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

Parshas Mishpatim

Courtesy of Chabad.org

Following the revelation at Sinai, G‑d legislates a series of laws for the people of Israel. These include the laws of the indentured servant; the penalties for murder, kidnapping, assault and theft; civil laws pertaining to redress of damages, the granting of loans and the responsibilities of the “Four Guardians”; and the rules governing the conduct of justice by courts of law.

Also included are laws warning against mistreatment of foreigners; the observance of the seasonal festivals, and the agricultural gifts that are to be brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem; the prohibition against cooking meat with milk; and the mitzvah of prayer. Altogether, the Parshah of Mishpatim contains 53 mitzvot—23 imperative commandments and 30 prohibitions.

G‑d promises to bring the people of Israel to the Holy Land, and warns them against assuming the pagan ways of its current inhabitants.

The people of Israel proclaim, “We will do and we will hear all that G‑d commands us.” Leaving Aaron and Hur in charge in the Israelite camp, Moses ascends Mount Sinai and remains there for forty days and forty nights to receive the Torah from G‑d.

Special Announcement

Welcome back to Rabbi & Rebbetzin Feldman & Family who were away during January!

Rabbi Chaim Ingram was running the services at our Shul for the last few weeks. A Hearty Mazaltov to him for receiving an OAM this Australia Day recognising his immense contribution to the 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

Under New Management

By Betzalel Bassman (Courtesy of Chabad.org)

A close friend of mine is an addict. He had tried medication, therapy and much more. Nothing worked. He lost his family and his health. He almost lost his life—a number of times. He finally found recovery through a 12-step program. In his words, “I found G‑d. Since then, my life has never been better.”

In this week’s Torah portion we discuss the laws of a muad, an animal with an established track record of violence. This distinction is earned by having perpetrated a destructive act three consecutive times.
(Once an animal is an established muad, the owner has to pay the full price of the damage caused—as opposed to a tam, an ordinary animal, for which he must cover half of the loss.)
Once established as a muad, can an animal become tamed, or does it keep its muad status forever?

The answer is that even animals can “repent” and revert to tam status. The sages of the Talmud offer a number of methods through which the animal’s slate can be wiped clean. One way is for it to be purchased by a new owner. When “under new management,” we once again assume that it is tame, and is no longer viewed as a menace.

The Rebbe explains that we each have an inner animal, known in chassidic parlance as the animal soul. Left untended, it can become “wild.” How can we bring it under control? There are a number of steps that a person must take to subdue his baser side. And, like the case of the unruly and destructive animal, chief among them is that he must transfer ownership—in this case, by bringing it under G‑d’s control and submitting himself to His will.

How does that work?
My friend, the addict, explained that the key to recovery was realizing he was powerless—G‑d is in control. Once he had relinquished control to a higher power, he was able to begin recovery.

Shabbos Chuckle

No matter what he did, Dr Stern couldn’t get Herman Grossman to exercise. So he came up with a new strategy.
“I’m prescribing these pills for you,” Dr Stern said, as he weighed Mr Grossman who tipped the scales at over two hundred and fifty pounds.
“I don’t want you to swallow them. Just spill them on the floor twice a day and pick them up, one at a time.”

Issued January 31st, 2019