Lag Ba’Omer is coming! All are welcome to a Barbeque / bonfire featuring Rebbetzin Shira’s famous skewers as well as juicy sausages and other tasties. Subscribe to this newsletter to receive full information.
The Berkshire Women’s Rosh Chodesh group will be meeting again at 8pm on Sunday 5 June. We will make cheesecake while we discuss ‘Would it have been better if we had all been non-meat eaters? For location information, please contact Rebbetzin Shira.
SHABBAT / FESTIVAL EVENTS
Enjoy a sunny Shavuot at JCoB Central.
Shavuot Eve, from 8pm until midnight, join in some informal learning along with kiddush, hamotzi, dips, cheesecake and ice cream. Guest teachers TBC.
Shavuot Day, enjoy a service in the garden, surrounded by roses and other summer flowers. Service 9:30am with the children’s flower procession at 10:30am followed by the ‘Ten Commandment Experience’.
After the service, Rebbezin Shira then invites you to join in the traditional Mexican Shavuot Feast featuring nachos, refritos, guacamole, tortillas, salad, rice and of course cheese cake and ice cream. Adults £10. Free for children, students, and those on low incomes. Please book directly with Rebbetzin Shira. Lactose-free food will be available.
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
Just Kosher (justkosher.co.ouk) will be delivering food to Reading on Sundays 22 May, 5 June and 19 June. Please let Rebbetzin Shira know if you require only a small number of items.
We publish a list every week in our newsletter but to maintain privacy this is not included online.
Festivals (on Shabbat Emor 5776)
(As published in the Jewish News. http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/category/judaism/sedra/ )
This week we read the passage in Leviticus which deals with our Shabbat and festivals.
Shabbat is our day of rest, and the festivals are intended as days of joy and rejoicing. We are not supposed to be sad on Shabbat. We are commanded to be happy on our festivals.
Being currently engaged in counting the Omer, we recognize the importance of the chagim in our lives. They have to be at the right time of year, and this year are later than usual, due to the leap year which keeps the lunar cycle in line with the solar.
Shabbat differs from the festivals in an essential manner. The Shabbat happens every week and can be kept track of very simply by counting to seven. It is the simplest of all our holy days, and the surest. There can be no dispute about when it arrives. It, and its interval, were set permanently by God.
This is not so with festivals. They are proclaimed, and depend on an accurate mensuration of the calendar. In ancient times great care was taken to proclaim the New Moon at the correct time, and witnesses of the sliver of new moon-silver in the sky were cross-examined. Indeed, the date of Shavuot was the subject of dispute between us Rabbinites and the Sadducees and others. The Torah says we start counting "from the day after the Sabbath", the Rabbis understanding that this means the second day of Pesach and the Sadducees taking it as the day after Shabbat literally - making Shavuot always on a Sunday.
The essence of this (debatable) human agency in declaring the dates of our festivals is embedded in Chapter 24, v4:
אלה מועדי י-וה מקראי קדש אשר-תקראו אתם במועדם:
These are the festivals of the Lord, called holy, those which you shall call in their seasons.
For Shabbat, God took responsibility for the arrangements. For the Chagim, our festivals, we are given responsibility. Even if we make mistakes, if our calendar is inaccurate and we are a day or two out, merely by declaring the calendar, we create the date of the festivals. It's our big responsibility.
Rabbi Jeremy Rosen’s article on Love Your Neighbour can be found on http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/love-your-neighbor.html
The only Orthodox Rabbi in Berkshire