Communal Information Shul services
Friday evening In term: Winter, Ma’ariv at 6pm Summer, Minchah and Ma’ariv at 7:30pm In vacations: Winter, Minchah and Ma’ariv just before Shabbat June-August, Minchah and Ma’ariv at 7:30pm September, Minchah and Ma’ariv just before Shabbat Shabbat morning 9:30am. Sunday morning 8:00am (most weeks). Learning For more information about the Lehrhaus, visit www.thelehrhaus.org or call 07830160994. Mikvah To book an appointment at the Cambridge Mikvah, please call Mrs. Rochel Leigh on 07825 126724 at least 48 hours in advance. For more information about the Mikvah please call Rochel or email at email@example.com. Hospital Visiting Contact Sarah Schechter, Tirzah Bleehen or Barry Landy if you need to organise visits, or would like to volunteer to help. Rabbi Reuven Leigh (354603) and Barry Landy can attend hospitals to read prayers. Due to concerns for personal privacy the hospital no longer informs us when Jewish patients are admitted, so if you or someone you know would like to be visited, please contact us. Chevra Kadisha Contact Barry Landy, Brendel Lang or Trevor Marcuson in the first instance. Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings, Brit Milah and other religious services Contact Rabbi Reuven Leigh or Barry Landy to organise. Children’s activities For information about the Lehrhaus for Kids, the After School Club, or Ganeinu Child Care Service, contact Rochel Leigh at firstname.lastname@example.org CTJC email list CTJC has an email list. To join and receive regular updates about services, events, Shabbat times etc, please email Barry Landy at email@example.com or Jonathan Allin at firstname.lastname@example.org CTJC Officers Committee 2015/2016 Chairman Helen Goldrein Treasurer Jonathan Allin Secretary Barry Landy Synagogue officer Barry Landy Education officer Welfare officer Bulletin/website officer Helen Goldrein Board of Deputies Robert Marks Anyone wishing to volunteer for the vacant posts of Education and Welfare officers, or just wanting to find out more about the roles, should contact Helen Goldrein by emailing email@example.com
Welcome to the CTJC Chanukah Bulletin Bulletin Number 115.
The nights are drawing in again and it’s time to sit by a roaring fire with a hot drink (or a whisky!) and relax. If you’re looking for something interesting to read while you warm your feet on the hearth, then look no further. As always, the bulletin is stuffed with interesting articles, reviews, opinion pieces, memoirs and more. Terrific! We are always looking for new bulletin contributors, and would be delighted to hear from you with your articles or ideas. For instance, if you’ve visited somewhere interesting, read a book on a relevant subject, or even eaten something memorable, why not write about it for the Pesach issue? To submit material, please email firstname.lastname@example.org The bulletin, like all aspects of CTJC, is produced entirely by volunteers. If you would like to get involved, please contact our Chairman Helen by emailing email@example.com You can read the bulletin online in full colour at http://issuu.com/ctjc/docs/chanukah2015 Wishing you and yours a Chanukah sameach, from all at the Bulletin. Small print… Views expressed in the bulletin are the views of the individual authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or of the committee of the CTJC.
In this Issue… 1 – Communal information 2 – Welcome to the CTJC Chanukah bulletin 4 – From the Chairman… 5 – A note from Rabbi Reuven Leigh 5 – Chanukah at the Lehrhaus: A Detective Adventure 6 – There’s a new Chabad couple in town! Mark Harris meets Rabbi Shloime and Rivkah Shagalow 10 – Tending the victims of knifings in Jerusalem, by Ros Landy 12 – Not in Gods Name, by Jonathan Sacks a book review by Jonathan Allin 18 – Three is a crowd? By Julian Landy 21 – Churros, by Lauren Allin 22 – Make a Chanukah Snow Globe 24 – Calendar
From the Chairman… Chanukah 2014, Kislev 5775 Chanukah, like the midwinter festivals of many faiths, is a celebration of light. The candles offer a spiritual glow as well as a physical one, bringing hope and happiness to the long nights of winter. We celebrate the triumph of the Maccabees over their adversaries, bringing the lights back to the Holy Temple. Last month the Hindu community celebrated Diwali, their winter festival, which, like Chanukah, focuses on light. The festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. These midwinter festivals, bringing light and celebrating hope over adversity, have a poignant message at the current time. The recent horrific events in Sinai, Paris, Beirut, Kenya, Mali and Israel, among others, have plunged many people into a dark state of mind. Fear, mistrust, and frustration at the state of the world is expressed as hatred and racism. It can even be said that this is what the terrorists want – to seed fear and hatred and set us against one another; to destroy our tolerant, caring society, and precipitate their full-scale ‘holy war’. It is my hope that we will instead be transformed by our Chanukah lights, and their brightness will sow hope, love, tolerance and trust. Now, more than ever, the world needs people to care for one another regardless of their background or faith. There are initiatives in Cambridge to help refugees from Syria and other countries, to help the homeless, and to help families living in poverty through the cold, hungry days of winter. I hope that we will all be able to spread light in the world by supporting these efforts. As Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” May your Chanukah be filled with light, and your heart with love. Helen.
