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

Pesach at Newtown

Pesach begins with first night Seder tonight 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:www.newtownshul.iwannaticket.com.au


Friday – April 19

Candle lighting time: 5.10pm
Evening Service:
First Seder

Shabbat – April 20

Kabbalah Class: 9.00am
1st day of Pesach Service:
(Service includes special Hallel and priestly blessing followed by Kiddush Lunch)
Candle lighting time after
Evening Service: 6.30pm
Second Seder

Sunday – April 21

Kabbalah Class: 9.00am
2nd Day of Pesach Service:
9.30am (Service includes special Hallel and priestly blessing followed by Kiddush Lunch)
Yom Tov Ends: 6.03pm

Thursday – April 25

Candle lighting time: 5.03pm
Evening Service:
6.30pm followed by Kiddush

Friday – April 26

7th Day of Pesach
Kabbalah Class:
Morning Services: 9.30am (Service includes special Hallel and priestly blessing followed by Kiddush Lunch)
Candle lighting time:
Evening Services: 6.30pm followed by special Pesach Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat – April 27

8th Day Pesach
Kabbalah Class:
Morning Services: 9.30am
11.15am (Service includes special Hallel and priestly blessing followed by Kiddush Lunch)
Evening Services 4.00pm followed by Moshiach Seuda-Meal
Yom Tov Ends:

Parshah in a Nutshell


Courtesy of Chabad.org

On the FIRST DAY OF PASSOVER, we read from the book of Exodus (12:21-51) of the bringing of the Passover Offering in Egypt, the Plague of the Firstborn at the stroke of midnight, and how “On this very day, G‑d took the Children of Israel out of Egypt.”

The reading for the SECOND DAY OF PASSOVER (Leviticus 22:26-23:44), includes: a list of the moadim — the “appointed times” on the Jewish calendar for festive celebration of our bond with G‑d; the mitzvah to Count the Omer (the 49-day “countdown” to the festival of Shavuot which begins on the 2nd night of Passover); and the obligation to journey to the Holy Temple to “to see and be seen before the face of G‑d” on the three annual pilgrimage festivals — Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

The readings for the four INTERMEDIATE DAYS OF PASSOVER include:

  1. Instructions to commemorate the Exodus by sanctifying the firstborn, avoiding leaven and eating matzah on Passover, telling one’s children the story of the Exodus, and donning tefillin (Exodus 13:1-16).
  2. A portion from the Parshah of Mishpatim which includes the laws of the festivals (Exodus 22:24-23:19).
  3. A section describing Moses’ receiving of the Second Tablets and G‑d’s revelation to him of His Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, which likewise concludes with the laws of the festivals (Exodus 34:1-26; when one of the “intermediate days” of Passover is Shabbat, this is the reading read on that day, and it begins 12 verses earlier, with 33:12).
  4. The story and laws of the “Second Passover(Numbers 9:1-14).

On the SEVENTH DAY OF PASSOVER, we read how on this day the sea split for the Children of Israel and drowned the pursuing Egyptians, and the “Song at the Sea” sung by the people upon their deliverance (Exodus 13:17-15:26; a full summary with commentary here).

On the EIGHTH DAY OF PASSOVER, we read Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17. Like the reading for the second day, it catalogues the annual cycle of festivals, their special observances, and the offerings brought on these occasions to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Eighth Day’s special connection with the Future Redemptionis reflected in the Haftorah (reading from the Prophets) for this day (Isaiah 10:32-12:6).

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.

Thought of the Week

The Gold of Egypt

By Elisha Greenbaum (Courtesy of youngchabad.org)

“Speak to the Children of Israel, and they shall borrow from their neighbors gold and silver vessels”

~ Final instructions before the Exodus—Exodus 11:2

Did you follow the news stories last year about the Egyptian Law Professor who was initiating a suit against world Jewry before the International Court of Justice? He demanded the Jews return the gold and silver that their ancestors had taken with them on their way out.

It’s not the first time in history such claims have been made: Alexander the Great once presided over a similar trial where the Egyptian claims were eventually defeated by the Jewish advocate calculating the back wages due for the 600,000 slaves over 400 years and demanding payment first. The Egyptians did the math and fled.1

OK, so they owe us more than we owe them, but why did we take the money in the first place? The average slave presented with an uncertain chance at freedom would surely be too busy high-tailing it out of the country to be worried about making the rounds begging for keepsakes from his former masters.

Tradition relates otherwise. The “emptying out of Egypt”2 was such a priority that G‑d insisted, through Moses, that the Jews go door-to-door collecting. Commentators explain that G‑d insisted that the Jews should become rich in order to fulfill His deal with our father Abraham, “Your descendents will be strangers in a strange land, be enslaved… and afterwards leave with great wealth“.3

In Chassidic thought, this “looting” of Egypt’s wealth is analogous to the spiritual riches the Jews accrued during their sojourn in Egypt. They left accompanied by treasures of gold and silver, but the real reason they were exiled to Egypt was for the spiritual remuneration obtainable. The years of slavery were marked by the physical hardships they encountered, but G‑d’s intention was that their suffering should act as a “smelting pot”–collecting, refining and elevating the elements of holiness lurking there and rendering the whole experience ultimately rewarding.

Wherever one finds oneself, whatever one is doing, there is a purpose to be realized and spiritual profits to be pursued. The roads of life that we stumble down are not digressions on our journey, nor are the chains of desire that seek to enslave us undue restraints on our freedom. By overcoming all obstacles and fleeing from foreign masters we reach the pot of gold waiting at the end of our passage through life.

Joke of the Week

Leah and Dina, mother and daughter, were discussing their mutual weight gain over Passover.

“I can’t believe how much weight I gained,” said Dina.

“Oy,” responded her mother Leah. “We have to do something about it.”

That gave Dina an idea. “Ma, why don’t we go on a diet together. But we will have a little competition. The one who loses the most weight wins $10.”

“What a fantastic idea honey,” said Leah. “But let’s make it $100!”

“Deal!” said Dina.

“All right,” said Leah happily. “But let’s start after Shavuot. There are a bunch of things I have to eat first.”

Issued April 19th, 2019