Torah E-Thought: A spiritual kiss


This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds
Light Candles in Leeds :
Friday, 28 July 7:35pm   
Shabbat ends
Torah Portion: 

Chabad  Lubavitch Leeds   Email: [email protected]   Phone:

Message from the Rabbi
Dear Friend,

We’ve had an amazing year of Hebrew’s Cool Club and a lovely graduation and end of year on Sunday. We look forward to offering even more options next year with the arrival of Rabbi Sholem and Mrs Devorah Leah Kalmenson. Pictures below.

On Monday we start Camp Gan Israel Summer Camp and we’re counting down the days with throwback pictures on Facebook and Instagram from over 40 years of camp. Follow Chabad Lubavitch Leeds on social media and see who you can recognise! Our highlights schedule is online, and bookings are open here .

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds


Have you ever attended a prayer vigil? What prayers did you say? In this week’s Parsha, Va’eschanan, we read about Moses’ prayers to G-d begging to enter the land of Israel. Moses often prayed to G-d – which prayerbook did he use? Today, most of the prayers recited at prayer vigils are from Tehillim, the book of Psalms. 

What is so special about Tehillim that we turn to it every time we have tzaros? 

The prayers as we have them in the Siddur and Machzor were instituted by the Men of the Great Assembly who lived at the start of the Second Temple, around 2500 years ago. However, the Jewish custom to pray three times a day did not begin with the Great Assembly. The Talmud says that the Patriarchs instituted the three daily prayers. What did Jews pray before the Siddur was composed? 

Imagine Yom Kippur without a Machzor. Imagine, those Jews who did not travel to Jerusalem for the High Holidays and did not spend the day watching the High Priest perform the sacred service in the Temple. What did they do all day? The answer is Tehillim, which actually makes up a large part of our daily prayers.

Tehillim is the original Jewish prayer book. It includes prayers for every occasion. King David compiled all of these prayers for the Jewish people of all times. In fact, it is suggested that parts of the Tehillim existed long before the days of King David. The Midrash explains that for the entire twenty years that our forefather Jacob lived with his father in law Laban he didn’t sleep. Instead, Jacob was continuously reciting the fifteen Songs of Ascents (Shir Hama’alot). The book of psalms also includes prayers composed by Moses – many chapters begin with the words, “Tefila l’Moshe” a prayer for Moses. 

This means that over a thousand years before the official Siddur was composed, Tehillim served as our prayer book. And when the Men of the Great Assembly took to the task of writing the Siddur, they did not intend to replace the Tehillim. Rather, the Siddur is meant to be a supplemental prayer book, providing prayers only for specific occasions.

If one wants to offer a spontaneous prayer, whether it’s thanks for a miracle or a flash of inspiration, one doesn’t choose a prayer from the Siddur. Tehillim enables us to express to G-d whatever we feel. And there is no limit on how much Tehillim one can say. On the contrary, the more Tehillim you say the better. The Tehillim prayers are ready for use whenever a Jew feels the desire to pray. 

There is an amazing quote from the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek: “If you only knew the power of verses of Tehillim and their effect in the highest Heavens, you would recite them constantly. Know that the chapters of Tehillim shatter all barriers, they ascend higher and still higher with no interference; they prostrate themselves in supplication before the Master of all worlds, and they effect and accomplish with kindness and compassion.”

There is a story about an older fellow who owned a small store. This store was always full of customers. When the old man passed away his son renovated, expanded and reopened the now big department store. However, for him business wasn’t nearly as good as it had been for his old father. Dejected, he asked his Rebbe for advice. 

The Rebbe asked him, “What do you do when you are not helping customers?”
“I read the newspaper,” the young man responded. 
“And what would your father do when he wasn’t helping customers?” the Rebbe asked. 
“Why, he would recite Tehillim,” the young man said. 
“This is the source of your problem,” the Rebbe explained. “Your father spent his time praying and the Yetzer Hora – the evil inclination - couldn’t stand it, so he kept sending him customers to disturb him. You, on the other hand, read the newspaper so the Yetzer Hora has no reason to disturb you.” 

Most of us don’t own stores, but we can still find ways to integrate this important book into our daily schedules. 

The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged people to say the a few chapters of Tehillim every day, following a monthly schedule to finish the entire Tehillim in a month. There is also a beautiful custom from the Baal Shem Tov to say the chapter of Tehillim that corresponds to one’s year of life. A 30-year-old would say chapter 31, equal to the year of life they are presently living. In addition to our own chapter, it is a nice way of praying for your children and loved ones each day – figure out the chapter that corresponds to their age and recite it daily. It is an opportunity to offer them a spiritual kiss and think about them for a few moments each day.

Camp Gan Israel 2023

Upcoming Events
Light candles
Friday, Jul. 28, 2023 - 7:35 pm
Shabbat Service
Shabbat, Jul. 29, 2023 - 10:00 am
CGI Summer Camp
Monday, Jul. 31, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Friday, Aug. 4, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Light candles
Friday, Aug. 4, 2023 - 7:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Shabbat, Aug. 5, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Monday, Aug. 7, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
CGI Summer Camp
Friday, Aug. 11, 2023 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Hebrew's Cool Club


Service Times

Friday Night, 7.35pm

Shabbat Morning, 10.00am

Sunday Morning 8.30am


This week's kiddush is kindly sponsored by


Rabbi and Mrs Eli Pink


on the occasion of his birthday.

All welcome!

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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Va'etchanan

The name of the Parshah, "Va’etchanan," means "I entreated," and it is found in Deuteronomy 3:23.

Moses tells the people of Israel how he implored G‑d to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, but G‑d refused, instructing him instead to ascend a mountain and see the Promised Land.

Continuing his “review of the Torah,” Moses describes Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah, declaring them unprecedented events in human history. “Has there ever occurred this great thing, or has the likes of it ever been heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of G‑d speaking out of the midst of the fire . . . and live? . . . You were shown, to know, that the L‑rd is G‑d . . . there is none else beside Him.”

Moses predicts that in future generations the people will turn away from G‑d, worship idols, and be exiled from their land and scattered amongst the nations; but from there they will seek G‑d, and return to obey His commandments.

Our Parshah also includes a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and the verses of the Shema, which declare the fundamentals of the Jewish faith: the unity of G‑d (“Hear O Israel: the L‑rd our G‑d, the L‑rd is one”); the mitzvot to love G‑d, to study His Torah, and to bind “these words” as tefillin on our arms and heads, and inscribe them in the mezuzot affixed on the doorposts of our homes.

Learn: Va’etchanan in Depth
Browse: Va’etchanan Parshah Columnists
Prep: Devar Torah Q&A for Va’etchanan 
Read: Haftarah in a Nutshell
Play: Va’etchanan Parshah Quiz