A note from Rabbi Reuven Leigh The past year in the Hebrew calendar has allowed for plenty of reflection on the intricacies of the Sabbatical year, from the permissibility of peppers and avocados in the supermarket to more mystical reflections on the concept of returning to an original state of being. In addition, it has reminded me that I am now entering into my seventh year of volunteering as the Rabbi of CTJC and it might be worth experimenting with the Sabbatical idea in my own life. The activities and responsibilities at the Chabad House and the Lehrhaus are expanding at a frightening speed, and are opening up new and exciting opportunities which need increased attention. I will of course remain ever present in Cambridge and in shul, and will hopefully return to my role at the end of the summer invigorated and refreshed.
Chanukah at the Lehrhaus: A Detective Adventure Dress up as your favorite detective character and come along to Lehrhaus for Kids and discover some of Chanukah's most interesting tidbits. Challenge yourself with Chanukah memory games, experiment with science using Menorah oil, and beat the World Driedel Champion at his own game, and much much more! Date: December 6th Time: 10am-1pm Location: The Cambridge Lehrhaus, 3 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1SY Entrance Fee: £5 per child. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Enrolled Lehrhaus kids go free. Refreshments will be served!
This is a joint project of CTJC and The Cambridge Lehrhaus.
There’s a new Chabad couple in town! Mark Harris meets Rabbi Shloime & Rivkah Shagalow
Not long before the start of the new academic year, a young and engaging couple arrived in Cambridge from the USA to assist Rabbi Reuven and Rochel Leigh, directors of Chabad House here, in their work for the student and resident community. Having met Rabbi Shloime and Rivkah Shagalow, who were married in September 2014, at Shabbat services in the Cambridge Synagogue, I arranged to interview the amiable and enthusiastic pair at the “Cambridge Lehrhaus: Centre for Jewish Thought” (of which Rabbi Leigh is the founder-director). On a bright October morning, Shloime, Rivkah and I sit in the main lecture/seminar room overlooking Trinity Street in the city’s academic heartland. And I gather straightaway how “happy and excited” the new Chabad twosome are to be in Cambridge, and how much they’re “looking forward to meeting as many people as possible”. Shloime hails from the States, but his wife was born and brought up in Wimbledon where her parents, Rabbi Nissan and Sarah Dubov, are
co-directors of Chabad South London. “I don’t play tennis,” Rivkah volunteers, “but I’m a fan.” I learn that Rabbi Leigh had been putting out feelers for a team addition to meet the needed expansion of Chabad House’s work. “My father-in-law was aware of this,” Shloime recalls. “So he casually mentioned us to Reuven as possibly being suitable for the job.” I hear that the two rabbis met up at the Chabad Lubavitch Shluchim Convention in New York in November last year, and again, this time in Cambridge, last Pesach when discussions continued. “In June,” the American rabbi informs me, eyes glinting, “Rivkah and I decided the work here felt really appropriate for us.” Shloime goes on to tell me he “grew up in a small Chabad family, that’s small by Chabad standards” with four siblings in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, the epicentre of the Lubavitch movement. “When I was about 14,” he continues, “I left elementary school for four years of very intense learning at a Chabad yeshiva, founded after the war, in an old chateau in the Paris suburb of Brunoy.” After that, he learned for another year at Oholei Torah Yeshiva in New York. Then he explains, “The way the Chabad system works usually is that, once male students reach 19 or 20 and have finished kind of ‘undergraduate yeshiva’, they’re sent for a year or two as shlichus or emissaries to educational institutions having younger students.” He was sent to Minnesota, to “a small Jewish High School where the students would’ve had difficulty fitting into a typical yeshiva.” And he helped in a pastoral role with the boys, as well as being “an example to them of what a Chabad student should be.” Shloime says, “It was more like a vocational school teaching practical skills. I wasn’t only a shliach but an older mentor student, too. I was also running the dormitory. The work really opened up for me the way to connect meaningfully with young people. After leaving the school, I went on to a yeshiva in Coral Springs, Florida, for a year.” Finally, Shloime took semicha (rabbinical ordination) after a year and a half in the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva at 770 Crown Heights, the base of the famed Lubavitcher Rebbe. “Following that and my independent learning,” he adds, “I met Rivkah through a mutual friend and we married a couple of months later.” Shloime then joined “The Midtown Kollel” in Manhattan, a yeshiva for married men in the centrally located Chabad House at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. “So many different kinds of Jews walk in there every day,” he remarks. “Usually, over a hundred men would come to daven Minchah. I also gave classes there, and oneto-one learning sessions. In general, it was open to a very diverse range of Jewish people from many different places, backgrounds and cultures.” Rivkah has three brothers and seven younger sisters. “I went to the Lubavitch School in Stamford Hill,” she tells me. “It took one and a half hours to get there from Wimbledon. Early on, we travelled by car. When we were old enough we went by train, and I took my little siblings on London Underground. So the Tube
