Weekly message from
Rabbi A. M. Sufrin MBE
TG another busy week has passed. Chabad played a very active role in the Holocaust memorial Day service in Valentines Park as we have done since its inception some 14 years ago. The JWC event for Tu Beshvat (new year for trees) was a great success for the ladies and well attended. See pictures on our web site and face book page.
Warmest Mazal Tov wishes to our new young couple Rabbi Rafi & Chaya Brocha Goodwin as our latest Shluchim Family who have now moved into the Barkingside area and will PG take their proud places on the team together with Families Sufrin, Muller & Brandman. As we committed some time ago, we have a five year development plan, the redevelopment of our Eastern Ave site and strengthening our workforce are two of the details in the plan and TG we are delivering as promised. Chabad is constantly thinking of ways of enhancing our area reaching as far as necessary to strengthen Judaism in the wider Essex. Celebrate with us during these exciting times.
Today is a special day being Yud (10th) day of Shevat. On this day in 1950 the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Schneerson passed away and is interred in Queens, NY. One year later in 1951 our Rebbie Rabbi Menachem Schneerson zyo took on the role of leadership for the Lubavitch movement and the whole of world Jewry. By placing emissaries all over the world (like we have here) the Rebbie not only spoke about Jewish revival but ensured that it happened in any and every tangible manner. Today we recommit ourselves to this mission and therefore most befitting that we can welcome our new Shluchim this week Rabbi & Mrs Goodwin.
This week we read the portion of Beshalach (and he sent) when Pharaoh sends free the Jewish People from Egypt and have the challenge of having to cross the Reed Sea.
After having crossed the sea to safety and seeing the Egyptians, their enemy, drown behind them, the Jewish people were busy collecting all the wealth that was thrown up onto the shores from the Egyptians. There was so much wealth that the next day the 22nd Nissan, they were still busy collecting it and had to be encouraged by Moshe to move on.
But they did not tarry out of greed, they were fulfilling G-d’s command to empty the wealth of the Egyptians. The spiritual dimension to this was to salvage all the potentials of holiness hidden within this wealth.
The Rebbie points out two lessons to be learned. Firstly we have to know what our Divine mission is on this earth and devoted to it 100%. Secondly, just as the Jews of old did not want to leave any of the Egyptian wealth in its state of impurity, so too should we desire to bring every last individual closer to G-d, until we receive a clear instruction that our focus is something else.
This will be with the coming of Moshiach for which we pray daily.
Have a great Shabbos and wonderful week to follow.