Weekly message from Rabbi A. M. Sufrin MBE
There is great excitement at Chabad as we prepare to greet you at our High Holy Day services in our three locations in Essex, Gants Hill, Buckhurst Hill and Epping.
As always, everyone is welcome and we hope you are getting ready for lively and meaningful services when joining us.
Moses told the Jewish people, “When you enter the Land of Israel, you must take the first of all the fruit of the earth... and go to the place on which G-d will choose to rest His Name (i.e. the holy Temple). Devarim 226:2
This commandment became operative only after the entire Jewish people were settled in their land. As can be seen in the Book of Joshua, this process took 14 years. Nonetheless, until the conquest and settlement of the land was complete, no one was obligated to bring their first fruits annually to the Temple.
The reason for this is because the ritual of the first fruits expresses our thankfulness for G-d’s goodness, and as long as there remained even one Jew who has not yet received his portion in the Land of Israel, the people as a whole could not experience complete joy and thanksgiving.
The same applies to us today: As long as there is even a single Jew who is materially or spiritually deprived, the rest of us cannot experience complete joy. The material or spiritual plight of our fellow Jews – and through them, the light of all humanity and creation in general – should inspire us to action designed to remedy this situation.
This week we begin early morning Selichos prayers in preparation for the High Holy Days, taking place each morning.
Wishing you a good Shabbos and great week to follow.