was almost my second home! After taking my GCSEs then A-levels, I went to a college in Israel for Lubavitch girls … there were over one hundred of us from all over the world. For two years I studied Chassidus and education. Parts of the classes were in Hebrew, so we could integrate into Israeli culture as well. Subsequently, I went for a year to a town in northern California where I worked for Rabbi Yossi and Esti Marcus. I was also an intern in a top pre-school there, and where the education was based on a specific method devised by Stanford University. Amongst other things, I was involved with community programmes and Hebrew school teaching.” Following that “interesting experience” Rivkah moved to New York to work for four years with the Jewish Learning Institute, an international organisation that produces courses and textbooks on various Jewish subjects for teachers around the globe. “About three hundred rabbis use them,” she tells me, adding, “I was head of the interactive media department, where we created a package of power points, videos and so on.” When I ask about the homelands of their ancestors, Rivkah mentions that her family originated in Russia, and that her surname means “oak tree”, and Shloime notes that his family name “is essentially Segal, a famous Leviite name, which turned into Shagal then Shagalow.” He relates that his great-grandfather lived in the city of Gomel in Russia [now in Belarus] and adds that, sadly, he was arrested by the then Soviet Union’s secret security service, the NKVD, for being a mohel and a shochet and was executed in 1937. But Shloime’s father Menachem, a businessman resident in Brooklyn, was brought up in Stamford Hill as was his father (a big supporter of Lubavitch House). In answer to a question, Shloime states that the couple have been given “a lot of autonomy” in their new job, and will be able to do things according to their “own ways, styles, personalities and sensibilities”, and that they’ll be meeting a need to expand efforts regarding the undergraduate Jewish community, especially in relation to those “who don’t identify as Jews so much or where being Jewish isn’t central to their identity.” He tells me that he and Rivkah “would like to bring to these students a soulful and spiritual experience, but without limiting it to a structure in which these young men and women may have encountered Yiddishkeit previously.” And he adds that, “Whilst Cambridge JSoc does great work with both affiliated and unaffiliated Jewish students, we feel there’s room to expand our work to cover those Jewish students who are harder to reach, and who may’ve been such because of limited time and resources.” The couple tell me they had set up a stand at Freshers’ Fair, where they connected with Jewish students, and created a small network. “We’re emailing around, and will be internet networking as much as possible. Various channels will be used, such as Facebook and other social media as well as, of course, the personal approach. We want also to create interesting and attractive programmes.” Rivkah says, “We’re at the beginning, but we’ve got lots of ideas
and are very much focused on what the students themselves would like to do. We want to provide a meaningful experience, but we don’t want to just rush in.” Shloime adds, “It’s a primary part of our ambition here to build strong personal relationships with students, both in the pastoral and the spiritual sense, getting to know them well and seeking to enhance their lives. It’s great when we do things collectively, but the opportunity to broaden horizons on an individual scale, through learning or having a coffee or walk together, is a big part of our plans.” I ask the couple how they’re finding the students and more permanent residents, and discovering the Cambridge context. “We’ve found that both communities are open-minded in a healthy and critical manner,” Shloime responds. “At the same time, they’re unpretentious, approachable and very friendly. The local Jewish student chaplains, Rabbi Yisroel and Elisheva Malkiel, have been so kind and welcoming to us, too. We really do appreciate this. And Cambridge itself is so charming and beautiful, with the wonderful medieval architecture of its colleges. We can almost feel the weight of the city’s history on us when we walk the same streets as did Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and John Maynard Keynes, and the many other great scholars who were here. It’s an awesome, and not in the colloquial sense, experience for us.” Maybe unfairly, I ask what the new Chabad couple hope to have accomplished by the end of the academic year. “It’s a big question,” Rivkah reacts at once. “We’ve got a lot of expectations of ourselves but, at the same time, we understand the need to have patience. Personally, I would wish to have interacted meaningfully with at least one or two people.” Shloime adds, “Of course, we’re very much influenced by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. As former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks once said, Hitler intended to hunt down every single Jew with hate but the Rebbe intended to seek out every single Jew with love. What we wish to do, out of our love for every Jew, is to bring the beauty of Judaism and the love of the Jewish people to every other Jew. We want to affect as many as possible, but to truly affect just one life is a monumental achievement in itself.” The final and glowing words are spoken by Rivkah for herself and Shloime. “Our employers at Cambridge Chabad, Rabbi Reuven and Rochel Leigh, have been wonderful in getting us onto our feet. We really look up to them, and admire so much what they do here. We’re very glad to be working with them as a team. And their children are really great, too! We’re so fortunate to have been given this amazing opportunity. We thank God and the Lubavitcher Rebbe for it.” This article first appeared in the “Cambridge Diet” column of the Essex Jewish News, Chanucah 2015 issue, and is reproduced here by kind permission of the EJN.
