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

Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Behar

Courtesy of Chabad.org

On the mountain of Sinai, G‑d communicates to Moses the laws of the Sabbatical year: every seventh year, all work on the land should cease, and its produce becomes free for the taking for all, man and beast.

Seven Sabbatical cycles are followed by a fiftieth year—the Jubilee year, on which work on the land ceases, all indentured servants are set free, and all ancestral estates in the Holy Land that have been sold revert to their original owners.

Behar also contains additional laws governing the sale of lands, and the prohibitions against fraud and usury.

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

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: Why do we need to fear HaShem? Isn’t love enough?Feel free to ask questions in the comments section during the broadcast and I will endeavor to answer them during the class! 😊

Posted by Rabbi Eli Feldman on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Shabbat Schedule


Friday Night Candle Lighting Time 4:40 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 5:37 PM

Thought for the Week

The Engine and the Steering Wheel

By Menachem Feldman (Courtesy of Chabad.org)

Much of the struggle and tension within a human being can be boiled down to the natural tension between the mind and the heart—between that which the mind knows to be right and that which the heart desires.

The mind and heart don’t respond to the same stimuli as they have trouble communicating simply because they don’t speak the same language, and they don’t respond to the same stimuli.

The job of the heart is to answer a simple question: “Is this good for me?” The heart does not respond to objective truths. The heart is not concerned about the greater good. The heart’s job is to be subjective, to make sure that the self is happy and pampered. On the other hand, when functioning properly, the mind is supposed to be objective. The mind is the tool that allows the human being to transcend the self. The mind has the ability to ponder the abstract, to ask, not, “Is this good for me,” but rather, “Is this good?” The healthy mind will be attracted to that which it understands to be objectively good, while the heart will reject it if it is inconsistent with what it perceives to be good for itself.

With the mind and the heart pulling in different directions, which one should the person follow? Which one should rule the person?

Western society is unequivocal: “Follow your heart.” Parents and teachers, songwriters and poets keep telling us that “your heart knows best.”

It does not take much thought to see the flaw in the “follow the heart” formula. What if one wakes up in the morning and his heart tells him to rob a bank. Should he do what his mother always taught him to do and follow his heart?

Both emotion and intellect are critical to a healthy life. Both are necessary. On the journey of our lives, the heart is the engine and the mind is the steering wheel. A person without emotion is a person without an engine, without passion, without the strength to smash through the obstacles and achieve, without the fire to overcome rivers of separation and connect to another. But an engine without a steering wheel will end up stuck in a ditch at the side of the road.

The heart is the stuff of life, but when the mind turns on the “check engine” light, we must stop, lift up the hood and examine the emotions.

In fact, we “check the engine” every year during the forty-nine days between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. Kabbalah teaches that there are seven emotions, each emotion including the full spectrum of emotions within it. On each day of the forty-nine days, we examine one of our emotions. We scrutinize the emotion and direct it to the proper road.

We cannot live a healthy life without love, awe, compassion and commitment. But we must ensure that our emotions are guided by our objective mind to lead us to healthy relationships. Unrefined emotion can lead a person to self-centred, destructive, narcissistic behaviour.

This 49-day pattern of refining our emotions is reflected in the commandment of the Jubilee, which we read about in this week’s Torah portion:

You shall count for yourself seven sabbatical years, seven years seven times. The days of these seven sabbatical years shall amount to forty nine years for you… You shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim freedom [for slaves] throughout the land for all who live on it. It shall be a Jubilee for you, and you shall return, each man to his property, and you shall return, each man to his

We count seven years seven times. Each of the forty-nine years represents the refinement. We must ensure our emotions are guided by our objective mind of one character trait. On the fiftieth year, we “proclaim freedom throughout the land.” On the fifteenth year, we are refined, free of the negative impulses of the emotions. On the fiftieth year, we are can enjoy the freedom of objectivity, the freedom to see the perspectives of our loved ones, the freedom to unshackle ourselves from the grasp of our ego, the freedom to apologize, the freedom to improve.

The freedom to use our inner engine, not to self destruct, but to imbue us with the drive and passion to achieve that which we know we want to achieve.

Shabbos Chuckle

Mordy Epstein hated his wife Suri’s cat so much that he decided to get rid of it by driving it twenty blocks from home and just leaving it by the curb.

But as he got back home, Mordy saw the cat wandering up the driveway. So he drove the cat forty blocks away and left it by the curb.

But when he arrived back home, there was the cat waiting for him at the front door. In desperation, Mordy drove the cat fifty miles out into the country and dumped it in the middle of the woods.

Four hours later Suri got a phone call at home. “Darling,” said Mordy, “is that cat there?”

“Yes,” said Suri. “Why?”

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

Special Announcement from CSG

Issued May 23rd, 2019

Previous Newsletter