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
Pesach at Newtown
Pesach begins with first night Seder on Friday April 19th.
There will be two Pesach Seders at Newtown Synagogue this year! Friday 19 April & Saturday 20 April. To book please click here.
We are gearing up for an awesome Pesach here at Newtown and we need all hands on deck to help make it happen! There will be a cleaning bee this Sunday, a cooking marathon throughout the week and lots of setup required over the Pesach period.
Parshah in a Nutshell
Courtesy of Chabad.org
Last week’s Parshah described the signs of the metzora (commonly mistranslated as “leper”)—a person afflicted by a spiritual malady which places him or her in a state of ritual impurity. This week’s Torah reading begins by detailing how the recovered metzora is purified by the kohen (priest) with a special procedure involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedar wood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.
A home can also be afflicted with tzaraat by the appearance of dark red or green patches on its walls. In a process lasting as long as nineteen days, a kohen determines if the house can be purified, or whether it must be demolished.
Ritual impurity is also engendered through a seminal or other discharge in a man, and menstruation or other discharge of blood in a woman, necessitating purification through immersion in a mikvah.
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.
A special Pesach edition of our Rabbi Eli Feldman’s Torah Studies.
Pre-Pesach Cleaning Bee
Please come along this Sunday 14 April 11am-4pm and help us get the Shul & Hall fresh and sparkling for Pesach! Many hands make light work!
Sale of Chametz
During Pesach it is forbidden by Torah law to eat or own any Chametz, which is leavened bread, biscuits, spirits etc.
It is customary to store away in one’s home or office any Chametz food and utensils and to authorise a Rabbi to sell them to a non-Jew on your behalf for the duration of Pesach.
You can do so by filling out the following form: https://www.chabadnsw.org.au/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1163783/jewish/Chametz-Sale-Form.htm
Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 5:19 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 6:13 PM
Thought for the Week
The Treasure Behind the Wall
By Menachem Feldman (Courtesy of Chabad.org)
The two portions of Tazria and Metzora are perhaps the most difficult and technical in the book of Leviticus.
The first portion, Tazria, describes the laws of impurity caused by tzaraat, a form of leprosy that afflicts human flesh and garments. Tzaraat is a malady that came upon a person as a consequence of slandering or gossiping about another person, as well as other sins.
The next portion, Metzora, describes the process of purification from this leprosy. Only after discussing the purification of the body and garments does the Torah introduce a third type of leprosy, one that afflicts the walls of a home. This is immediately followed by the laws of purification for the home.
Why, when talking about the leprosy that afflicts the person and the garments, are the affliction and its purification taught in two separate portions? This is not the case when discussing the topic of leprosy of the home—the purification process is taught immediately after, and in the same portion as, the affliction.
Anyone looking at life objectively can appreciate that a setback can be an opportunity for growth. Challenge has the potential to bring out the best in the human soul.
But that is theoretical.
When we experience an actual struggle in life, our perspective may be very different. We do not feel anything positive or constructive in our moment of despair and pain. Pain hurts. It does not build.
Eventually, when we find the courage and strength to pick ourselves up and overcome the challenge, we feel as though we have reached a new state of being. Only after we are removed from the painful situation are we capable of looking back and realizing that the person we have become is very much a result of the previous challenge that we tried so hard to escape.
This is the reason that the affliction of tzaraat and its purification are written in two separate portions. From the human perspective, the purification is a new beginning; it is an escape from the impurity, not its culmination.
Things are very different from G‑d’s perspective. The purpose of the challenge is to lead a person to greater heights. But we humans are not always capable of seeing it that way.
In describing the tzaraat that afflicted the home, the Torah says: “When you come to the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as a possession, and I place an affliction of tzaraat upon a house in the land of your possession.” The Midrash teaches that from the words of the verse we learn that G‑d Himself placed the affliction of tzaraat on the house, so it was in fact a blessing. For when the Israelites removed the afflicted stones from their homes, they discovered treasures that the native Canaanites had hidden within the walls.
The tzaraat of the home was taught to us from G‑d’s perspective. Every affliction is just a facade, begging to be pulled away so we can discover a great treasure. By telling us the laws of the home’s purification immediately after the affliction, the Torah asks us to keep G‑d’s perspective in mind. This will give us the strength to transform challenge to treasure.
A Jewish man took his Passover lunch to eat outside in the park. He sat down on a bench and began eating his matzah, complete with perforations and all.
A little while later a blind man came by and sat down next to him. Feeling neighbourly, the Jewish man passed a sheet of matzah to the blind man.
The blind man handled the matzah for a few minutes, concentrating intently, and finally exclaimed, “Who wrote this? It’s genius! “
Issued April 12th, 2019