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.

Please consider becoming a member.

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 newtown@shul.org.au 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.

Change of Service Times

By popular request, for the duration of Daylight Savings Time, the L’chaim on Friday night will be at 6:00pm followed by the Shabbat Prayers at 6:30pm and Shabbat Dinner at 7:30pm.

Instagram Account

Newtown shul has opened an Instagram account!

For all of the latest flyers and happy snaps, please follow @newtownjewtown

Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Bereshit

Courtesy of Chabad.org

Seventy-four of the Torah’s 613 commandments (mitzvot) are in the Parshah of Ki Teitzei. These include the laws of the beautiful captive, the inheritance rights of the firstborn, the wayward and rebellious son, burial and dignity of the dead, returning a lost object, sending away the mother bird before taking her young, the duty to erect a safety fence around the roof of one’s home, and the various forms of kilayim (forbidden plant and animal hybrids).

G‑d creates the world in six days. On the first day He makes darkness and light. On the second day He forms the heavens, dividing the “upper waters” from the “lower waters.” On the third day He sets the boundaries of land and sea, and calls forth trees and greenery from the earth. On the fourth day He fixes the position of the sun, moon and stars as timekeepers and illuminators of the earth. Fish, birds and reptiles are created on the fifth day; land animals, and then the human being, on the sixth. G‑d ceases work on the seventh day, and sanctifies it as a day of rest.

G‑d forms the human body from the dust of the earth, and blows into his nostrils a “living soul.” Originally Man is a single person, but deciding that “it is not good that man be alone,” G‑d takes a “side” from the man, forms it into a woman, and marries them to each other.

Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden, and commanded not to eat from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” The serpent persuades Eve to violate the command, and she shares the forbidden fruit with her husband. Because of their sin, it is decreed that man will experience death, returning to the soil from which he was formed, and that all gain will come only through struggle and hardship. Man is banished from the Garden.

Eve gives birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain quarrels with Abel and murders him, and becomes a rootless wanderer. A third son, Seth, is born to Adam; Seth’s eighth-generation descendant, Noah, is the only righteous man in a corrupt world.

Also recounted are the judicial procedures and penalties for adultery, for the rape or seduction of an unmarried girl, and for a husband who falsely accuses his wife of infidelity. The following cannot marry a person of Jewish lineage: a mamzer (someone born from an adulterous or incestuous relationship); a male of Moabite or Ammonite descent; a first- or second-generation Edomite or Egyptian.

Our Parshah also includes laws governing the purity of the military camp; the prohibition against turning in an escaped slave; the duty to pay a worker on time, and to allow anyone working for you—man or animal—to “eat on the job”; the proper treatment of a debtor, and the prohibition against charging interest on a loan; the laws of divorce (from which are also derived many of the laws of marriage); the penalty of thirty-nine lashes for transgression of a Torah prohibition; and the procedures for yibbum (“levirate marriage”) of the wife of a deceased childless brother, or chalitzah (“removing of the shoe”) in the case that the brother-in-law does not wish to marry her.

Ki Teitzei concludes with the obligation to remember “what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt.”

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.

There is a suggested donation of $36 per person. To make a tax-deductible donation for the Shabbat dinners, 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!

Photo of Diana, Elinor and Ivan who were at Shul cooking for Shabbat dinner a few weeks ago. Thank You!

Shabbat Schedule


Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 6:58 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 7:56 PM

Thought for the Week

The Bread of Shame

By Yischak Meir Kagan (Courtesy of Youngadultchabad.org)

“Man is born to toil.” This is true of the Jewish people as a nation, as well as the individual man. G‑d commanded Moses at the time of the birth of our people, “When you will take this people out of Egypt you shall serve G‑d on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12). Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was not merely to come to “the good and broad land” or to “eat its fruit and be satiated with its goodness.” The Jewish people were freed from Egyptian slavery in order to attain the level of true service of the A-lmighty.

And as at the time of Israel’s birth, so was it also at the time Man came to be; Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, “To work it and to guard it” (Genesis 2:15).

Why should the Creator, who is the essence of all goodness, require work and service as man’s only ultimate path to perfection? Why must we struggle and toil to remove the many obstacles and barriers to realizing our true potential? Does this not seem to be the very opposite of G‑d’s infinite goodness?

A deeper analysis of human nature, however, reveals that requiring work, toil and effort from man was an act of ultimate and perfect goodness by G‑d. When a person invests effort, he earns his reward. Even when he has not exerted great effort, but has merely pleased another person, the other might be moved to give him a gift. But in a case when even this factor of pleasing another is absent, and he receives a totally gratuitous handout, purely as a donation — this is “bread of shame” that does not satisfy, but distresses.

Our sages illustrate the concept of “shameful bread” with the example of a bride who turns away her face in shame while eating the wedding meal. Not having yet invested any efforts in establishing or maintaining her household, she feels that the meal provided for her is not earned, is but a gratuity, and is “bread of shame.”

The Talmud teaches that if a man deposits some of his produce with a neighbour (for the latter to keep for him while he is away) and it starts to rot, one opinion is that the neighbour should sell it before too much of it rots, so as to save his friend’s money. Another opinion maintains, however, that the neighbour should not touch it, for “a man prefers one of his own to nine of his neighbour’s.” His friend would prefer the smaller quantity of fruit, salvaged from the rot, that he grew himself to the larger quantity of another’s fruit that he could buy with the money. His own fruits are particularly endeared to him because he toiled to produce them. One honestly-earned measure that is the product of one’s own toil and effort is more desirable — not merely than someone else’s one or two measures, but — than even nine!

G‑d desired that we should “have it good” in the best possible way. He wished not merely to bestow upon us the greatest goodness, but also to ensure that we should receive, absorb and “digest” this goodness in the most perfect way; so He created mankind to toil and the Jewish nation to serve. Had G‑d not done so, had He instead gratuitously bestowed His blessings, then there would indeed have been vast goodness granted us, but it would have been distasteful, it would have been unearned “bread of shame” and its bestowal would not have characterized the ultimate and perfect beneficence of the Creator.

Shabbos Chuckle

Newtown shul has opened an Instagram account!

Mr and Mrs Rubenstein were teaching their 4-year-old son Eli the importance of making brachot – blessings before you eat.

“For example,” said Mr Rubenstein, “before I eat this piece of cake, I need to make a bracha to thank God for this wonderful cake.”

Mrs Rubinstein motioned to the food on young Eli’s plate. “Go ahead,” said Mrs Rubinstein, “Why don’t you make a bracha on those vegetables on your plate.”

Eli looked down and waited – and waited. After a long silence, little Eli looked up at his parents and asked, “If I thank God for the broccoli, won’t he know that I’m lying?”

Issued October 24th, 2019