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.

Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Chukas

Courtesy of Chabad.org

Moses is taught the laws of the red heifer, whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body.

After forty years of journeying through the desert, the people of Israel arrive in the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies, and the people thirst for water. G‑d tells Moses to speak to a rock and command it to give water. Moses gets angry at the rebellious Israelites and strikes the stone. Water issues forth, but Moses is told by G‑d that neither he nor Aaron will enter the Promised Land.

Aaron dies at Hor Hahar and is succeeded in the high priesthood by his son Elazar. Venomous snakes attack the Israelite camp after yet another eruption of discontent in which the people “speak against G‑d and Moses”; G‑d tells Moses to place a brass serpent upon a high pole, and all who will gaze heavenward will be healed. The people sing a song in honor of the miraculous well that provided them water in the desert.

Moses leads the people in battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og (who seek to prevent Israel’s passage through their territory) and conquers their lands, which lie east of the Jordan.

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.

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!

Shabbat Schedule


Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 4:44 PM

Pre-service L’chaim in the Hall 5:30 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat Service  in the Synagogue 6:00 PM

Shabbat Dinner book online here 7:00 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 5:43 PM

Weekly Insight

The Giant Og

By Yitschak Meir Kagan (Courtesy of Chabad.org)

At the end of the parshah of Chukat the Torah tells of the battle with Og, the giant king of Bashan:

And they turned and ascended by way of Bashan; and Og, king of Bashan, came out to meet them—he and all his people—to wage war at Edrei.
Then G‑d said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I will deliver him—and all his people and his land—into your hand; and you shall do to him as you did to Sichon, king of the Amorites who lives in Cheshbon.

(Numbers 21:33-35.)

Then the battle began. Og uprooted a rock measuring three parasangs (a parasang is approximately a mile), the dimensions of the entire Jewish encampment.1 He wanted to throw this rock on top of the Israelites, but before he had a chance to do so, Moses killed him. As the Torah expresses it, “Then they smote him and his sons and all his people.”

We notice something strange and unusual in this narrative, namely, that G‑d had to reassure Moses, “Do not fear him.” Why did the great leader of Israel, who had so resolutely confronted Pharaoh and all their other enemies, suddenly need to be reassured more than the other Jews? Why is Moses’ personal fear of Og stressed? If Moses feared Og, surely the people must have been terrified of him!

The answer is that Moses’ fear of the giant was not shared by Israel, for the people viewed Og physically, while Moses perceived him in a spiritual light. All the people saw in Og was a huge, hulking heathen — whom they did not fear at all, being confident in the power of Moses’ prayers. (This mood is evident from the actions of those Israelites who were sent, at about that time, to spy out Ya’zair. Although their mission was merely to spy it out, they were so confident in the effectiveness of Moses’ prayers that, on their own initiative, they conquered the place!)

But Moses, with his deeper, more spiritual insight, saw in Og “the merit of Abraham.” Many, many years earlier, when Abraham’s nephew, Lot, had been captured in war, the giant Og, then also a captive, had escaped and told Abraham of the disaster. Abraham, who considered Lot almost as a brother, armed his servants, pursued his nephew’s captors, defeated them, and saved Lot.3 Og had to his credit this meritorious deed of saving Abraham’s family, and Moses feared that the merit might stand Og in good stead. G‑d then assured Moses, “do not fear him, for into your hand have I given him.” Moses’ own greatness, his own merit, would be sufficient to overcome Og.

Ultimately, the special merit of Moses was not needed to overcome the giant, for Og himself, by his own actions, erased any trace of merit he might have had. By attempting to throw a rock on top of the entire Jewish encampment, he made clear his intentions of wiping out, G‑d forbid, every last single descendant of Abraham, and he instantly destroyed his own merits for saving Abraham’s family. Og was now stripped of merit; he was no longer surrounded by any “special defences,” and Moses single-handedly slew him.

Shabbos Chuckle

Moishe and Miriam, both a bit stubborn, were involved in a petty argument, both of them unwilling to admit they might be in error.

“I’ll admit I’m wrong,” Miriam told her husband in a conciliatory attempt, “if you’ll admit I’m right.”

Moishe agreed and, like a gentleman, insisted she go first.

“I’m wrong,” Miriam said.

With a twinkle in his eye, Moishe responded, “You’re right!”

Newtown Shul Recycling Scheme

Newtown Shul is joining the Return and Earn Scheme to raise money for the Synagogue and help the environment. When you go to Synagogue, you’ll see a blue bin near the stair to the ladies section in the courtyard. This blue bin is for Recyclable Containers Only. When it is nearly full, that bin will be swapped for an empty bin and the money will go into the synagogue’s bank account. 

This is a way to help with the running costs of the shul. When you bring your empty soft drink tins, water bottles, beer bottles, etc., you will be contributing to the costs of the shul. Every ten items will bring $1 to the shul, so save your bottles, ask your neighbours, family and friends and help sustain our shul.

It is important that only correct items are placed in the bin. Please refer to the picture below and make sure that you bring in acceptable items for recycling next time you come to shul. 

Issued July 12th, 2019