Tending the 11 victims of
knifings in Jerusalem. By Ros Landy I have just come back yesterday from a two-week stay in Israel, where a friend told me about hospital care after multiple stabbings in the capital. My friend’s daughter is a nurse in Miyun= the emergency room in Shaarei Tsedek hospital. If ever you have been there you will know how multicultural the place is. There are Arab doctors, nurses, patients and visitors. It gives the lie to all the accusations of Israel’s being an apartheid country. The emergency room, as elsewhere in the hospital, has a team of Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses. When the stabbings started, there were many emergencies. The emergency team, made up of Arabs and Jews is normally a well-integrated group. People are professional and get on well together. For this emergency situation, Arab nurses and doctors were not used because it was uncertain where their allegiances might lie. This meant that my friend’s daughter and other Jewish nurses, had to do the work of two people. She and others were rushed off their feet. They had to triage which emergency to treat first and had to separate victims from attackers, all of whom needed help. All knives in the department were taken away and when one Arab nurse went to cut up her salad for lunch, she asked: ‘Where is a knife?’ In normal circumstances this would be a straightforward question. At this moment it caused a few minutes’ silence. The nurse then said, ‘I am not going to do anything, you know’. This is daily life in Israel; a country much maligned by the press which is either ignorant or malevolent. It shows you what Israel is putting up with on a daily basis and tells you how the country faces up to regular difficulties which the press ignores. I think, when you ponder this, you will find much to think about.
Not in God's name, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks A book review by Jonathan Allin A preface I read Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' latest book and wrote this review before the terrible events in Paris on 13 November. Rabbi Sacks could help us understand how people can perpetrate such awful acts, however what is our individual responsibility? I have no doubt that a person who commits a crime must be punished, but we also must bear part of the guilt. We carry a responsibility to create a more balanced, better educated, and more respectful society which works against disenfranchisement and prejudice, and which encourages dialogue. Should we have protested more when Tony Blair took us into Iraq, or as David Cameron has encouraged the destabilisation of Assad's regime? Should we have done more to encourage intervention in Zimbabwe? What can we do, what should we do, to win the trust of the British Moslem population? An introduction Let's get the bad bits out of the way first. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' latest book feels like it has been written in a hurry and contains a fair bit of hyperbole. There are lots of notes and a good bibliography, but amazingly no index so I couldn't for instance look up Gnosticism. But then I complained that "The Dignity of Difference" was too highbrow. Rabbi Sacks consistently gets the science wrong. He compares Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations to starfish and hierarchical organisations to spiders.
