Torah E-Thought: Who will be the Zeide?

This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

Light Candles in Leeds :

Friday, 2nd Dec  3:31pm
Shabbat Ends,
Torah Portion: 

Chabad Lubavitch Leeds   Email: [email protected]   Phone:

Message from the Rabbi
Dear Friend,

We are closing bookings for our pre Chanukah Whisky Tasting so that we can order the cask strength whisky in time. It promises to be a great night! Details here.

Bookings are open for our Torah Tots, JMT Pub Quiz, Mini Camp, Cteen World Cup Chanukah Event and Giant Menorah Lighting and Big Wheel Rides.

As the cold starts to bite, we are here to help! If you are struggling paying your fuel bills or having to make difficult choices about food or heating, please contact us or one of the Jewish communal organisations in confidence for support. You can also book a Shabbat Pack at

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds


Every Jew knows the Yiddish word for grandfather, Zeide. 

Who is the first one in the Torah to be called Zeide? Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are known primarily as the fathers of our nation. But with Jacob, in addition to being called Yaakov Avinu - our father Jacob - we find a number of places in the Midrash where he is called “Yisroel Sabah” - Grandpa Yisroel.

Perhaps the reason for this is that Jacob was the first man to raise Jewish grandchildren. Abraham passed away on the day of his grandsons’ (Jacob and Esau’s) bar mitzvah. Isaac never saw his grandchildren until it was too late to take part in their upbringing, because Jacob married in Charan and lived there for many years. Only Jacob himself merited to have all of his children and grandchildren living with him and to train them in the ways of the Torah.

This week, we read about Jacob on the run from Esau. Esau sent his son Elifaz to pursue Jacob and kill him. When they met, Jacob implored Elifaz not to kill him. He gave everything he had to Elifaz so he had nothing left to live off and Elifaz was able to return to his father with the claim that he had fulfilled his wish. But why did Elifaz not actually kill Jacob? 

The Biblical Commentator Rashi says it was because Elifaz grew up in the home of his Zeide Isaac who had a good influence on him. He couldn’t bring himself to carry out his father’s instructions and begged his uncle to find him a way out. 

Here we see the power of a Zeide! Although Elifaz was the son of Esau who was filled with hate, the education he received in his grandfather Isaac’s house made him unable to harm his uncle Jacob. 

This week the latest data from Census 2021 was released, including a breakdown of religion and ethnicity by region. It has provided much food for thought for communal organisations and will continue to do so for much time to come.

Our people have survived with one goal in mind – to continue the line. We are a nation which survives only because the torch of our tradition was successfully passed from generation to generation.

Last week I was discussing levels of religious observance in our community with a couple of young parents. Do we keep more than our parents do? Do we want our children to keep more than we do? I was gratified to hear that the answer to both questions was positive. But this doesn’t come without effort.

Many of us will remember our grandfathers sitting at the Seder table. Many will remember our grandmothers lighting the Shabbat candles. We may remember the Shabbat and holiday meals at our grandparent’s home. Many will remember going to synagogue on the High Holidays and sitting next to Zeide in shul. And everyone can remember a time or two when they did something “very Jewish” just to make Bubbe happy. Many people married Jewish only to Bubbe’s credit.

There is a
classic song by Moshe Yess a”h which describes how his Zeide who lived together with him in his parent’s home and brought Judaism into the house. He would teach the children Torah and tell them stories of Jewish suffering and heroism. Zeide would make a Kiddush every Friday night and a Seder on Pesach. 

And the song ends, “Who will be the Zeides of our children, if not we?” 

It is our responsibility to play the role of Zeide and Bubbe in the lives of our children. True, we’re not nearly that old… but it’s too hard learn to make Kiddush when one is seventy. So, if we want to be good Zeide or Bubbe we’re going to have to start now.

Torah Tots Chanukah Party!

Upcoming Events
JMT Friday Night
Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 - 8:30 pm
At the Pinks
Chassidus and Cake
Shabbat, Dec. 3, 2022 - 9:30 am
Shabbat Service
Shabbat, Dec. 3, 2022 - 10:00 am
Hebrew Cool Club (HCC)
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
6 week JLI - My G-d?
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 - 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Hebrew Cool Club (HCC)
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Chassidus and Cake
Shabbat, Dec. 10, 2022 - 9:30 am
Shabbat Service
Shabbat, Dec. 10, 2022 - 10:00 am
Torah Tots Chanukah Party
Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 - 10:00 am
Hebrew Cool Club (HCC)
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
6 week JLI - My G-d?
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022 - 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Hebrew Cool Club (HCC)
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Chanukah Whisky Tasting
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 - 8:00 pm
Chassidus and Cake
Shabbat, Dec. 17, 2022 - 9:30 am
Shabbat Service
Shabbat, Dec. 17, 2022 - 10:00 am
This week at HCC!
Service Times

Friday Night, 3.31pm

Shabbat Morning, 10.00am

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Parshat Vayeitzei

Jacob leaves his hometown of Beersheba and journeys to Charan. On the way, he encounters “ the place” and sleeps there, dreaming of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, with angels climbing and descending on it; G‑d appears and promises that the land upon which he lies will be given to his descendants. In the morning, Jacob raises the stone on which he laid his head as an altar and monument, pledging that it will be made the house of G‑d.

In Charan, Jacob stays with and works for his uncle Laban, tending Laban’s sheep. Laban agrees to give him his younger daughter, Rachel whom Jacob loves—in marriage, in return for seven years’ labor. But on the wedding night, Laban gives him his elder daughter, Leah, instead—a deception Jacob discovers only in the morning. Jacob marries Rachel, too, a week later, after agreeing to work another seven years for Laban.

Leah gives birth to six sons—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun—and a daughter, Dinah, while Rachel remains barren. Rachel gives Jacob her handmaid, Bilhah, as a wife to bear children in her stead, and two more sons, Dan and Naphtali, are born. Leah does the same with her handmaid, Zilpah, who gives birth to Gad and Asher. Finally, Rachel’s prayers are answered and she gives birth to Joseph.

Jacob has now been in Charan for 14 years, and wishes to return home. But Laban persuades him to remain, now offering him sheep in return for his labor. Jacob prospers, despite Laban’s repeated attempts to swindle him. After six years, Jacob leaves Charan in stealth, fearing that Laban would prevent him from leaving with the family and property for which he labored. Laban pursues Jacob, but is warned by G‑d in a dream not to harm him. Laban and Jacob make a pact on Mount Gal-Ed, attested to by a pile of stones, and Jacob proceeds to the Holy Land, where he is met by angels.