Torah E-Thought: The People of the Book

This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

Light Candles in Leeds :

Friday, 30th Sept  6:27pm
Shabbat Ends,
7:31 pm
Yom Kippur begins, 6:31pm
Yom Kippur ends: 7:22pm
Torah Portion: 

Chabad Lubavitch Leeds   Email: [email protected]   Phone:

Message from the Rabbi
Dear Friend,

This Sunday is our Hachnosas Sefer Torah! It is a really exciting event for the whole community and a very special celebration to welcome a new Torah Scroll. Details here.

We will also be hosting Rabbi Yoel Niasoff for his annual sale of Lulavim and Esrogim on Sunday morning at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds.

We’ll be running full services over Yom Kippur, including children’s services. Why not try something different and join us at Chabad Lubavitch.

Over Sukkot we’ll be having a full range of activities, Torah Tots, CKids, CYP Social and the Sukkah Mobile, details here.

Although we have a lot of Yom Tov still to enjoy, half term is less than a month away and you can book now for our Autumn Mini Camp. Details here .

Wishing you a Good Shabbos and a Gmar V’Chasima Tova!

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds


The Jewish Nation is called “the People of the Book,” although I recently discovered that the origin of this term is in Islam and refers to any religion guided by scriptures.

In truth the Jewish people should be referred to as the People of the Scroll as it is the Torah Scroll that we studied for many years, until the compilation of the Mishna and much later, the advent of the printing press.

The imperitive to learn Torah is so strong, that there is actually a mitzvah for every Jew to write their own Sefer Torah, or have one commissioned for themselves. Nowadays when we study from books, one can fulfil this mitzvah by buying Jewish holy books, but many will still buy a letter or a verse in a communal Torah School. The Lubavitcher Rebbe actively encouraged that all Jewish children should own their own letter in a Torah Scroll written specifically for them in Jerusalem. (You can read more details and purchase letters at

Buying a new Sefer Torah is a great occasion and is celebrated by a parade through the city. Torah Scrolls are also treated with great respect – every child knows that if G-d forbid a Torah Scroll is dropped, everyone who saw it fall will need to fast. Old Torah Scrolls are not discarded but carefully buried, treated with the same respect accorded to a person who has passed on.

Why do we Jews have such respect for seforim? 

Chassidic philosophy explains that the first word of the Ten Commandments, “Anochi,” Hebrew for “I” (as in “I am the L-rd your G-d”), is an acronym for ana nafshi ksavis yihavis, which means “I myself wrote and gave.” This means to say that G-d Himself wrote and gave the Torah. 

But the Lubavitcher Rebbe explained that “ana nafshi” means that G-d inserted His nefesh, His very essence, into the Torah—meaning that the Torah is not just another book, but a “piece” of G-d.

That’s also why we close the Torah when we stop learning or reading from it - because when a person is studying from a Torah, it’s as if he’s personally studying with G-d. And to get up and walk out in the middle of personal meeting with G-d is inappropriate. One really ought to ask permission to leave—and does so by closing the book before departing. This is also the reason for burying and old or destroyed Sefer Torah, because we are not dealing with just parchment, but with the G-dliness that is within it.

Not everyone can own a Torah Scroll, but we can accord the Torah the greatest honour by studying it. As we celebrate the High Holidays and think about our resolutions for the coming year, why not
invest in some Jewish books or make a commitment to regular Torah study?

Autumn 2022 Mini Camp

Upcoming Events
Candle Lighting
Friday, Sep. 30, 2022 - 6:28 pm
Chassidus and Cake
Shabbat, Oct. 1, 2022 - 9:30 am
Shabbat Service
Shabbat, Oct. 1, 2022 - 10:00 am
Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 - 8:30 am
Sale of Lulav and Etrogs
Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 - 9:15 am - 10:15 am
Hachnosas Sefer Torah
Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 - 2:30 pm
Lunch and Learn
Monday, Oct. 3, 2022 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
More Info »
Erev Yom Kippur
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 - 8:00 am
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 - 2:30 pm
Kol Nidre with the start of Yom Kippur
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 - 6:18 pm
Yom Kippur - Shacharit
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 - 10:00 am
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 - 12:15 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 - 4:40 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 - 5:40 pm
Fast ends
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 - 7:08 pm
CKids Rosh Hashanah Road Trip
Service Times

Friday Night 6:18pm

Shabbat Morning 10.00am

Sunday Morning 8.30am

Yom Kippur Services are on our website

This Week @
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Why Beg for Honey Cake Before Yom Kippur?
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Repentance Is a Scam
Why waste the holiest day of the year dwelling on everything you messed up?
The Mean Voice Inside Me
Eventually, I grew tired of playing the martyr and blaming Him. I started to wonder if the pain I blamed on heaven was coming from within.
Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Vayelech

The Parshah of Vayelech (“and he went”) recounts the events of Moses’ last day of earthly life. “I am one hundred and twenty years old today,” he says to the people, “and I can no longer go forth and come in.” He transfers the leadership to Joshua, and writes (or concludes writing) the Torah in a scroll which he entrusts to the Levites for safekeeping in the Ark of the Covenant.

The mitzvah of hak’hel (“gather”) is given: every seven years, during the festival of Sukkot of the first year of the shemittah cycle, the entire people of Israel—men, women and children—should gather at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where the k in g should read to them from the Torah.

Vayelech concludes with the prediction that the people of Israel will turn away from their covenant with G‑d, causing Him to hide His face from them, but also with the promise that the words of the Torah “shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their descendants.”