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
Special Solidarity Shabbat
There will be special prayers recited tomorrow (Friday) in the Synagogue in honour of our Servicemen and women as part of the 7th day of Pesach prayers.
Service begins 9:30 am followed by a Kiddush Lunch.
Our hearts are shattered by the cold-blooded attack on our brothers and sisters—Jews of all walks of life—gathered at Chabad-Lubavitch of Poway, California on the final day of Passover.
We must stand together to show that as Jews we will never be broken.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught us that the response to darkness is more light. Together with Chabad of Poway, we’re asking Jews from around the world to do mitzvahs for Poway.
Please bring a friend and encourage others to #ShareShabbat.
Before Shabbat, light candles for Lori Kaye and put on tefillin for the recovery of Rabbi Goldstein and the others injured.
This Shabbat let us fill the synagogue to show unity. Join us for services this Shabbat. We will offer special prayers for the recovery of those wounded in the attack in Poway, California. There will be a special Shabbat meal following services.
18 Georgina St, Newtown
FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICES: 6:00 PM
Click here to book for dinner
SHABBAT MORNING SERVICES: 9:30 AM
May we only have good news to share in the future. Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Eli Feldman
Parshah in a Nutshell
Parshat Acharei Mot
Courtesy of Chabad.org
Following the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, G‑d warns against unauthorized entry “into the holy.” Only one person, the kohen gadol (“high priest”), may, but once a year, on Yom Kippur, enter the innermost chamber in the Sanctuary to offer the sacred ketoret to G‑d.
Another feature of the Day of Atonement service is the casting of lots over two goats, to determine which should be offered to G‑d and which should be dispatched to carry off the sins of Israel to the wilderness.
The Parshah of Acharei also warns against bringing korbanot (animal or meal offerings) anywhere but in the Holy Temple, forbids the consumption of blood, and details the laws prohibiting incest and other deviant sexual relations.
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 6:30pm 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.
All of the food served at the dinner is prepared ‘by the people for the people’ with love.
There is a suggested donation of $20 per person. To make a tax-deductible donation for the Shabbat dinners, please click here.
Torah Studies Class
Rabbi Eli Feldman gives a weekly Torah Studies class Live on Facebook every Thursday night at 8:30 pm.
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 by clicking on the image below:
Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 4:55 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 12:15 PM
Shabbat Ends 5:51 PM
Thought for the Week
“Pass the Salt, Please…”
By Naftali Silberberg (Courtesy of Chabad.org)
Feeling spiritual on Yom Kippur is easy. No eating, no business, no spousal relations, and long hours praying in the synagogue are conducive to intense angelic sensations. It’s no wonder that so many religions place a premium on asceticism, demanding that their most devoted adherents divorce themselves completely from the temptations offered by the world. Celibacy, long hours of meditation, fasting, and life in a secluded monastery are the surest path to a life of spirituality.
The Torah, however, has a very different perspective. This week’s portion starts with a mention of Nadav and Avihu’s deaths—partially a punishment for their spiritually motivated decision to remain celibate. G‑d wants us to walk a thin tightrope. He wants us to be married, go to work, and partake of lavish Shabbat and holiday meals—and at that very moment to be at the pinnacle of spirituality and holiness. A daunting task, to say the least. How does one simultaneously dwell in two contradictory worlds—the world of the spirit and the world of the flesh?
Every mitzvah is comprised of a body and soul. How does one simultaneously dwell in the world of the spirit and the world of the flesh? The body is the physical act which we are commanded to do, or which we are instructed to avoid. The soul is the lesson the mitzvah imparts, its message which we must implement in our lives.1 The prohibition against consuming blood, which is also discussed in this week’s Parshah, as well as the process of its removal, teaches a powerful lesson pertaining to our approach to our relationship with the world.
We are not always fortunate enough to contend with the divine, or even with “humanity.” On a daily basis, we also have to deal with the “animalistic,” completely non-spiritual aspects of regular life. Consumption of animal flesh is a metaphor for these moments of the day. Blood represents warmth, life and passion. The Torah enjoins us to remove all the “blood” from our worldly activities: to be involved in the world, to partake of its flesh, but without excessive enthusiasm or excitement.
How, you ask, is this possible? Through salt. Blood is removed from meat via a thorough salting process.
The Torah describes the covenant between G‑d and His nation as a “salt covenant.” The commentators explain that salt never decays; it remains eternally fresh, much as our relationship with G‑d never expires or even becomes slightly stale.
Interestingly, the symbol of our relationship with G‑d is a food item which is independently inedible—its primary purpose is to add a wonderful taste to practically all other foods. Similarly, our relationship with G‑d is not an end within itself; rather, it is meant to give a spiritual “flavour” and meaning to all other aspects of our life.
We have to liberally “sprinkle salt” on every part of our life—on our workplace, on our dinner table, on our gym, and even on our vacation destinations. When our love for G‑d and our desire to serve Him with every fibre of our being is our leading motivation, then all we do is for Him. We eat and exercise so that we have the strength to serve Him; we work to have the means to serve Him; etc.
And when life is salty, there’s no need to run away to a monastery.
One day little Shmueli Rabinowitz came home from school and said to his mother, “Mummy, today in school I was punished for something that I didn’t do.”
Mrs Rabinowitz exclaimed, “That’s terrible! I’m going to have a talk with your teacher about this … by the way, what was it that you didn’t do?”
Shmueli replied, “My homework.”
Issued May 2nd, 2019