He suggests that though both are similar in appearance (despite spiders having eight legs and starfish typically having five), if you cut the head off a spider the spider will die whilst a starfish can regenerate from a severed limb. The former is true, the latter is of course wrong. In referring to Richard Dawkins’ "The Selfish Gene", he suggests that a gene's innate selfishness must lead to selfish societies, and that it is God and religion that has allowed us to create altruistic societies. However Dawkins’ argument is that a gene that aids altruistic behaviour in the host organism will often favour its own chances of propagating. Selfish genes can indeed lead to altruistic societies. Later in the book Rabbi Sacks suggests that, "penitence defies entropy, the law that all systems lose energy with time". Which shows an unfortunate ignorance of the four laws of thermodynamics (the second in particular). Unfortunate because Rabbi Sacks would, I'm sure, find the philosophical implications of thermodynamics fascinating. But the good bits far outweigh these concerns. On the one hand Rabbi Sacks has introduced me to a very different way of looking at the bible, and on the other he has created a plausible and useful model for how morality is defeated and genocidal hatred enabled. The emancipated Western mind has, over the last few centuries and decades, come to regard religion as irrelevant. Yet while organisations and businesses come and go, and while nations come and go, religions have stood the test of time. Religion created cohesive and long-lived societies which were able to support higher birth-rates over a sustained period. Non-religious groups cannot provide more than two births per woman for more than a century. Without religion, we would only trust people we knew well, immediate family members or members of the same village or tribe, necessarily limiting commerce and cooperation. But with religion we began to trust strangers because they shared the same beliefs, enabling us to operate beyond the village and the tribe. From religious hatred to race hatred Buddhists and others have had their share of persecution and done their share of persecuting, for instance the persecution in Myanmar (Burma) of Moslems by the Burmese majority. However the scope of this book is limited to the Abrahamic faiths. We can expect the 21st century to be more religious than the 20th, partly because the highest birth-rates are amongst religious groups. However a geographically distributed religion responds better to the global information age than the nation state, which will also cause a rise in religiosity. Traditional broadcasting of genericised information to a mixed population has been replaced by narrowcasting to specific audiences, meaning that people hear only what they want to hear, and only what reinforces their prejudices.
Sacks argues that people become jihadists and suicide bombers to alleviate isolation and to achieve an identity. Though we should perhaps note that nonreligious terror groups, such as Baader-Meinhoff, were often lead by the bored rich who recruited the disenfranchised poor. Historically Islam had contempt for Jews and Christians, but not hate. Hate entered Islam from Europe. In the Middle Ages Jews were hated for their religion, in the 20th century they were hated for their race. This is new: Rabbi Sacks provides a frightening collection of current anti-Semitic rhetoric by mainstream Arab, Moslem and other leaders (but how hard would it be to unearth anti Moslem or Arab rhetoric by Jewish or Israeli leaders?). Dualism and the defeat of morality I found the discussion around dualism especially insightful, perhaps because it reinforced my own "prejudice" against the existence of multiple spirits. Dualism is the belief that evil is separate to God. Marcion of Sinope and the Gnostics were dualists who believed the God of the old testament who created the physical universe was a different and inferior God to the spiritual God of the new Testament, who practiced love and forgiveness rather than justice and retribution. Isaiah forcibly rejected dualism and Marcion's views were rejected by the Christian church as heresy. Many people, even if they belong to a monotheist faith, lapse into dualism. A belief in Satan as an evil force may help a Christian feel more positively about God and less likely to blame him for the pain and suffering in the world, which may resolve their own ambivalence. However Sacks argues that monotheism requires us to handle ambivalence. Monotheism internalises struggle, and in doing so removes "it was someone else's fault" and victimhood. A core concept in Sacks' book is the three stage process by which morality is defeated and genocide enabled: 1.
Dehumanisation: "They" are subhuman
Victimhood: Define "us" as a victim of "them". They are responsible for every evil
Commission evil in an altruistic cause. Evil becomes altruistic and it becomes morally right to perpetrate evil against "them"
Dualism provides the framework for this process. It is a step towards creating "us" and "them", victim and perpetrator. It takes freewill and responsibility away from the "victim". "They" must be a scapegoat, but the qualities of a scapegoat are contradictory: on the one hand the scapegoat must be weak enough for us to destroy, but on the other hand it must be powerful enough to make us victims. For thousands of
years in Europe, the Jews have been the scapegoat. However destroying the scapegoat does nothing. The victim's problems remain. Genesis rejects victimhood. Freewill, and the responsibility that comes with it, rises us above the Greek "ananke" or fate, or divine will (Calvin), or physical determinism (Spinoza), or economic force (Marx), or early childhood (Freud), or genetic endowment (Darwin). Sibling rivalry I said earlier that Rabbi Sacks has given me a very different way of looking at the bible. The three Abrahamic faiths define themselves through stories of sibling rivalry: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Leah and Rachel, Joseph and his brothers. However Sacks' thesis is that these stories in Genesis are not about sibling rivalry, but about overcoming sibling rivalry. At the beginning of parsha Toldot (Genesis 25:23) God tells Rebecca, before the birth of Esau and Jacob, "the elder shall server the younger". However the Hebrew is ambiguous. There are three words in the Hebrew "many ", "will serve", and "young", but with no "et" to indicate the object, it's not clear which of "many" and "young" is the subject and object. I'd never understand why Isaac didn't appear to have a blessing for his second son. Even though his love was for Esau, could he really have had