribute exactly half a shekel of silver to the Sanctuary. Instructions are also given regarding the making of the Sanctuary’s water basin, anointing oil and incense. “Wise-hearted” artisans Betzalel and Aholiav are placed in charge of the Sanctuary’s construction, and the people are once again commanded to keep the Shabbat.

When Moses does not return when expected from Mount Sinai, the people make a golden calf and worship it. G‑d proposes to destroy the errant nation, but Moses intercedes on their behalf. Moses descends from the mountain carrying the tablets of the testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; seeing the people dancing about their idol, he breaks the tablets, destroys the golden calf, and has the primary culprits put to death. He then returns to G‑d to say: “If You do not forgive them, blot me out from the book that You have written.”

G‑d forgives, but says that the effect of their sin will be felt for many generations. At first G‑d proposes to send His angel along with them, but Moses insists that G‑d Himself accompany His people to the promised land.

Moses prepares a new set of tablets and once more ascends the mountain, where G‑d reinscribes the covenant on these second tablets. On the mountain, Moses is also granted a vision of the divine thirteen attributes of mercy. So radiant is Moses’ face upon his return, that he must cover it with a veil, which he removes only to speak with G‑d and to teach His laws to the people.

 


Parshat Parah

In preparation for the upcoming festival of Passover, when every Jew had to be in a state of ritual purity, the section of Parah (Numbers 19) is added to the weekly reading this week. Parah relates the laws of the Red Heifer with which a person contaminated by contact with a dead body was purified.