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

Parshas Vayigash

Courtesy of Chabad.org

Joseph’s imprisonment finally ends when Pharaoh dreams of seven fat cows that are swallowed up by seven lean cows, and of seven fat ears of grain swallowed by seven lean ears. Joseph interprets the dreams to mean that seven years of plenty will be followed by seven years of hunger, and advises Pharaoh to store grain during the plentiful years. Pharaoh appoints Joseph governor of Egypt. Joseph marries Asenath, daughter of Potiphar, and they have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Famine spreads throughout the region, and food can be obtained only in Egypt. Ten of Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to purchase grain; the youngest – Benjamin – stays home, for Jacob fears for his safety. Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him; he accuses them of being spies, insists that they bring Benjamin to prove that they are who they say they are, and imprisons Simeon as a hostage. Later, they discover that the money they paid for their provisions has been mysteriously returned to them.

Jacob agrees to send Benjamin only after Judah assumes personal and eternal responsibility for him. This time Joseph receives them kindly, releases Simeon, and invites them to an eventful dinner at his home. But then he plants his silver goblet, purportedly imbued with magic powers, in Benjamin’s sack. When the brothers set out for home the next morning, they are pursued, searched, and arrested when the goblet is discovered. Joseph offers to set them free and retain only Benjamin as his slave.

Special Announcement

A young boy in our community, Elisha was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

A life long, very rare genetic condition that affects 1 in 15,000.

Elisha who is only 3 yrs old, was diagnosed with PWS at birth. His brain is unable to pass the message onto his stomach that he is full.
Can you imagine feeling hungry all the time? But never feeling full? Sadly that’s what life is like for little Elisha.

PWS comes with many health complications and difficulties, Elisha will need therapies and one on one supervision throughout his entire life.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today through this charidy link, the campaign ends THIS SUNDAY DEC 16 @ 9PM.
The Ezra’s are touched and inspired by the outpouring of support, let’s help them reach their target, we are already 60% there …


All donations will go towards his family’s medical expenses and ongoing needs.

Any amount will help make a difference to his life and other people living with PWS. ( a portion will be donated to the research foundation ) to help find a cure for Prader-Willi Syndrome.

You can also follow his amazing Facebook journey here: https://www.facebook.com/pwsSuperstar/

The Jewish Children’s support centre will manage and allocate the funds raised.

With thanks,

Bet Yosef community

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.

Weekly Insight

Bread Crumbs

By Chaya Shuchat (Courtesy of Chabad.org)

“Why do my kids ruin everything?”

Okay, I confess: I’ve emitted that exasperated cry at least once or twice. Maybe even once a week.
Like the time my two-year-old dumped all her toys in the toilet and flushed. (The neighbors were none too pleased.)
Or the time my very tech-savvy ten-year-old figured out the password to my laptop and somehow deleted my entire hard drive.
Or all the times they’ve emptied my drawers, myWhy do my kids ruin everything?refrigerator, my closets, my shelves, and created glorious messes.
Need I go on?
But in the midst of the chaos and aggravation, there is a little phrase I hold on to that helps me keep my sanity.

“Bread according to the young.”

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayigash, we read of Joseph generously supporting his brothers and their families during a famine, after they settled in Egypt: “And Joseph sustained his father and his brothers and his father’s entire household [with] bread according to the young children.”
Rashi interprets the words “bread according to the young” to mean that Joseph provided enough to meet the needs of every family member.

The Midrash explains that Joseph actually provided more than their needs, because children naturally “crumble up more than they eat.”
In other words, it’s part of the package. Children will crumble up their food. They will make messes. They will waste half of whatever you give them. They will get into your things and wreck them. That wastage has to be factored into the family budget.
Joseph provided for his siblings in such an exemplary fashion that we ask G‑d Himself to take note: “O Shepherd of Israel, hearken, He Who leads Joseph like a flock of sheep.” On this verse, Rashi comments, “All Israel are called by the name Joseph because he sustained and supported them in time of famine.”

The Midrash interprets the verse as a plea to G‑d, to “lead us as Joseph led his sheep”:
Joseph saved during the years of plenty for the years of hunger; so, too, save for us from this world for the world to come. Joseph provided for his brothers according to their deeds, as it says, “bread according to the young”; so, too, provide for us according to our deeds. Rabbi Menachem said in the name of Rabbi Avin: “Joseph’s brothers dealt him evil and he repaid them with good; we, too, have dealt You evil but [ask that You] repay us with good.”

By providing for his brothers in Egypt, Joseph granted them more than their survival during the years of hunger. He bequeathed to his brothers and all their descendants the strength to show forbearance, to repay evil with good, to overlook flaws and forgive mistakes.

And just as Joseph dealt with his brothers, so do we want G‑d to deal with us.
We are G‑d’s children and He generously provides us with all our needs, material and spiritual. But we are children and we don’t appreciate half of what we are given. We squander G‑d’s gifts; we mess up. Even when we do mitzvahs, we don’t fully grasp their value. We do them when our mind is elsewhere, we do them with ulterior motives. Of the Torah that we do study, we only remember and internalize a small fraction. Yet G‑d graciously gives us again, and yet again, “bread according to the young.” As Joseph did for his brothers.

And from Joseph, we learn how to reach out to those whose grasp of spiritual concepts is on the level of a child. We provide for them “bread according to the young”; we break down the concepts again and again until they are mere “crumbs” of the original thought until we’ve presented it in a format and style that they can appreciate and absorb.

Even when we do mitzvahs, we don’t fully grasp their value

On Shabbat Parshat Vayigash, 1988, the Lubavitcher Rebbe introduced a Jewish book campaign. He encouraged parents to buy seforim (sacred books) for their children, such as a siddur, Chumash, Tehillim and Tanya. The books should be kept in the child’s bedroom, to transform it into a miniature Holy Temple. The Rebbe noted: “Surely [the parents] will explain to the children that they should not be afraid to use the seforim frequently, lest they be ruined or torn, since they promise to buy new and nicer books than these when they get worn out.”

Although there are a great many Jewish laws regarding how to treat sacred books with respect, we still do not refrain from providing children with their own copies. In His great love for Jewish children, G‑d views their play as a sign of love and “overlooks” any inadvertent desecration of His sacred writings.
G‑d knows that our essential desire is to be close to Him and to fulfil His will. Although in our spiritual immaturity our actions may not always reflect this inner will, we ask G‑d to “provide for us according to our deeds”—to take into account the true spiritual value of our mitzvahs, even when our thoughts and intentions are less than perfect. We ask Him to overlook our imperfections, forgive our messes, and focus on our inner worth—just as Joseph did for his brothers.

(Based on an address of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Likutei Sichot, vol. 5, pp. 239-250.)

Shabbos Chuckle

David Epstein walked into a shoe store and asked for a pair of shoes, size 8.
The sales assistant said: “Are you sure, sir? You look like a size 12 to me.”
“Just bring me a size 8,” insisted David.
So the assistant fetched a pair of size 8 shoes and David squeezed his feet into them with obvious discomfort. He then stood up in the shoes, but with considerable pain.
“Listen,” David explained, “I can’t afford my kids school tuition, I’ve lost my house to the taxman, I live with my mother-in-law, and I’ve gained 50 pounds. The only pleasure I have left is to come home at night and take off my shoes!”

Issued December 13th, 2018