so little respect for Jacob? Rabbi Sacks provides a most plausible and insightful explanation. Isaac's blessing intended for Esau, but given to Jacob, is of power and domination. Jacob (with Rebecca's support) stole Esau's blessing because he wanted to be Esau: indeed Laban's deception of Jacob was measure for measure payback for Jacob's deception of Isaac. However Isaac never intended to disinherit Jacob. The second blessing, that Isaac later and knowingly gives to Jacob, talks of the children he would teach to be heirs to the covenant and to the land. It is this spiritual blessing, not a blessing of power, that Isaac always intended for Jacob but which would not have been right for Esau. When Jacob dreams he is battling an angel, he is battling with existential truth. Afterwards he no longer had to struggle with his desire to be Esau, but rather he had to struggle to be true to himself. Rabbi Sacks argues persuasively that when Jacob and Esau meet after the dream, it is a meeting of reconciliation, at
which Jacob returns to Esau the blessing he stole from him (albeit part of his argument relies on the repeated use of "panim", but "panim" is used throughout the bible, and is the root of many words and concepts, that is liphnai). Jacob becomes Israel when he accepts the pursuit of spiritual wealth rather than earthly wealth. There is no implication in the bible that Abraham's is the only story. Esau has his own destiny and is no less loved by God. As Moses states: "Do not hate an Edomite (a descendent of Esau) for he is your brother" (Deuteronomy 23:7). Pharaoh's daughter saved Moses, Rahab saved the spies, Job wasn't an Israelite. Amos, Isaiah, and other prophets make it plain that others will have their stories. Jonah was sent to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. Jael, who saves Israel from Sisera, was a Kenite. As Moses tells us, the Israelites weren't chosen because they were virtuous. They were chosen to worship God; they were not chosen to be a master race that worships itself. Because Jacob and Isaac were weak, rather than Esau and Ishmael who were resourceful, they were chosen to be witness to something beyond their own abilities. The Israelites were always dependent on a higher power. The story of Joseph takes us further along the covenant's spiritual road. Joseph appears to being playing games with his brothers when they come down to Egypt to buy food. However the trials Joseph imposes on his brothers in Egypt are to give his brothers the opportunity to achieve full teshuva (repentance). Judah wanted to sell Joseph as a slave and Jacob thought he'd lost his beloved son. The brothers are made to understand what it means to be a slave and, by being forced to leave Benjamin behind, what it means to lose a son. Only by going through this role reversal and taking responsibility can they achieve true repentance. The chapter ends with Joseph forgiving his brothers, ending their sibling rivalry. Nor should we be chained by sibling rivalry. Pauline Christianity There is an interesting discussion of Paul's complex character. Paul took Christianity to the non-Jews who were already interested in Judaism, which included many Romans. He rescinded the requirements of the 613 laws of the Torah and instead said that Christians are bound to God through faith. For Paul, the Jews were Hagar and Ishmael, to be driven out or to be slaves. Christians were Sarah and Isaac; they were free and they belonged to God (Galatians). God hated Ishmael, Esau, and the weak eyed Leah. Leah represented the Synagogue whilst the younger and more beautiful Rachel represented the Church. Those who have faith in Jesus are the true descendants of Jacob. The Jews, like Cain, are condemned to wander in permanent exile. Scattered and enslaved, in captivity under the younger faith.
Conflict resolution requires interpretation The fundamental conflict of the three Abrahamic faiths is that they are competing for the same privileged position: favoured son, chosen people, guardian of the Truth. In this situation there can only be one winner. To break this conflict we need to understand the messages provided by Genesis: defeating victimhood and defeating sibling rivalry. Each faith's text needs to be properly interpreted. Texts cannot be taken only literally, rather they must be thought about thoroughly. Living traditions constantly reinterpret their canonical texts. Each text has its difficult verses, which require interpretation and tradition to resolve. This is what makes fundamentalism, that is text without interpretation (no matter which religion), an act of violence against religion. Rabbinic Judaism rejected biblicism, the position of the Karaites and Saducees. People are not simple and straightforward, therefore nor can the bible be. The texts, which appear to be a cause of strife, can show us a solution to strife. Genesis was about the covenantal family, Exodus about the covenantal nation: "Do not hate the Egyptian, because you were once a stranger in his land". We know what it's like to be slaves, so don't enslave others. We'd taken Israel out of Egypt, but we needed to take Egypt out of Israel. Even Moses failed to understand this. He wasn't allowed to enter the Land of Israel because he struck the rock for water as a taskmaster might strike a slave, when God had told him to talk to it. To be free we have to let go of hate. We remember the past not for the sake of revenge, or to live in it, but so that we can use it to shape our future. Jewish life and thinking after the disastrous rebellion against the Romans underwent a transformation. Our military prowess (the Maccabeans, the Hasmoneans, the high priests) was over. Our words were now our swords. The rabbis, learning, scholarship, and intellectualism replaced militarism. Since then Judaism has survived through its scholars, not its soldiers. Judaism after Rome, Christianity leading up to Martin Luther and the Reformation in the 16th century, is the story of religions relinquishing their power but at the same time increasing their influence. Politics, particularly Western politics, is at its best when it provides an environment that allows a pluralist society. Religion must encourage debate and allow those with a contrary view to express their view: the political Holy of Holies is empty so that we can each fill it with our own religion. Towards the end of the book is a nice discourse on Cain and Abel, based on their names. Cain's sacrifice was provided out of what he owned in order to get something back, that is, it was a pagan sacrifice and was rejected. Abel's sacrifice came from what he believed and was therefore accepted. Life is fleeting, all belongs to God.
