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

Lag B’Omer

Lag B’Omer Bonfire & BBQ
Wednesday, 22 May 2019: 6:00pm to 8:00pm @ Newtown Synagogue
$20 per person | $10 for children/students/pensioners

*All-you-can-eat Buffet Dinner
*Drum circle
*Traditional singing and dancing
*Storytelling & Soulful tunes
*Roasted marshmallows
*Archery for kids
Bring instruments and join along!

Pay at the door or book in advance at: www.tinyurl.com/newtownbbq

Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Emor

Courtesy of Chabad.org

The Torah section of Emor (“Speak”) begins with the special laws pertaining to the kohanim (“priests”), the kohen gadol (“high priest”), and the Temple service: A kohen may not become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, save on the occasion of the death of a close relative. A kohen may not marry a divorcee or a woman with a promiscuous past; a kohen gadol can marry only a virgin. A kohen with a physical deformity cannot serve in the Holy Temple, nor can a deformed animal be brought as an offering.

A newborn calflamb or kid must be left with its mother for seven days before being eligible for an offering; one may not slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day.

The second part of Emor lists the annual Callings of Holiness—the festivals of the Jewish calendar: the weekly Shabbat; the bringing of the Passover offering on 14 Nissan; the seven-day Passover festival beginning on 15 Nissan; the bringing of the Omer offering from the first barley harvest on the second day of Passover, and the commencement, on that day, of the 49-day Counting of the Omer, culminating in the festival of Shavuot on the fiftieth day; a “remembrance of shofar blowing” on 1 Tishrei; a solemn fast day on 10 Tishrei; the Sukkot festival—during which we are to dwell in huts for seven days and take the “Four Kinds”—beginning on 15 Tishrei; and the immediately following holiday of the “eighth day” of Sukkot (Shemini Atzeret).

Next the Torah discusses the lighting of the menorah in the Temple, and the showbread (lechem hapanim)placed weekly on the table there.

Emor concludes with the incident of a man executed for blasphemy, and the penalties for murder (death) and for injuring one’s fellow or destroying his property (monetary compensation).

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 8:30pm.

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:

Torah Studies Topic: The Spiritual Significance of the Mitzvah to count the Omer.Feel free to ask questions in the comments section as we go along and I will endeavor to answer them during the class! 😊

Posted by Rabbi Eli Feldman on Thursday, May 9, 2019

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 5:40 PM

Thought for the Week

The Kohen Gene

By Elisha Greenbaum (Courtesy of Chabad.org)

Ever looked around a synagogue and noticed the incredible array of people from different races wandering the aisles? Hard to believe we’ve got anything in common, let alone common ancestry and religion

In the late ’90s, a study came out attempting to prove that kohanim (priests), no matter their facial or racial makeup, all descend from a common paternal ancestor. The geneticists involved collected DNA samples from hundreds of kohanim, and searched for common markers on the Y-chromosome. Incredibly, they found that over 98% of men with a family tradition of priesthood showed evidence of descent from the same great-great-great-grandfather.

Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Yemenites and Italians can trace their backgrounds back to the Jews of the ExodusI find it fascinating that Moses’ older brother, the biblical High PriestAaron the kohen, lived some 3,300 years ago but bequeathed his genetic signature to these men. Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Yemenite and Italian kohanim can actually trace their backgrounds back to the Jews of the Exodus. And if modern science has given us the tools to prove common ancestry, isn’t the next obvious step to dedicate ourselves to our common purpose—G‑d’s Torah and mitzvot?

The Fidelity Gene

Recently, I came across a statistic that absolutely floored me. According to one Australian laboratory, nearly one-quarter of the DNA tests performed demonstrate the assumed father not to be the real biological parent. One quarter!

Contrast this sorry record with that of Jews throughout history. What would happen if a kohen’s wife committed adultery? The resulting illegitimate child would be an assumed kohen. He’d join his “father” on the dais and recite the Priestly Blessing; he’d get dibs on the first aliyah. He’d hand down a tradition of priesthood to his own sons . . . But in reality he’s no kohen, and his DNA and that of his future male descendents would not bear those crucial markers.

But almost 100% of all men with family tradition of priesthood do descend from kohanim. Generation after generation of Jewish women were faithful to their husbands and their tradition. What a proud record of fidelity. Geneticists describe these results as “the highest record of paternity-certainty ever recorded,” and there is no reason to assume that their sisters married to Levites and Israelites were any less faithful to their spouses and religion.

Geneticists describe these results as “the highest record of paternity-certainty ever recorded.” This devotion to our spouses and our G‑d has always been the way of the Jew. Even during our slavery in Egypt, subject to the capricious demands of an evil nation, our women distinguished themselves. The Book of Leviticus records the only example of illegitimacy, the product of the rape of a Jewess by an Egyptian overseer. The Torah hints that this woman’s flirtatious manner may have precipitated the dreadful occurrence, but the crime was committed by the Egyptian.

This sad exception only demonstrates how refreshingly modest and chaste were all other Jews. The very worst and most unfortunate incident of all the time they were in slavery was not a case of adultery, G‑d forbid, but abuse. It is to the credit of our ancestors that, no matter the temptations, irrespective of the dangers, they fought to stay faithful, and almost without exception, they succeeded. This proud heritage they vouchsafed to us.

Jewish marriages throughout history are a model for all humanity, and the oaths and bonds that unite us with our partners and Creator will remain firm and unwavering for now and eternity.

Shabbos Chuckle

“Just put him on the line will you? I need directions.”

Miriam Epstein bought a new piano and took up playing again after loving the instrument in her youth.

One day, the doorbell rang and Mrs. Epstein discovered a workman, complete with tool chest, on the front porch.

“Madam,” he announced, “I’m the piano tuner.”

Mrs. Epstein exclaimed, “Why, I didn’t send for a piano tuner.”

The man replied, “I know you didn’t, but the Teitlebaums, your neighbours did.”

Special Shabbat Dinner This Week

A unique opportunity to meet the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney! Dr Michael Spence will be attending on the 17th of May at Newtown Synagogue which is always a warm and welcoming place to celebrate Shabbat!

See you there!

6:00pm – L’chaim gathering in the Hall
6:30pm – Prayer Service in the Synagogue
7:30pm – Shabbat Dinner in the Hall

$20 suggested donation per person for dinner.
FREE for University Students.
Please REGISTER your attendance using the form below:

Issued May 16th, 2019

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