Torah E-Thought: Where would you chose to be?


This Week at Chabad Lubavitch Leeds
Light Candles in Leeds :
Friday, 19 Aug 7:30pm   
Shabbat ends
Torah Portion: 

Chabad  Lubavitch Leeds    Email: [email protected]   Phone:

Message from the Rabbi
Dear Friend,

Our new CKids Shluchim, Rabbi Sholem and Devorah Leah Kalmenson have prepared an amazing new program for our after school club for the coming year. Have a look at the new CKids minisite at


During the summer we often have a little extra time on our hands. Why not consider some Jewish study online at or with a new study partner via


Wishing you a Good Shabbos and Good Chodesh!

Rabbi Eli Pink

Director of Education

Chabad Lubavitch Leeds


If you had 48 hours to spend in Israel, what would be your priorities? Visit family? Time on the beach? The Kotel? 


This week I had the opportunity to make a quick visit to Israel to take our Avremi to Yeshiva and I took our Shaina along for the trip. When planning the itinerary I wanted to make sure that she would have a fun, but learning experience.


Shaina's first impression was how easy it was to get kosher ice cream. And she loved the scenic views as we drove up to Jerusalem. I made a decision to prioritise a visit to Hebron. Security concerns mean that there are probably very few children from England who have been there, but it was important to me. 


We travelled with our good friend Amit Davidson and two of his children. Dr Amit recently returned to Israel after a two year residency in Leeds and it was very special to spend time with them. His wife's family have deep connections to Hebron. 


The trip, like all my previous visits, was uneventful from a security perspective, but filled with meaning and special moments. As we walked through the streets, I explained to Shaina that these are the same streets that Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca and Jacob and Leah walked and they are all buried right there in the Cave of Machpelah. King David initially established his throne in Hebron. Hebron, I explained, is, lhavdil, to Israel what York is to England. 


We visited Hebron on Thursday, when we study the fifth section of the weekly Torah portion. In the fifth section this week we read about the Ir Miklat, the Cities of Refuge. In Biblical times if someone committed manslaughter they would have to live in the City of Refuge in a kind of open prison arrangement while they studied and did penance for the killing. There were only a few Cities of Refuge in Israel and Hebron was one of them. 


Thursday was also the first day Rosh Chodesh of the Jewish month of Elul. The Rebbe writes about Elul in his iconic book Hayom Yom:


"The month of Elul is the month of reckoning. In the material world, if a businessman is to conduct his affairs properly and with great profit, he must periodically take an accounting and correct any deficiencies... Likewise in the spiritual avoda of serving G‑d. Throughout the year all Israel are occupied with Torah, Mitzvot and (developing and expressing) good traits. The month of Elul is the month of reckoning, when every Jew, each commensurate with his abilities, whether scholar or businessman, must make an accurate accounting in his soul of everything that occurred in the course of the year. Each must know the good qualities in his service of G‑d and strengthen them; he must also be aware of the deficiencies in himself and in his service, and correct these. Through this excellent preparation, one merits a good and sweet year, materially and spiritually."


The name Elul is also known to be an acronym for a number of different statements about the nature of the month. One of them references the Cities of Refuge. How do we relate to a City of Refuge in modern times?


With no physical City of Refuge, nowadays we can immerse ourselves in Torah study and draw our strength from there. During the month of Elul it is a special time to increase our Torah study and strengthen our relationship to Hashem through His Torah. As I wrote above, there is no shortage of opportunities, it is just down to us to decide what is our priority in the coming days and months.

Ckids After School Club

Upcoming Events
Candle Lighting and Night Services
Friday, Aug. 18, 2023 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat Morning Service
Shabbat, Aug. 19, 2023 - 10:00 am
BLT Sunday Morning Bagel Minyan
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023 - 8:30 am
Candle Lighting and Friday Night Services
Friday, Aug. 25, 2023 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat Morning Service
Shabbat, Aug. 26, 2023 - 10:00 am
BLT Sunday Morning Bagel Minyan
Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023 - 8:30 am
JMT Friday Night Dinner
Friday, Sep. 1, 2023 - 7:30 pm
At the Pinks
Candle Lighting and Friday Night Services
Friday, Sep. 1, 2023 - 7:30 pm
Shabbat Morning Service
Shabbat, Sep. 2, 2023 - 10:00 am
BLT Sunday Morning Bagel Minyan
Sunday, Sep. 3, 2023 - 8:30 am
Candle Lighting and Friday Night Service
Friday, Sep. 8, 2023 - 7:22 pm
Shabbat Morning Service
Shabbat, Sep. 9, 2023 - 10:00 am
BLT Sunday Morning Bagel Minyan
Sunday, Sep. 10, 2023 - 8:30 am
Rosh Hashana Club
Thursday, Sep. 14, 2023 - 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Get ready for the new year by hopping from stand to stand while you taste, cook, design, play, and learn! Pick up a keepsake at each spot and take home a Rosh Hashanah snackle box to usher in the sweetest new year.
Service Times

Friday Night, 7:30pm

Shabbat Morning, 10:00am

Sunday Morning, 8:30am


This week's kiddush is kindly sponsored by

Ronnie Levi marking the yahrzeit of his brother.

This Week @
Hebrew Word of the Week
What Can the Hebrew Word for “Challenges” Teach You?
Your Questions
Why Do Some Chassidic Jews Have Long Sidelocks (Peyot)?
Since many idol-worshipers used to cut off the hair on the sides of their head, we are required to maintain a physical appearance that distinguishes us.
Halachah for Life
What You Need to Know About Sheva Brachot
Jewish weddings extend celebrations with Sheva Brachot: 6 days of feasts and 7 blessings.
G-d in the Everyday
The month of Elul is a time of introspection and preparation for the Days of Awe. In an address to children, the Rebbe teaches how we can all infuse these days with greater meaning.
Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Shoftim

The name of the Parshah, "Shoftim," means "Judges" and it is found in Deuteronomy 16:18.

Moses instructs the people of Israel to appoint judges and law enforcement officers in every city. “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” he commands them, and you must administer it without corruption or favoritism. Crimes must be meticulously investigated and evidence thoroughly examined—a minimum of two credible witnesses is required for conviction and punishment.

In every generation, says Moses, there will be those entrusted with the task of interpreting and applying the laws of the Torah. “According to the law that they will teach you, and the judgment they will instruct you, you shall do; you shall not turn away from the thing that they say to you, to the right nor to the left.”

Shoftim also includes the prohibitions against idolatry and sorcery; laws governing the appointment and behavior of a king; and guidelines for the creation of “ cities of refuge” for the inadvertent murderer. Also set forth are many of the rules of war: the exemption from battle for one who has just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or is “afraid and soft-hearted”; the requirement to offer terms of peace before attacking a city; and the prohibition against wanton destruction of something of value, exemplified by the law that forbids to cut down a fruit tree when laying siege (in this context the Torah makes the famous statement, “ For man is a tree of the field”).

The Parshah concludes with the law of the eglah arufah—the special procedure to be followed when a person is killed by an unknown murderer and his body is found in a field—which underscores the responsibility of the community and its leaders not only for what they do, but also for what they might have prevented from being done.

Learn: Shoftim in Depth
Deep-Dive: Shoftim Parshah Columnists
Prep: Devar Torah Q&A for Shoftim
Read: Haftarah in a Nutshell
Play: Shoftim Parshah Quiz