This Torah portion will be read from the Sefer Torah written in memory of the late
Aziza bat Farha 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
The Kohen Gene
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.
I find it fascinating that Moses’ older brother, the biblical High Priest Aaron 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.
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.
-We welcome Rabbi Lazer Brody to our community, author of many books including "The Garden of Emuna". Rabbi Brody will address us at this week’s Shabbat lunch and Seuda Shelishit. You are most welcome to join us for what promises to be a stimulating and enriching spiritual experience.
- Mincha and Seuda Shlishit this Shabbat will be at 6:15 pm due to Rabbi Brody’s shiur.
-Friday night dinner Experience with Rabbi Brody, Friday night 11th of May, 8:00pm at JBC 5th Floor. To Buy tickets and to RSVP please visit, www.singaporejews.com/events.html or call 63372189 #105
-Join us for a woman's only class with Rabbi Brody on The Jewish Woman's role in marriage and keeping a Jewish home. Kindly hosted by Mrs Laurence Harel at her home 39 Queen Astrid Park, Monday May 14th at 8:30 pm. To RSVP visit .singaporejews.com/rsvp.html or call 8223-0496
-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 and strengthen your marriage. The 3rd session will be held on Monday 14th of April, 8:30 PM at the JBC (5th Floor) for more info & to register, visit www.myjli.com
-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.
-The Awafi Restaurant will be closed for lunch and dinner on Sunday may 13th
-Our thanks go to the security volunteer team for their dedicated service to the community. This week, we thank: Ms Ann Hill, Mrs. Anat Barda, Mr. Micky Sapir
Save the date:
- The next teenage girls event will be 31st of May hosted by the Israeli Ambassador. For more information and to RSVP ,email, firstname.lastname@example.org
-Keren Hayesod Dinner. Thursday 7 June—details to follow
- Shacharit services on the 2nd day of Shavuot which falls on Monday 28th May will be held at Chesed El Synagogue. Those who wish to stay for lunch, please sms early to Rebecca Rott at 98195633 as the seating is limited.
Parasha in a Nutshell
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 calf, lamb 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.
Weekly Shabbat lunch sponsor
This week’s Shabbat lunch is sponsored by:
The Jewish Welfare Board
The Seuda shelishit is partially sponsored by:
Family Klein, Leileui Nishmat Yishai’s late father,
R’ Shmuel ben R’ Yaakov Yitzchak O.B.M
לעילוי נשמת ר‘ שמואל ב“ר יעקב יצחק ז“ל
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
Catching up with ourselves
When the Jewish people left Egypt they experienced a great leap forward. In a short space of time they progressed from abject slavery to freedom. The Sages tell us they were then faced with a new and important task: to catch up with themselves.
This is one of the explanations of the "counting of the omer" which is observed in the period between Pesach and Shavuot. From the second night of Passover we begin counting, day by day. After seven weeks, forty-nine days, we arrive at Shavuot on the fiftieth day, when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai.
This process of counting the days, one by one, is explained as signifying the attempt to improve oneself in a steady, step-by-step mode. Leaving Egypt was a leap of progress, a breakthrough from the lowest depths. But then there is the need to catch up with oneself, to achieve genuine and permanent qualities as individuals and as a nation.
Otherwise the freedom gained by leaving Egypt might easily be lost: instead of being a slave to the Egyptians, one would become a slave to something else.
Based on the writings of the Kabbalists, it is explained hat the seven weeks represent seven different aspects of character, the emotional forces which constitute the basic structure of the individual (Love, Severity, Mercy, the desire for Victory, Submission, Dedication, and Fulfillment). The seven weeks provide the opportunity to improve this structure and make it more stable. Only after this period of self-improvement were the Jewish people ready to meet with G-d at Sinai and to receive His Torah.
This quest applies also to the individual through the ages. After the uplifting experience of Passover, the counting of the omer expresses an attempt to internalize this experience: to change oneself in a genuine and permanent way so as to live up to one's new level of spiritual freedom.
We can also apply this idea to society as a whole in our modern age. Over the past century we have experienced a great leap forward of technological progress which has provided us with many kinds of comfort and freedom. But this freedom and power bear with them a dangerous instability. We see this in the vast horrors of fifty years ago, and also in the social problems of today.
Our modern world, too, needs to "count the omer," to try and move step by step, improving our inner lives, our personal morality, the interplay of our emotions. Do people have freedom, or are they becoming ever more deeply enslaved to their appetites?
Torah teachings give guidance not only on how to run a Jewish home, but also on how to build a healthy and just society. The seven Noahide laws describe how all human beings should seek to live. (The seven Noahide laws commanded by G-d to all of mankind are: to believe in G-d [and not to serve idols]; not to blaspheme against G-d; not to murder [including euthanasia and abortion, unless it is to save the mother's life]; not to steal; not to commit adultery, incest and other forms of personal immorality; not to eat a limb from a living animal; and to set up a judicial [and educational] system to apply these laws in society.] Through applying the boundaries, restraints and positive duties imposed by these laws in the context of modern life we can seek to catch up with our own progress. By attending to our internal structure as human beings, we can prepare ourselves, globally, to meet with G-d and to discover the truly perfect world promised by the Prophets.
