Thursday night was Firework Night for JCoB at the Rabbi's house. Hot potato wedges and some crackling good fireworks - Maxine and Reuven brought a whole box!!
JCoB Cheder gained two new boys, and is expanding pictured: Cheder at break.
This week the Parsha talks about a location in Israel which is a flashpoint for the current unrest: Hevron.
This is the location of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the building which has been in turn a Jewish Shrine, a Christian shrine, a mosque and is now also again used by Jews.
The building was constructed by Herod the great, and anyone who wishes to know something of the appearance of the ancient Second Temple in Jerusalem would do well to look at the Shrine of the Patriarchs in Hevron.
The Torah interestingly calls the cave purchased by Abraham Maarat ha Machpeila- the double cave. There are several reasons which are given for this name. Some would say that it is because it is a double cave, with either two caves and a passage in between them, or possibly one cave above the other.
Another explanation is that the caves contain couples: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah.
They midrash tells us that Abraham had specialist knowledge in his day of the resting place of the ancestors of all mankind. That was why he decided to pay over the odds, so that his wife and the rest of his family could be buried there. It is interesting to note that the Torah tells us that both of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac, joined together to bury Abraham there next to Sarah.
Today Hevron is a location of much controversy, which Israeli soldiers call planet Hevron. In the Jewish cemetery is the shrine-like grave of Baruch Goldstein, who gunned down 39 Arabs some years ago. There is much tension as the Israeli army tries to keep the peace between 500 zealot settler Jews and 200,000 Arabs, many of whom are extremists in their own right.
I would add my own interpretation to the term machpelah (doubled) applied to the burial cave. I believe that it refers to the double claims on that location made by Jews and Muslims, and perhaps even to the double dose of zealotry focussed by us and our cousins the Palestinians on that particular piece of land.
Perhaps that is why Avraham in his wisdom paid twice as much for it as it was worth.
Last week’s article by Jeremy Rosen on Chimen Abramsky is available from
The Berkshire Community Cheder is launching a new class for younger children, starting after half term. If you have a child aged between 3 and 6, this is the perfect moment to enrol. Let us help your child to get the most of his/her Jewish identity. Contact Rebbetzin Shira.
Remember Remember….. Thursday 5th November. Fireworks and bonfire at Rabbi Zvi's at 7:00pm. £5 contribution. Light food and refreshments.
Our next Oneg Shabbat will be on Friday evening 6 November at JCoB Central. Come early to light candles at 4:14pm or arrive later for Kaballat Shabbat at 6:00pm followed by dinner. RSVP. As with all JCoB meals, students eat for free!
The Berkshire Women’s Rosh Chodesh group will be meeting again at 8pm on 11 November and the topical topic will be the Festival of Lights – Chanukah. For more information, please contact Rebbetzin Shira.
The UK Jewish Film Festival returns from 7th-22nd November with a packed 2 week festival programme of powerful, inspiring and moving films, featuring outstanding new talent at home and abroad, aiming to reflect and share a greater understanding of Jewish life and culture, dispelling prejudice and fighting racism and anti-Semitism. For more information, go to www.ukjewishfilm.org
RHC are hosting a special Shabbat morning event on Saturday 14 November. Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler will lead the service on Shabbat morning at Goldsmid Rd, followed by a kiddush, lunch, and an 'Ask The Rabbi' Session. To book your place for lunch (only £5 per head) email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JCoB invites you to a special Shabbat afternoon of songs, stories (and a little bit of food) on Saturday 14 November. Minchah 3:30pm followed by Seudah Shlishit and havdallah (at around 5:15pm). Bring your own song or story to share or just come, listen, and enjoy. If you would like to sponsor this or a similar event, please contact Rebbetzin Shira.
Thank you to Mike and Liz Jacobs for sponsoring the kiddush for Shabbat UK (24 October). Our next Saturday morning service will be on 21 November. As usual, lunch is available for a £5 donation (or free for students).
Ashley Blaker, the UK’s only charedi stand-up comedian, is coming to Reading. Monday 7 December, 7:30pm at Reading Hebrew Congregation (Goldsmid Rd). For tickets and more information, go tohttps://billetto.co.uk/en/events/ashley-blaker-reading.
Don’t miss the Berkshire annual Family Chanukah Party. Sunday 13 December, 3:30pm – 6:30pm. Chanukah crafts followed by food, dreidel spinning, and other fun. Venue TBC. Suggested donation £5 / person. Please let Rebbetzin Shira know if you wish to attend.
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.
KOSHER FOOD NEWS
JustKosher.com will deliver to Reading on Sunday 8 November. Contact Rebbetzin Shira if you require any items.
The only Orthodox Rabbi in Berkshire