Mazal tov to Karen Ross who received her MBE for services to children and families in the Queen’s birthday honours.
Mazal tov to Karen and Adrian Ross on becoming grandparents yet again. Mazal tov as well to parents Adam and Anna Ross on the birth of a son Hillel Nechamia.
Rabbi Zvi would like to express his thanks to all those who have offered support since his accident. Unfortunately, he is unable to offer his leining services to RHC at Goldsmid Rd at present, but he welcomes those in the community who wish to hear leining with a sefer Torah to join him at the Rabbi’s house for services on Saturday morning 27 June and 18 July. Goldsmid Rd is welcome to join in these services to bring the community together. If you wish to stay for lunch, please contact Shira. Donation £5. We can always accommodate a few last minute people but please book ahead of time if you can.
Rebbetzin Shira’s next Friday Night Dinner will be held on Friday 10 July. Service at the Rabbi’s house 7:15pm followed by dinner. Please book your place directly with Rebbetzin Shira.
Adults £15 Students/low income £7.50. Children free. Space is limited so book early.
Please note that the payment instructions used for previous dinners no longer apply as Rebbetzin Shira no longer works for RHC.
Limmud In The Woods 27th -31st August
Indulge and surround yourself in Jewish culture, religion, music and learning this summer at Limmud in the Woods! Take your friends and family on a journey of enlightenment over the August bank holiday. Ponder life under the stars, learn amongst some of the world’s greatest teachers then dance the night away at the silent disco.
Eager to make a difference? Volunticipate as a kitchen manager or Madrich at a reduced attendance price of £85!
Intrigued by what you read? Keen to find out more?
Check out our website for more information: http://limmud.org/woods/
Kaytana –Oxford Summer Scheme Monday 3rd August to Friday 7th August
Oxford Kaytana 2015 is a summer scheme for children aged 5-14 years, organised by the community and led by youth leaders, experienced staff and junior assistants. The Oxford Kaytana is specifically designed to cater for young people from Jewish families in the greater Oxford area, for both those connected with the Oxford Jewish Community and friends. Our goal is to strengthen the Jewish roots and Jewish experience of youngsters from age 5 upwards, both as participants and as young leaders in the summer scheme. Oxford Kaytana offers a week of excitement, Jewish learning, pride and fun in a warm, friendly, caring environment.
For further details, contact: Hila on 07525 785 200 or email@example.com
KOSHER FOOD NEWS
· The next Just Kosher delivery is Sunday 5 July. Small orders can be arranged through Rebbetzin Shira - contact Shira
Power and responsibility (on Chukkat)
This week’s Torah portion, Chukkat, talks about several themes. The best-known of these is the ritual of the Red Heifer, which purified those who were impure whilst at the same time making the purifier impure. It is a curious law. The paradox of the cleansing making impure echoes throughout the portion.
For example, Moses and Aaron are told to bring water from a rock. They disobey God by using the opportunity to prove themselves to be in the right in the face of the people’s moaning and complaining. Similarly the People speak evil of Moses and are punished with fiery serpents.
This is a complicated portion but is perhaps the portion where we learn something important about the nature of leadership and power. We all have the potential for greatness, but in everything which raises us above the normal we can be lowered and damaged. The seeds of our destruction are there in our greatest achievements. Moses at the peak of his powers, still strong and cogent after 40 years in the Wilderness, is still fallible, and it is the power of leadership and its responsibilities which lay him low and prevent him from entering the promised land. Just as the purifier is defiled by his act of purification so the great leader is brought low by the temptations of leadership, and the People, just beginning to learn how to do things on their own, are taught not to be so arrogant as to speak ill of their leadership despite their flaws.
These are salutary lessons for all who would have power and influence.
The sin of silence (on Chukkat)
One of the great puzzles of the Torah is why Aaron, who seemed to get away scot-free after making the golden calf, is punished so severely in this week’s parsha. There they were, Moses and Aaron with a rabble of complaining people. God tells Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses loses his cool and strikes the rock, twice, with his rod. God punishes Moses and Aaron by forbidding them both from entering the promised land. The harshness on Moses can be understood, as of course, Moses was a great leader and God had high standards for him. But what did Aaron do? He just stood there and watched. He did nothing at all.
This, of course was his sin. He did nothing. He said nothing. When Moses hit the rock once, nothing happened. Aaron could have intervened and told Moses ‘Stop!’. If he had spoken up, then Moses could have calmed down and remembered his true instructions. Aaron is punished so harshly for allowing a great leader to be brought down by anger at a time of weakness. This is deemed by God as worse than making the golden calf.
Aaron’s experience is unfortunately one that few of us can avoid in our lives. We all deal with challenge of seeing our friends make mistakes in front of us, and who of us is brave enough to speak up and say ‘Stop!’? Too often we keep our mouths shut and explain afterwards ‘I didn’t want to get involved’. The lesson of this week’s parsha is that if Aaron was expected to have the courage to rebuke the greatest prophet who ever lived, we can not avoid the responsibility to rebuke our friends and leaders when their emotional failings lead them towards disaster.