Three is a Crowd? By Julian Landy
When newly settled in London, a lifetime ago, one of the reasons for the rather odd choice of location – Cockfosters – was the minyan arrangement. The "big shul" was called Cockfosters and North Southgate and in Southgate, a good half-hour walk from the house. But within a five minute walk there was long established minyan in a scout hall. This averaged an attendance of about 30 people, much like Cambridge outside term time. It ran every Shabbat and was very popular. It grew while we lived there and attracted people away from the big shul. The only time we had to schlep down to Southgate was for Yomim Tovim. And then, of course, in addition to the chilly and unwelcoming atmosphere, one had to endure sermons. The Rabbi and Chazan from the big shul never visited the minyan while we lived there. Instead a variety of ordinary shul members led the davening and the leyning. It was almost a shtiebl, except none of us was exceptionally frum. And no sermons. Ever. After a previous life of shul attendance with a sermon delivered at every opportunity, this was blissful. When we came to decide to leave London and move up to Cambridge one of the main factors in my own reasoning was the similarity of the nature of the minyan at Thompson's Lane to what we had enjoyed in Cockfosters. No rabbi, no sermons and a minyan led by willing volunteers. It was great. Just one sermon a year, on Kol Nidre, and that usually given by the delightful and much missed David Tabor. Then, about twenty years ago, the first student chaplain was appointed. Rabbi Shaul Robinson and his family were a great addition to the community and it was a sad day when he had the "call" to the fleshpots of Barnet. There has been a succession of chaplains since, some good, some otherwise. And just sometimes it was nice to have a rabbi to answer that pressing highly obtuse question. About a dozen years ago Rochel and Reuven arrived. During their time here they have made some changes to the way the service is run, but as of now, nothing too radical. That made two rabbonim.
This year Reuven decided he needed an assistant. He will explain why if you ask him. When I worked I always wanted assistants myself. Delegation is great. However I only achieved the status of having this luxury in my fifties. So Reuven, still in his thirties, must be a very successful man. So now there are three. Even the very biggest religious institutions rarely are so well endowed. The equivalent churches, with similar attendances to our minyan, tend to share a minister with several other churches. As a lad in Hampstead Garden Suburb there were three rabbonim â€“ the Rabbi, the assistant and what was called the junior. But that shul had a congregation of many hundreds. And now we have three. I am bemused. I have nothing against rabbonim in general or in particular, but things have rather changed. And it has altered the ethos of our minyan. I do not offer a view as to whether it is better or worse. But it is different. As yet I do not object. What next though? A yeshiva or kollel? To make even more rabbonim? I know we do not pay any of the ministers directly, but indirectly, contributions are sought. Now I really like our present chaplains and the Leigh family are lovely. But where does it stop? Answers on a postcard please.
Churros By Lauren Allin This recipe for Churros can be used as an alternative to Soufganyiot at Chanukah. Dip in cinnamon sugar or melted chocolate as they are in Latin American countries. Dough ingredients 240ml water 60ml vegetable oil 1tbs sugar 1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt 125g self-raising flour 3 eggs
Method Place the oil, sugar, vanilla, salt and water into a small pan. Slowly heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring regularly. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat whilst slowly adding the flour. Photo: ‘Churros en vasos en Londres’ by Garry Knight. Photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Using a wooden Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. spoon mix the https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Churros_en_vasos_en_Londres_-_A_Taste_of_Spain.jpg dough over a low heat until the mixture is smooth and the dough comes together to form a ball. Remove from the heat and place the dough in a large bowl. Press the dough around the sides of the bowl to help it cool and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Ensure the dough is well mixed after each egg. It may form clumps but these will disappear after a short time of mixing. Heat a deep pan half filled with vegetable oil. Using a piping bag over the oil cut " sausages" of dough 3 inches long into the pan. Fry the Churros until they are golden brown, separating them if they stick together. Using a slatted spoon lift the Churros out of the oil and drain on a cooling rack. Whilst still warm dip into the cinnamon sugar. Serve with melted chocolate, fruit coulis and ice cream.
