This Torah portion will be read from the Sefer Torah written in memory of the late:
Saleh Shimoon O.B.M
Mincha & KabalatShabbat:
Shacharit & Torah reading:
Mincha & Seuda Shelishit
Daily Services Shacharit:
Mincha & Arvit 6:45pm
Pls. note that Monday morning services are at the
Chesed-El Synagogue—2 Oxley Rise.
Shema may be recited until
Shekiah (sunset) is at:
A Thought to ponder
Your Own Choice
Is it your choice? Or were you forced into it?
We're talking about your Judaism, the fact of your being a Jew in the world today and having all those laws and traditions in your background. Is this something you chose? Do you have a choice?
As with many questions, Jewish teaching gives at least two answers. First answer: Yes, it is your choice. Second answer: Yes, you are born into it, it is who you are and you cannot escape it… How can both answers be right? Let us try to see how. For this we will look at the parshah of the week and also at Ethics of the Fathers.
The Torah tells us about "a woman who gives seed and bears a son" (Leviticus 12:2). It is interesting that it starts with a woman rather than with a husband and wife getting married. It does not say that "a man married a woman and she gave birth to a son." The focus is on the woman herself. Chassidic teachings explain that this woman in our parshah represents the Jewish people or the Jewish individual, whom our prophets describe as the "wife" or "betrothed" of G-d. The Torah is telling us about a person who makes a step forward in Jewish life, by his or her own volition. A choice was made, and this has a good result: the birth of a child, signifying achievement and success.
According to this, the important thing is our own choice. If one makes one's own choice to express one's Jewishness, rather than being forced, then it will have a positive and lasting effect.
Ethics of the Fathers touches on the same point. Chapter 1 begins "Moses received the Torah from Sinai..." Chapter 2 starts by asking: "What is the path that a person should choose?"
The first chapter of Ethics of the Fathers begins with something being imposed from above: Moses received the Torah from G-d at Sinai and then transmitted it to future generations of Sages and leaders. As a result, if someone is brought up in a traditional Jewish environment they get a strong input of Jewish teachings and practice in their daily lives. It is coming from "above"; they did not choose it themselves.
by contrast, the second chapter starts with the idea of choice. A person chooses for themselves, and this gives them a deeper relationship with their Jewish identity.
In fact we need both qualities. We need as much input as we can get from the chain of tradition, the Jewish environment, home life and education which mold us in a Jewish pattern. But then comes the important next step: our own choice, our own personal recognition of our identity and our relationship with the Torah.
You might ask, does this always happen? Does every Jewish person find their "real" identity in Judaism? Well, let us look at a Talmudic comment on pregnancy and birth, the opening theme of our parshah.
The Talmud says that while a woman is pregnant, her unborn child is taught the entire Torah. When it is born "an angel strikes the child on its upper lip" and he or she forgets. Yet this means that deep down in every child's subconscious there is still an awareness of the entire Torah.
Each Jewish man or woman has this inner level of knowledge and recognition. Life is a process of remembering, and the patterns imposed from above, "forcing" us into Jewish patterns of life, in fact evoke our own inner recognition, our own choice to be a living Jew.
-You’re invited to join the JLI course “The Art of Marriage—Kabbalistic secrets to a successful marriage” which will provide spiritual and practical ways to enhance your relationship, increase your happiness, and strengthen your marriage. The 6 week course begins on Mon 30 April, 8:30 PM at the JBC (5th Floor) for more info & to register, visit www.myjli.com
Save the date:
- Girls teen event - “All American Day”, hosted by the American Ambassador
For girls aged 11-18, 29th April 2012 14:00 - 18:00
details of destination will be given upon RSVP
Expect BBQ, Quiz, Pool time and more
Please RSVP by replying with your name, age and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lag Ba’omer at Palawan beach- Join us in in celebrating Lag Baomer this year for a day full of games,food,music,sports and Bonfire. Sunday May 13th 2012, 4:30 pm, Agsan 4 Palawan beach, For more details and to Register, go to www.singaporejews.com/events
- World renowned Author and speaker, Rabbi Lazer Brody will be visiting Singapore from May 11-15, He will be speaking on various occasions during his stay, Details to follow in the near future.
Parasha in a Nutshell
Leviticus 12:1 –15:33
The Parshahs of Tazria and Metzora continue the discussion of the laws of tumah v’taharah, ritual impurity and purity.
A woman giving birth should undergo a process of purification, which includes immersing in a mikvah (a naturally gathered pool of water) and bringing offerings to the Holy Temple. All male infants are to be circumcised on the eighth day of life.
