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שבת שלום

Rabbi Bergson together with the Honorary Officers welcome you and wish you Shabbat Shalom

Hebrew Date Sedra English Date
Shabbat 4 Shevat 5778 Bo Saturday 20th January 2018

I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to the lighter mornings. I hate getting up in the dark. But however dark it is in Pinner, Egypt was far worse! Today’s sedra describes the events leading up to the Jewish people leaving Egypt – the offering of the korban pesach, the paschal lamb and the last three plagues. Darkness in varying degrees is a feature of all three. In the eighth plague, we learn that locusts “covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened” (x: 15). In the final tenth plague, we learn that the lamb for the Passover offering must be killed at dusk (xii: 6), eaten at night (xii: 8) in preparation for midnight when “the all the first born in the land of Egypt shall die” (xi: 4).

And the ninth plague is all about darkness but what kind of darkness are we talking about? The absence of light as night follows day? Pre-creation darkness as described in Bereshith “darkness was upon the face of the deep” (i:2)? Or is it as Elijah ben Solomon Zalman (1720-1797) known as the Vilna Gaon explains? He says that during the time of the plagues, God turned His own laws of nature upsidedown retaining light in the homes of the Israelites but in the Egyptian households creating a supernatural allencompassing darkness. Whatever kind of darkness, the Egyptians would have been petrified. The sun god Ra was revered more than any other god and the Pharaohs connected themselves with Ra in their desire to be seen as his earthly embodiment.

Man did not see his brother and man did not rise from his place (literally ‘from under his’ m’terhutuv) for three days” (x; 22). Yitzchak Meir Alter also known as The Chidushei HaRim (1799-1866) remarks that “Man did not see his brother” is a description of the worst kind of darkness in life, when a person does not see the suffering of another human being. In the next phrase “man did not rise from his place”, the Hebrew word terhut means ‘under“. Looking at the connotations for terhut elsewhere, it can be inferred that after the inability to recognise suffering in others comes the stage of oppressing oneself – to be under subjugation. In this scenario we do not extend a hand to help others and have also lost the capacity to help ourselves. Let’s hope that we gain the insight to see ourselves, to help ourselves and to understand and help others.

Jenny Nemko

Shabbat times this week

Shabbat begins in Pinner 4:12pm
Minchah and Kabbalat Shabbat 4:15pm
Shacharit 9:30am
Shabbat Minchah after dvar
Shabbat ends and Ma'ariv 5:20pm

Service Times

      Morning Evening
Sunday  21st January 8.15am 4.15pm
Monday 22nd January 6.50am 8.00pm
Tuesday 23rd January 7.00am 8.00pm
Wednesday 24th January 7.30am 8.00pm
Thursday 25th January 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 26th January 7.00am 4.30pm

 

Events Coming Up

Starting at
Film Club : Rafting to Bombay 18 February 2018 - 8:00pm
Maturians: Charity Tribute Cabaret 21 February 2018 - 7:00pm
Manage Your Teenager 22 February 2018 - 8:15pm
Three Faiths Dialogue: The Cycle of the Christian Year 25 February 2018 - 2:30pm
LSJS in Pinner : March 2018 7 March 2018 - 10:00am
Maturians: Benjamin Franklin House 7 March 2018 - 12:00pm
PIC & 3 Faith Dialogue: Remember Baghdad 7 March 2018 - 8:15pm
Games Afternoon - March 2018 12 March 2018 - 2:30pm
Film Club : The Producers 14 March 2018 - 8:00pm
Lecture: What did Churchill really think of the Jews? 20 March 2018 - 8:15pm

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Regular Events Running This Week

SEED one-to-one learning

On: 23 January 2018 - 8:30pm

J.A.C.S. Programme for January 2018

On: 24 January 2018 - 1:30pm