Learning is a vital part of our ethos and vision and we would like to respond to our members needs and requirements. Initially the Dayan has established a programme offering weekly sessions for both men and women but please do let us know if you would like any additional learning sessions and we will do our best to find you a suitable chavruta
Shiurim & Adult Education
The Dayan's Weekly D'var Torah
Dear Friends, עמו”ש
It’s hard to believe that 5778 has ended. Time really flies and, indeed, it’s said in the name of the holy Chofetz Chayim ztk”l that time will “speed up” in the lead up to the Messianic era, which we hope and pray for every day.
This is our third Rosh HaShannah together and a lot has happened at Ahavas Yisrael, and around our Kehilloh, ever since we opened our doors on Shabbos Parshas Yisro, in January 2016.
Specifically, in 5778 we had the privilege of celebrating Aufrufs and weddings for children of community members who, in turn, became members themselves together with their spouses. We toasted engagements, shared Kiddushim marking special milestones, such as special birthdays, anniversaries and the arrival of grandchildren and we even rejoiced together at Bas Mitzvahs, including our daughter Leah’s, which we were ecstatic to celebrate with our beloved Kehilloh.
On the other hand, we also gave each other support in moments of sadness such as the passing of dear family members, whom we fondly remember today and whom we ask to intercede on our behalf on Yom HaDin. May their memories be for a blessing.
Needless to say, we look forward to the many more simchos reserved for 5779, and we particularly ask the Ribono Shel Olam to bless us with good health, children, grandchildren, as well as our material and spiritual wellbeing. We also daven that our Kehilloh, collectively, and our members, individually, should be a living Kiddush Hashem and a place where the Shechinah is both present and palpable.
Building a Kehilloh is not an easy task and, as such, we would like to acknowledge the efforts and unstinting dedication of our Va’ad members, to whom we express our heartfelt gratitude. We would also like to thank those who volunteer in the weekly setting up and clearing of the Shul, your dedication does not go unnoticed for every Friday afternoon you manage to turn an ordinary hall into a Mikdash Me’at, a place we then fill with Keddushah over Shabbos, and from whence we draw energy and inspiration as we go and grow from one Shabbos to the next, from one Yom Tov to the next.
In 2017, Collins Dictionary chose the expression “Fake News” as its word of the year, a choice which probably did not surprise anyone for, indeed, “fake news” and “alternative facts” have become a part of the very fabric of society, to the point that it is now hard to distinguish what’s real and what’s not. Nevertheless, as Jews we have a wonderful compass which always points us in the right direction, in the direction of Emess, and shows us the correct path we should walk on, even if (and when) we are sometimes (mistakenly) reluctant to do so. We have the Torah and its eternal truth and, as such, we have a deep connection with the King of Kings.
On Rosh HaShannah we are tasked with proclaiming HaShem’s Kingship over us, as such, we recite specific parts of davening called Malchuyos (Kingship), Zichronos (remembrance) and Shofaros (Shofar blasts). Maimonides subdivides his 13 principles of faith, all of which start with the words “I believe with complete faith” into three categories – Yichud HaShem (the oneness of G’d), S’char ve’Onesh (rewards and punishment) and Torah Min HaShomayim (the Divine Origin of Torah).
It’s remarkable to note how each aspect of Rosh HaShannah is intrinsically linked to one category of the Rambam’s principles of faith. In Malcuyos we proclaim that we only have one King and that he’s unique, in Zichronos we proclaim that the King remembers our deeds and misdeeds and, therefore, metes out reward and punishment accordingly and, finally, in Shofaros we allude to the thunderous blasts of the Shofar when we were given Torah Min HaShamomayim at Har Sinai by the King himself, an event witnessed in person by hundreds of thousands of our own ancestors.
What a stark contradiction… what a tremendous difference between our Torah reality, our relationship with our King and the truth it’s predicated upon and the world at large, in which fake news is awarded the trophy for “word of the year”.
As the border between the land of truth and the realm of falsehood becomes ever so blurry we cannot but seek refuge in HaShem and His Kingdom of Emess for in אמת we, again, find the same three pillars of our service on Rosh HaShannah:
- א – hints at Emunah, our unshakeable faith in our King (Malchuyos);
- מ – hints at Mitzvos, our unshakeable faith in the Torah (Shofaros);
- ת – hints at our Tikvah, our hope, that HaShem will remember us for a good and sweet new year (Zichronos).
May 5779 be filled with אמת and bring us nothing but Brocho veHatzlocho in every one of your endeavours and may we all be inscribed and sealed for a Gut un Gebentsch’d Yohr.
בברכת כתיבה וחתימה טובה,
Dayan & Rebbetzen Vanzetta