Tzaraat (often mistranslated as “leprosy”) is a supra-natural plague, which can afflict people as well as garments or homes. If white or pink patches appear on a person’s skin (dark pink or dark green in garments or homes), a kohen is summoned. Judging by various signs, such as an increase in size of the afflicted area after a seven-day quarantine, the kohen pronounces it tamei (impure) or tahor (pure).
A person afflicted with tzaraat must dwell alone outside of the camp (or city) until he is healed. The afflicted area in a garment or home must be removed; if the tzaraat recurs, the entire garment or home must be destroyed.
When the metzora (“leper”) heals, he or she is purified by the kohen with a special procedure involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedar wood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.
Ritual impurity is also engendered through a seminal or other discharge in a man, and menstruation or other discharge of blood in a woman, necessitating purification through immersion in a mikvah.
Weekly Shabbat lunch sponsor
The Jewish Welfare Board
Our Shabbat lunches offer a beautiful opportunity to meet fellow
Jews from all over the world as well as much needed hospitality to
young students, guests and visitors who would not otherwise enjoy
the Shabbat experience. We hope that you will partner with us in
sponsoring these lunches and help us provide much
needed hospitality every Shabbat. Please contact us at :email@example.com
The Wonder That is Woman
And G‑d spoke to Moses, saying: “A woman who shall conceive and give birth . . .” (Leviticus 12:1–2)
It happens 250 times a minute, almost 15,000 times every hour. It happens after years of effort and anticipation, or “by accident.” It occurs on every socioeconomic level, in every country and village in the world. But no matter how frequently it transpires, no matter how commonplace an event it is, we always stand back in awe and say: a miracle.That one being should give birth to, should create, another. If there is any area in which a creature emulates its Creator—if there is any act by which we express the spark of divinity at our core—it is the miracle of birth.
Yet it is in this, the most G‑dly of our achievements, that we also most reveal the limitations of our individuality. Feeding, sleeping, thinking, producing a work of art or building a house—virtually everything we do, we can do on our own. But giving birth to a child is something we can only do together with another person. To give birth, we must cease to be an entity unto ourselves and become a part, a component, of a community of two.
Because if we are only what we are, we are most decidedly not divine. As beings unto ourselves, we are finite and self-absorbed things, manufacturers rather than creators. To create, we must rise above our individuality. To actualize our divine essence, we must transcend the bounds of self.
It is the woman, not the man, who gives birth. It is the woman who is most fulfilled in parenthood, and who most acutely feels the lack when parenthood is denied her. It is the woman who continues to mother her child long after the man has fathered it. It is the woman, according to Torah law, who exclusively determines the spiritual identity of her child.
Because it is the woman who most surrenders her selfhood to create life. She is the passive and receptive element in the procreation process. For nine months, her very body ceases to be hers alone as it bears and nurtures another life. So it is the woman, rather than the man, who “conceives and gives birth,” and to whom motherhood is a state of being, rather than an “achievement” or “experience.”
Yet everyone can become a “mother.” What comes naturally to the female half of creation can be learned and assimilated by all, and not only in giving birth to children but in every one of life’s endeavors. We all have the power to recognize that there is more to our existence than the narrow confines of individual identity.
We all have the power to become more than we are and to do more than we can—by becoming receptive to the divine essence that underlies the self and pervades the whole of existence.
Elite kosher shop
The Kosher shop stocks a wide range of products such as meats (imported from Australia),
poultry, dairy products, as well as a large variety of wines.
The Kosher Shop also just received a wide range of products form Israel at very affordable prices such as popular snacks (Bissli etc…), canned foods and much more.
The Awafi Restaurant
Open for Lunch and Dinner To make a reservation call 6336. 5166
Also serving breakfast every morning after Shacharit.Awafi also provides for outside catering.
Feel free to contact us at: 6336 5166
Oaths - Shevuot
a) Types of oaths
3) Oaths about deposits: If anyone has someone else's real, movable property in his posession by deposit, loan, theft, extortion, or loss and it is demanded of him he is forbidden to deny it, as it says "You shall not deceive"; and there is a further prohibition against swearing falsely about it, as it says "And you shall not lie one to another". If one swears such a false oath (about something that he would have been required to pay for had he admitted the truth) he must pay 5/4 of the amount and (when the Temple exists) must bring a sin-offering [as it says "If a person sins... and deceives another regarding deposited property or a pledge or theft, or extorts from another or finds lost property and denies it, and swears falsely... he must return what he stole or what he extorted or what was deposited with him or the lost thing that he found or whatever he swore falsely about, and pay it in full and add a fifth to it..."].
4) Oaths about testimony: If witnesses are asked by someone to testify about his claim to real, movable property, and their testimony alone would enable him to collect his claim, but they falsely swear (and deny in court) that they do not know anything about which they could testify for him, they must (when the Temple exists) bring a sin-offering, as it says "And if a person sins and hears a request to swear and he is a witness [or saw or knew something], if he does not tell he bears his sin."
