April 10, 2016
STATEMENT ON THE RESULT OF THE EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL
The articles written by independent journalists in the local and Jewish press speak for themselves. No neutral observer can believe that the Board's decision to take this to trial has resulted in their looking good. The settlement which we have won finalises our claim. Now that the case is done and dusted, it is time for peace.
For more on what transpired at the Tribunal, the following links will assist:
The Berkshire Women’s Rosh Chodesh group will be meeting again at 8pm on Sunday 10 April at the home of Judi Lyons. ‘Pesach and all that..........do you have a family story about Pesach that you would like to share?’ Judi will also look at how Kabbalah introduces Pesach to "raise our spirits".
Schedule change: Note that the JCoB open meeting originally scheduled for Sunday has been rescheduled to Tuesday to avoid a clash with the Rosh Chodesh group.
JCoB Open Meeting All members of the Reading and Berkshire Jewish community are invited to an open meeting on the future of the Jewish Community of Berkshire. Tuesday 12 April 7:30pm at JCoB Central. This is your chance to let us know what you would like from your Rabbi and Rebbetzin as well as a chance for you to get stuck in and help with the many challenges ahead.
Chametz as Chesed: Please support the Reading Food Bank by donating your unwanted chametz (canned and dry goods only) in the run-up to Passover. Items will be collected at JCoB Central until Sunday 17 April.
SHABBAT / FESTIVAL EVENTS
Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate, this past Shabbat, the first Aliya in Reading of Aviyah Azriel ben Avraham (aka Nathaniel Black).
Shabbat and festival morning services will be held again on 16 April as well as on the first two days and the last day of Passover. We appreciate your continued support in assuring an early minyan. On the second day of Pesach, we will hold our annual matzah picnic in the garden. If possible, please let us know whether you are coming by Thursday 7 April.
Enjoy the warmth and good food of a Pesach Seder at JCoB Central. RSVP to Rebbetzin Shira. Please also let Rebbetzin Shira know if you can offer a place at your seder to one of the many people who are new to JCoB.
JCoB invites you to a special Shabbat afternoon of songs, stories (and a little bit of food) on Saturday 9 April. Minchah 6:30pm followed by Seudah Shlishit and havdallah (at around 8:45pm). Bring your own song or story to share or just come, listen, and enjoy.
Thanks to a generous donation, there is currently no charge for children, students or low income adults attending meals at JCoB Central.
For working adults, standard donations are: Dinners £15 Fancy lunches £10. Light lunches £5.
We welcome your sponsorship so that we can continue to offer hospitality.
The Alyth Chamber Choir will be performing on Sunday 17th April 2016, 6:00pm for 6:30pm at a local church. Tickets £10. Subscribe to this newsletter to receive full information and directions.
KOSHER FOOD NEWS
Sale of Chametz: It is a mitzvah not to own Chametz on Passover. Some people did not receive the previous email with the form attached due to IT problems. If you still need a form, please reply to this email and one will be resent to you. Forms must be returned by email to Rabbi Zvi or by hard copy at JCoB Central by Thursday morning 21 April.
Just Kosher will be delivering Passover food to Reading on Monday 18 April and it is now open for Pesach orders.
Many items including Passover matzah, cheese and ground nuts are also available from Ocado.com but care should be taken that such items are kosher for Passover and not just for year round. For advice on which products require certification, ask Rabbi Zvi directly.
Tescos at Kings Meadow currently has a variety of fresh kosher items in stock including dips and cold meats, but please beware that their matzah and matzah meal (among other products) are probably NOT kosher for Passover.
Falling asleep at the Seder by Rebbetzin Shira
As this is a leap year, Pesach falls very late in April, and families, particularly those with children, face the challenge of holding a halachic seder that does not start so late that people fall asleep before even tasting their chicken soup.
The problem occurs because the mitzvah of telling the story of the Exodus is one that must be performed at night (as the Hagaddah tells us). So if night means 9pm, what is one to do?
Aside from rushing through the seder so quickly that no one has any chance to ask questions (which goes against the spirit of the occasion), the following practical suggestions might help:
Memorials (on Shabbat Hachodesh 5776)
(As published in the Jewish News. http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/category/judaism/sedra/ )
Yes folks, it's that time of year again. Having gone through the other parshiyot of Shekalim, Zachor and Para (each dealing with aspects of Jewish life in the run-up to Pesach), this week we have an unusual Shabbat. It is one of the three times in the year when we can take out three sifrei Torah. This year Parshat Hachodesh (the fourth of the four parshiyot) falls on Rosh Chodesh Nisan itself, so you have a Sefer for Tazria, one for Rosh Chodesh and a third for Hachodesh.
This is where the actual readings in the Torah follow a pretty straight line which continues through Pesach, describing the preparations for the first ever Pesach which we all look back to as the start of our Jewish nationhood.
In ancient times, when the Temple was standing, we would have gone to Israel on pilgrimage much as people evacuate their homes and live in a hotel over Pesach these days. The paschal lamb would have been eaten by each family in a state of purity (hence the red heifer we read about last week) and would have been set aside from Rosh Chodesh Nisan (this Shabbat) onwards.
There is an irony which sits on our Seder plates every year. If the paschal lamb was eaten every year as a memory of the original Pesach offering whose blood was smeared on the door posts and lintels of our homes, as a sign to God to give our houses a miss, to what purpose is the shank bone today?
It is a memory of a memory. The shank bone serves as a reminder both of that first Pesach, and of the Pesach offering eaten in memory of our nation's birth. Like the egg, a representation of the Tamid (permanent) offering on the Seder plate, this bone serves to remind us of the destruction of the Temple, as well as of the memorial Pesach sacrifices offered there. Like the egg it is roast, a double reminder of the roast offering and of the burnt temple. It is a reverberation of the past, just as this week is a reverberation of the first stirrings of our great exodus from slavery in Egypt to redemption by the Almighty.
Rabbi Zvi’s article on Brexit can be found on http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/torah-for-todayl-what-does-the-torah-say-about-brexit/
Rabbi Jeremy Rosen’s article on Existentialism can be found on http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/existentialism.html
Rabbi Jeremy Rosen’s article on Why I Don’t Criticize Israel More can be found on http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/why-i-dont-criticize-israel-more.html
Rabbi Jeremy Rosen’s article on Purim can be found on http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/purim-serious-or-fun.html
Rabbi Zvi’s two-minute Torah on Parshat Tzav can be found on
Rabbi Zvi’s two-minute Torah on Parshat Vayikra / Zachor can be found on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-uBc4js0nM
Rabbi Zvi’s two-minute Torah on Parshat Vayakhel can be found on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUK7SEf5iGE
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Rabbi Zvi Solomons
The only Orthodox Rabbi in Berkshire