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שבת שלום

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Hebrew Date Sedra English Date
Shabbat 7 Tevet 5779 Vayigash Saturday 15th December 2018

In this week’s sedrah Judah approaches Joseph to plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave in Benjamin’s stead. Upon witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another, Joseph reveals his identity - ‘I am Joseph,’ he declares, ‘is my father still alive?’.

The brothers are overcome by shame and remorse, but Joseph comforts them. ‘It was not you who sent me here,’ he says to them, ‘but G‑d. It has all been ordained from the Above to save us, and the entire region, from famine.’

The brothers rush back to Canaan with the news. Jacob comes to Egypt with his extended family and is reunited, after 22 years, with his long-lost son.

Pharaoh gives Jacob’s family the fertile county of Goshen to settle, and the Children of Israel prosper in their Egyptian exile. Question - If Joseph were around today, would he have been on the political left or right? Verses 20 to 24 state that ‘Joseph purchased all the farmland of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine had become too much for them; and the land became Pharaoh’s property…. and Joseph said to the people, behold I have purchased you and your land; here, have seed, sow the land with it and when it comes to produce, give one fifth to Pharaoh and the remainder shall be food for you’.

So, during the years of plenty Joseph buys the agricultural surplus at rock bottom prices and when the famine arrives, he ‘sells’ it back at a profit. Farmers are forced to give up their savings (independence), their livestock (working equipment) and finally,their land (means of production), just to survive. Joseph then, to great acclaim, returns a proportion of the seed, taxing it at a rate of twenty percent. We’re told the people express their gratitude - verse 25, ‘you have kept us alive.. we will gladly become slaves to Pharaoh’.

So did Joseph follow a Marxist ideology encouraging wholesale state ownership and wealth redistribution on the basis of ‘each according to their needs’, or was he capitalist speculator who enforced mass privatisation and a centralised dictatorship?

Did he ‘save the people’ creating a fair and just society, or take advantage of ‘insider information’ to enable an already rich and powerful elite to control and enslave the masses? I can’t help but wonder what Joseph's experience teaches us about the choice of political leadership we have today? Richard Segalov


Shabbat times this week

Shabbat begins in Pinner 3:36pm
Minchah and Kabbalat Shabbat 3:45pm
Shacharit 9:30am
Shabbat Minchah 3:46pm
Shabbat ends and Ma'ariv 4:46pm

Service Times

      Morning Evening
Sunday  9th January 8.15am 3.45pm
Monday 10th January 6.45am 8.00pm
Tuesday 11th January 7.00am 8.00pm
Wednesday 12th January 7.00am 8.00pm
Thursday 13th January 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 14th January 7.00am 3.45pm


      Morning Evening
Sunday  16th December 8.15am 3.45pm
Monday 17th December 6.50am 8.00pm
Tuesday 18th December Fast of Tevet 6.50am 8.00pm
    Fast of Tevet begins and ends 6.12am 4.41pm
Wednesday 19th December 7.00am 8.00pm
Thursday 20th December 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 21st December 7.00am 3.45pm


Contact and Find Us

Events Coming Up

Starting at
Friday Night with the Shabbaton Choir 18 January 2019 - 4:15pm
Shabbat Shira Choral Service 19 January 2019 - 9:30am
Jazz at Pinner Shul 19 January 2019 - 8:00pm
A talk by David Hirsh 23 January 2019 - 8:15pm
Maturians : Funny Girls 30 January 2019 - 7:00pm
Casino Evening 3 February 2019 - 7:00pm
Three Faith Dialogue : What Marriage means within my Faith 10 February 2019 - 3:00pm
Pinner Synema : film to be confirmed 17 February 2019 - 7:30pm
Maturians : Charity Cabaret 27 February 2019 - 7:00pm
Pinner Synema : Women's Balcony 13 March 2019 - 8:15pm


Regular Events Running This Week

Pause for Thought : Season One

On: 17 December 2018 - 8:15pm