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
Vows - Nedarim
If a person forbids something tangible to himself even without swearing an oath, he must fulfill his vow and he is forbidden to violate it, as it says "[If a man makes a vow...] to forbid himself something, his word shall not be annulled; he must do everything that comes out of his mouth"1; and it says "[If you make a vow...] you must keep and do what comes out of your lips".2, He must forbid it by saying that it is like something which it is in his power to make forbidden -- e.g., like a sacrifice or other donation to the Temple that can be brought by an individual. A person can also forbid his own property to others.
As with oaths, a vow must be expressed orally and with intent; it can be administered by others; it is not binding if made under duress or in ignorance of the facts or in exaggeration; and one can be released from it in the same way as from an oath. Unlike oaths, however, one can include oneself in a vow made by another and can extend the scope of a vow to new things; and one can forbid to himself things necessary for the fulfillment of a commandment
Growing Each Day-With Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski
You shall love your neighbor as you do yourself (Leviticus 19:18).
The usual translation is printed above and indeed is the way the verse is generally interpreted. As a result, the question is often raised, "How can people have the same love for others as they have for themselves? Isn't this demand unrealistic?"
If, however, we look more carefully at the original Hebrew, the question disappears. The Torah is stating here a definition of "love": ve'ahavta, the sensation or the experience of love, is lerei'acha kamocha, when you wish for another that which you wish for yourself.
What some people consider love may be nothing more than a self-serving relationship. They may "love" something because it satisfies their needs, but when the object cannot satisfy the need, or the need itself disappears, the love evaporates.
True love is not self-serving, but self-giving. We love only when we have as intense a desire to please the other person as to be pleased ourselves. Such an attitude calls for sacrifice, because it may be that we will have to deprive ourselves in order to provide what will please the other person.
As children, we are selfish. As we mature, we should develop a spiritual love, which is quite different from our childish physical love. This spiritual, other-directed love can withstand all challenges. As the Song of Songs says, Even abundant waters cannot extinguish love (8:7).
21 Iyar/13 May
Deborah bat Israeli Khafi
25 Iyar/17 May
Eliyahu ben Manasseh Khafi
May Their Memory Be A Blessing
Today in Jewish history...
Yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg (Maharam), 1293.
Nazi deportation of Jews from greater Hungary to the extermination camps began, 1944.
Moshe Rabeinu struck the rock to provide water for the people.
The Arab states and Israel agreed to a cease-fire, 1948. By the time of the first truce, Israel had already scored substantial victories over the Syrian and Egyptian armies, though greatly outnumbered by the enemy. The Torah portion of that week includes the following p'sukim: "And I will bring peace in the Land... and you shall chase your enemies... and five of you shall chase a hundred..." (Vayikra 26:6-8)
Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated, 1945. It had housed 225,000 inmates in the course of existence. Of this total, 200,000 were killed.
Ask The Rabbi
What is the reason for the custom of lighting bonfires on lag ba’omer?
Since "the Torah is light" (Mishlei 6:23), we can understand the main custom of Lag b'Omer to light the bonfire. The fires of Lag b'Omer represent the light of the inner dimensions of the Torah as well as the deepest longing of our soul to be close to G-d and to understand the spiritual, mystical depths of the Torah.
The bonfires also connect us back to Rabbi Akiva, who was tortured to death. He transformed his burning pain into sacrificing his life with the fiery love of Hashem. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai carried on Rabbi Akiva's ability to transform the fires of torture to the fire of love of G-d. This incredible light became engraved in the holy Zohar.
Rav Yitzchak Ginsburgh reveals that the two letters of "Lag," 33, when inverted, spell "Gal," which means to reveal/open, as in the verse "Open [Gal] my eyes that I may see wonders in Your Torah" (Tehillim 119:18). Lag b'Omer represents the fire of Torah that gives us the inner vision to grasp the wonders of the Torah, thereby illuminating the long night of exile.
With Hashem's help, Israel will be redeemed in the future through the merit of learning the Zohar. In order to overcome the darkness all around us, on a personal, national and universal level, we need to go beyond the superficial learning and observance of Torah, and reveal deeper and more spiritual levels that will bring light to ourselves and the world
The Weekly Recipe
Wasabi Salmon With Bok Choy And Shiitake Mushrooms
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced if large
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat a large rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and wasabi in a small bowl. Stir in half of ginger and half of garlic; set aside. Season fish all over with salt and pepper. Place bok choy, cabbage, and mushrooms in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and add remaining ginger and garlic. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.
Scatter vegetables across one side of baking sheet. Arrange salmon on other side. Roast, stirring vegetables occasionally, until salmon is cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Divide vegetables among plates; top with salmon. Serve wasabi mayonnaise alongside.
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)