Make a Chanukah snow globe Instructions and photo courtesy of Chana Scop of Chana’s Art Room. This tutorial originally appeared at http://chanasartroom.com/2012/12/09/chanukahsnow-globe/ and is reproduced here with permission.
You will need: An empty screw-top jar 2 small dreidels Hot glue gun Batting (optional) Glitter Glycerin Bottled water Washi tape, ribbon, stickers etc to decorate (optional) Glue gun your first Dreidel to the inside of the lid of the jar, lying down flat. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DREIDEL IS NOT TOO CLOSE TO EDGE OF JAR OTHERWISE YOUR LID WILL NOT FIT ON JAR. Then glue gun your 2nd dreidel to the first dreidel, on a tilt if you wish to give it a ‘motion’ look. (If you use only one dreidel it will still work however you have lost some height). If you want snow around your Dreidel, just buy “batting”, kind of like stuffing from a craft store and glue gun some to the lid around the dreidel. Let it dry. While you prepare the next steps it should be completely dry. Fill the jar. Get bottled water, and pour into the jar to the very top. Add the glycerin. Pour in about a dash of glycerin. A “dash”, means you should just poor the bottle of glycerin for 1 second. The glycerin will let your glitter fall down more slowly. Pour in some glitter. Using glitter, sprinkle a small mountain of the flakes into the water. After you have a good amount of glitter, stir the contents with a small spoon to mix together all of the glycerin, water, and glitter. Fill the jar to the very rim. Make sure that the jar is filled to the top. (add water if you need to) That is if you don’t want any air bubbles in your snow globe. Seal the lid. Keeping the glass jar right side up, just place your lid onto the top of the jar, and seal it. The jar might leak some at first, but that is just because it is overflowing from being filled. Once you have dried the excess water up, turn your jar over, and you have made a snow globe! TO SEAL: you can add glue from glue gun, working quickly to then place lid on top and turn to seal. OR: Use the glue gun once the lid is twisted on, to seal it to the glass, glueing a thin line of glue around the lid where it joins to the glass jar. Decorate rim with Washi Tape, ribbon if you’d like. Add stickers to jar as well, maybe Alphabet letters to spell out “Chanukah”. Experiment with colored glitter too! Shake and enjoy!!
Calendar Chanukah 2015 The first night of Chanukah is Sunday 6 December. Purim 2016 Wednesday 23 March 2016 Maariv will be at 7.00 pm immediately followed by Megillah Reading, Thursday 24 March 2016 Shacharit at 7.30 am, immediately followed by Megillah Reading. Pesach 2016 Anyone who would like to attend a Seder, or who knows someone who would like to attend a Seder is invited to consult Mr Barry Landy (C. 570417) who will try to arrange a suitable host. Derby Stores (Cambridge 354931) will take Pesach orders. (Pesach is in University Term so times of services are approximate.) Friday April 22, Fast of the Firstborn Shacharit 7:00am Finish all Chametz by 10:10 am Burning of Chametz by 11:36 am Shabbat and Festival starts 7:55 pm Minchah/Maariv 7:00 pm
Thursday April 28 Festival Starts 8:05 pm Minchah/Maariv 7:00 pm
Saturday April 23 Shacharit 9:30 am
Friday April 29 Shacharit 9:30am Shabbat starts 8:07pm Minchah/Maariv 7:00 pm
Sunday April 24 Shacharit 9:30 am Festival ends 9:05 pm
Saturday April 30 Shacharit 9:30 am Shabbat and Festival Ends 9:15pm
Shavuot 2016 Shavuot is in University Term, so the services are organised by the students. Friday June 10 Shabbat starts 9:05pm Saturday June 11 Festival Starts as Shabbat ends 10:26pm Minchah/Maariv to be announced
Sunday June 12 Shacharit 9:30 am Minchah/Maariv to be announced Monday June 13 Shacharit 9:30 am Festival Ends 10:29 pm
Tisha B'Av Saturday Aug 13 Fast Commences 8:29pm Shabbat ends 9:19pm Maariv and Eichah 9:40pm
Sunday Aug 14 Shacharit at 8:00am (expected to finish about 10:00am) Minchah 1:45pm or 6:00pm (TBC on the day) Fast ends at 9:10pm
CTJC Bulletin Chanukah 2015