By the Grace of G-d
Newtown Shul is the only synagogue in Sydney’s Inner West. Newtown Shul’s activities are possible because of your kind generosity and we thank you for it.
Should you wish to donate to Newtown Shul, you can always do so using the bank account details below. Please make sure to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of the transaction confirmation.
Account Name: Newtown Synagogue INC, BSB: 032036, Account No: 960034
Newtown Shul Membership 2019-2020
The NEW MEMBERSHIP DRIVE 2019 – 2020 is now on.
Please join up or renew your membership, thereby enabling Newtown Synagogue to keep on being unique, beautiful, and blessed.
PLEASE SIGN UP OR RENEW TODAY! Details are available on the following link. https://shul.org.au/membership-application/
Parshah in a Nutshell
Parshat Lech Lecha
Courtesy of Chabad.org
G‑d speaks to Abram, commanding him, “Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” There, G‑d says, he will be made into a great nation. Abram and his wife, Sarai, accompanied by his nephew Lot, journey to the land of Canaan, where Abram builds an altar and continues to spread the message of a one G‑d.
A famine forces the first Jew to depart for Egypt, where beautiful Sarai is taken to Pharaoh’s palace; Abram escapes death because they present themselves as brother and sister. A plague prevents the Egyptian king from touching her, and convinces him to return her to Abram and to compensate the brother-revealed-as-husband with gold, silver and cattle.
Back in the land of Canaan, Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sodom, where he falls captive when the mighty armies of Chedorlaomer and his three allies conquer the five cities of the Sodom Valley. Abram sets out with a small band to rescue his nephew, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek the king of Salem (Jerusalem).
Still childless ten years after their arrival in the Land, Sarai tells Abram to marry her maidservant Hagar. Hagar conceives, becomes insolent toward her mistress, and then flees when Sarai treats her harshly; an angel convinces her to return, and tells her that her son will father a populous nation. Ishmael is born in Abram’s eighty-sixth year.
Thirteen years later, G‑d changes Abram’s name to Abraham (“father of multitudes”), and Sarai’s to Sarah (“princess”), and promises that a son will be born to them; from this child, whom they should call Isaac (“will laugh”), will stem the great nation with which G‑d will establish His special bond. Abraham is commanded to circumcise himself and his descendants as a “sign of the covenant between Me and you.” Abraham immediately complies, circumcising himself and all the males of his household.
Mazaltov Paul Davidov on the occasion of his Barmitzvah this coming Shabbat
The congregation is invited to participate in the service this Shabbat morning and celebrate at the Kiddush Lunch.
Torah Studies Class
Rabbi Eli Feldman gives a weekly Torah Studies class Live on Facebook every Thursday night at 8:30pm.
You can participate in the class while it is broadcasting and ask questions in real-time. The broadcast is at www.facebook.com/rabbielifeldman
Alternatively, you can watch the replay of this week’s class below:
Newtown Shul Weekly Friday Night Dinner
The Shabbat Dinner is the traditional focal point of every Jew’s week. We at Newtown Shul extend a warm welcome to all people to join us for a traditional Friday Night Dinner.
The Shabbat Dinner is held in the hall beside the Synagogue immediately after the 6:00pm Shabbat service.
The Shabbat Dinner is a joint project of Newtown Synagogue and Young Adult Chabad and operates by virtue of the generosity of donors and volunteers.
There is a suggested donation of $36 per person. To register for Shabbat dinner, please click here.
All of the food served at the dinner is prepared ‘by the people for the people’ with love.
Cooking at Newtown Shul is fun, friendly and needs you! You don’t need to know how to cook and you don’t need to come every week! Just a willing pair of hands whenever you are available and a smile as great as the ones in this picture!
Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 7:11 PM
Pre-service L’chaim in the Hall 6:00 PM
Kabbalat Shabbat Service in the Synagogue 6:30 PM
Shabbat Dinner book online here 7:30 PM
Shabbat Morning Kabbalah Class in the Hall 9:00 AM
Shabbat morning service in the Synagogue 9:30 AM
Torah Reading 10:30 AM
Children’s Service in the Hall 11:00 AM
Rabbi’s Sermon and Choir 11:30 AM
Kiddush and Lunch in the Hall 12:30 PM
Shabbat Ends 8:10 PM
Thought for the Week
Smile for the Camera
By Elisha Greenbaum (Courtesy of Youngadultchabad.org)
I’ve got a new shtick that I’ve been doing lately. When I help someone to put on tefillin, I try to immortalize the moment for posterity. After he’s finished praying, while still strapped up, I pull out my iPhone and ask him to pose for a photo. If his family are there at the time, even better; I get them to all cluster around their husband or father and smile for the camera.
I’m not collecting trophies or notches on my belt; the real reason I go to this trouble is so I can then email the proud snaps to the people in question.
They love it. They show the photos to their grandparents and post them on their Facebook walls. They forward the happy shot for their wives’ approval and remind me of the moment the next time we meet. Hopefully, this photo will start a conversation, and their kids will remember that “those black boxes that Daddy put on at the shopping centre” are relevant to their lives as well.
It’s the same with every mitzvah that people accept on themselves. People don’t just put up a sukkah for their own family; they invite their friends to come by and share the fun.
As soon as a new family start coming to shul regularly, they start nudging their extended family to join. Just last week someone was telling me that the best part of owning a lulav and etrog set was getting to watch his 8-year-old daughter teach her whole class how to shake it as well.
If you think about it, it’s this model that has ensured that brit, the most “successful” mitzvah of all, continues to be so universally accepted. On the face of things, it just doesn’t make sense. Of all the 613 commandments that G‑d gifted us with, submitting your 8-day-old son to elective surgery would have to be the single most difficult act that one can imagine volunteering for. Why would millions of otherwise rational parents have proven so dedicated to such a hard act to follow?
From a mystical perspective, we explain that brit is a covenant. When G‑d first commanded Abraham to circumcise his son, He promised him: “I will make a covenant with you forever and multiply you exceedingly (Genesis 17:2).” A covenant cannot be broken. A covenant cannot be abnegated or abrogated. A covenant is forever. You are hard-wired to circumcision; your soul won’t allow you to opt out.
However, even on a more prosaic level, we can still understand why people keep on circumcising. If every boy has one, then circumcision has become the norm. It’s no longer a matter for debate or conjecture; it’s just a given that a Jew needs a circumcision and a Jewish parent will circumcise his or her son. They may not enjoy it, they may even dread the prospect, but they’ll do it because that’s just what we do and we can’t imagine any other possibility.
The more often that people do something, the more normal it becomes. When one Jew shakes a lulav and etrog or straps on tefillin in public, it normalizes the experience for others. When you see your neighbour has candles shining in her window this Friday, there’s a far greater likelihood that your house will soon also be lit up with the radiance of Shabbat.
In addition to their innate worth as independent connectors to G‑d, mitzvahs are contagious. Judaism is not just meaningful, it’s fun. When we do the right thing and we show that we’re proud to do so, then we inspire our families and friends to buy in.
And together, we will change the world.
Friday afternoon, 5-year-old Moishie Sherman came in while his parents were setting the table for Shabbos Dinner. Quite surprisingly, Moishie asked if he could help. His mother said, “No, but I appreciate your asking.”
Little Moishie responded, “Well, I appreciate you saying no.”