Growing Each Day-With Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski
By virtue of the mitzvah of counting the omer of today, may my defects be rectified (Siddur).
The theme of correcting a defect each day is specially employed in the mitzvah of counting the omer, during the forty-nine days that begin with the celebration of the Exodus on Passover and end with the commemoration of the receiving of the Torah at Sinai on Shavuos. On each of these days, we pray that we become better, more refined people.
While the emphasis of this book has been on character development and spiritual growth via daily improvement of personality traits, the mitzvah of counting the omer goes one step further. The above-cited prayer continues: "May I be purified and sanctified from Above; and through this, may there be an abundant outpouring of Divine bounty in all the universe."
The concept here tells us that the impact of a personal defect is not limited to oneself or even to one's immediate environment, but it impacts the entire universe. Just as a watch works only when all its parts are in good shape, the world functions optimally only according to the Divine law, part of which is people's developing good character traits. Any transgression can have a much greater impact than we think.
We therefore share a sense of responsibility. People cannot claim that their lives are their own private business, any more than a passenger in a boat can drill a hole under his or her own seat and tell others to mind their own business.
A vivid proof of this concept comes from today's exploitation of world resources and pollution of the environment. No one can say that an oil spill is a private matter.
6 Iyar/28 April
9 Iyar/1 May
11 Iyar/3 May
Miriam Yehezkel bat Rahma
12 Iyar/4 May
May Their Memory Be A Blessing
Today in Jewish history...
Joseph Rivlin laid the cornerstone of the first private home to be erected outside the wall of Jerusalem marking the beginning of the modern Yishuv, 1869.
Israel was proclaimed an independent state, 1948.
The British mandate over Eretz Yisrael came to an end, 1948, exactly 28 years after it began.
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon invaded Israel, 1948
Venice became the first city in the world where the term ghetto was associated with the Jewish quarter, when the Jews were compelled, in 1516, to move into a restricted area. The area was formerly the site of a foundry which manufactured weapons for the government of Venice. The Italian term for "foundry" is geto. The first official document which uses the word ghetto to describe an area restricted to the residence of Jews exclusively was a papal edict from 1562.
Yahrzeit of Rabbi Isaac Alfasi (RIF), 1103.
A storm at sea threatened the ship aboard which Rambam and his family had sailed for Eretz Yisrael after their escape from North Africa. Rambam set aside this date as an annual private fast-day, 1165.
Ask The Rabbi
Is there a specific reason why we lift the Torah up in the air in the synagogue before each reading?
The Torah Scroll, sefer torah, is the holiest ritual object that the Jewish nation has today. It is written on handmade parchment with a quill and special ink. There are thousands of guidelines that a scribe, known as a sofer, will follow to make a Torah Scroll fit for use.
Being called up to say the blessing on one of the portions is a great honor, and during momentous occasions throughout the year many will be mentioned in front of the scroll or will be called up for the reading.
The one who is called up reads from the text in a whisper together with the designated reader, because actually reading the text is considered to be a great deed. For this reason, the famed codifier of the Code of Jewish Law,Rabbi Joseph Caro, writes, “It is incumbent on men and women to look at the Torah Scroll’s text,” when it is being lifted in the air for all to see.
Rabbi Abraham Abele Gombiner (1635-1683), writes in a gloss on the Code, “When one sees the letters, the holiness of the words radiates and imparts holiness to the individual.”
Given this, it has become one of the beloved synagogue traditions: everyone rises, many lifting their pinky finger, as they gaze and try to get a glimpse of the words.
The crowd bows slightly and says the verse (Deuteronomy 4:44):
And this is the “Torah” [teaching] which Moses set before the children of Israel.
Recipe of the Week
Morrocan Sea Bass
1 lb. sea bass
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. white wine
1 tbsp. ketchup
2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. dill
Arrange fresh fillets in shallow roasting pan. Melt butter in small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook until onion is limp. Add the wine, soy sauce, ketchup, and dill . Stir until heated through and pour over fish. Bake, uncovered, in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until fish flakes readily with a fork. Serves 2-4.
Ongoing Events & Programs
Weekly Minyan, stories and snacks for children after reading of the Torah. For more info contact The boys.
One on one learning with the Yeshiva Boys for adults and children. Contact Mrs. Rivni@ 92327095.
Lunch & Learn Tuesdays at Awafi, JBC. Contact Rabbi Abergel
Talmud class every Wednesday@ 9:00pm in tractate Sanhedrin. Contact Rabbi Abergel
Mikva: Mrs. Simcha Abergel 9673 9184
Mrs. Odelia Rivni 9232 7095
(Appointments at least one day before)