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שבת שלום

The Honorary Officers welcome you and wish you Shabbat Shalom

Hebrew Date Sedra English Date
Shabbat 30 Av 5778 Re'eh Saturday 11th August 2018

The sedra of Re’eh, the longest sedra in Devarim, starts with a grammatical puzzle – Re’eh, anochi noten lifnachem hayom. “See, I set before you today”. There doesn’t appear to be a problem in the English, but in the Hebrew we notice that re’eh is in the singular while lifnechem is in the plural. Chazal explains this as Hashem speaking first to each individual, then to klal Yisrael, all the Jewish people. The Ramban, Moses Nachmanides, says that verses 26-28, “Behold I set before you this day a blessing and a curse” are merely about Moshe speaking generally to the people, warning them that those who keep the mitzvoth are choosing life, while those who turn their back on the diktats of Hashem would be cursed. This exhortation to choose between right and wrong raises the question of free will. Judaism has no belief in autonomy or individuality. Hashem has told us how we have to live our lives, what is right and what is wrong. The only choice we have is whether to obey or not.

The idea in the Hebrew of first using the singular and then the plural shows us that we have collective responsibility towards our fellow human beings. We are one people with the ultimate goal of serving Hashem. As one people we pray in the plural for forgiveness on Yom Kippur, “selach lanu” not selach li.

The concept of free will is very difficult if you believe that Hashem is All-Knowing. He knows in advance what decisions we will make so how can making these decisions be free will? In Judaism free will means that we have the right to choose our own path, whether to follow the mitzvoth or not. We do know which path Hashem has designated for us, therefore it is our own choice.

In the sedra of Nitzavim, Devarim 30, Moshe once again puts before the B’nei Yisrael the blessing and the curse. In verse 19 he tells the people: “I call upon Heaven and Earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life that you may live, you and your descendants.” This makes the choice perfectly clear – follow the mitzvoth and receive the blessing of life, or ignore them and be cursed.

Tricia Brickman

Shabbat times this week

Shabbat begins in Pinner 7:15pm
Minchah and Kabbalat Shabbat 7:15pm
Shacharit 9:30am
Minchah followed by Seudah Sh'lishit 7:50pm
Shabbat ends and Ma'ariv 9:24pm

Service Times

      Morning Evening
Sunday  12th August 8.15am 7.15pm
Monday 13th August 6.50am 8.00pm
Tuesday 14th August 7.00am 8.00pm
Wednesday 15th August 7.00am 8.00pm
Thursday 16th August 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 17th August 7.00am 7.15pm

 

Contact and Find Us

Events Coming Up

Starting at
Kiddush for John Castle 25 August 2018 - 12:00pm
Summer Seudah Shlishit Series 1 September 2018 - 7:05pm
PIC: Whisky Tasting 2018 3 September 2018 - 8:30pm
New Generation Yom Kippur Lunch 19 September 2018 - 12:00pm
New Generation Sukkah Decorating 23 September 2018 - 10:00am
New Generation Adult Social Evening 14 October 2018 - 7:30pm
New Generation : Mitzvah Day 18 November 2018 - 10:00am
New Generation Chanukah Party 9 December 2018 - 2:30pm