You are here

שבת שלום

Rabbi Bergson together with the Honorary Officers welcome you and wish you Shabbat Shalom

Hebrew Date Sedra English Date
Shabbat 26 Tevet 5778 Va'eira Saturday 13th January 2018

We sometimes overlook the fact that a Parashah does not always begin at the beginning of a new Chapter, which is strange. Va’era begins in verse 2 of Chapter 6 of Shemot. So what is the opening verse trying to tell us?

“And God (Elo-him) spoke to Moshe and said to him ‘I am God (HaShem)”

Verse 3 goes on to say “ … and I appeared (Va’era) to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov as ‘E-l Shaddai’ but I didn’t make My name (HaShem) known to them.”

But as Rabbi Lord Sacks points out, this is not correct; to the contrary, God’s first words to Avraham, “Leave your land, your birthplace and your father’s house,” were said using the name HaShem, and just a few verses later (Gen. 12: 7), Vayera Hashem el Avram: “HaShem appeared to Avram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So God had appeared to Avram as Hashem. And in the very next verse it says that Avram built an altar and “He called on the name of Hashem” (12: 8). So Avram himself knew the name and had used it.

Yet it is clear from what God says to Moshe that something new is about to happen, something that not even the people closest to God, has yet seen. What was it?

The answer is that through Bereishit, God is the God of creation, the God of nature, the aspect of God we call, with different nuances but the same overall sense, Elokim, or E-l Shaddai, or Koneh shamayim va-aretz, Creator of heaven and earth.

The aspect of God that appears in the days of Moshe and the Israelites is radically different.

For the first time in history God was about to get involved in history, not through natural disasters like the Flood, but by direct interaction with the people who shape history.

God was about to appear as the force that shapes the destiny of nations. He was about to do something no one had ever heard of before: bring an entire nation from slavery and servitude, persuade them to follow him into the desert, and eventually to the promised land, and there build a new kind of society, based not on power but on justice, welfare, respect for the dignity of the human person and on collective responsibility for the rule of law.

Doreen Samuels

Shabbat times this week

Shabbat begins in Pinner 4:01pm
Minchah and Kabbalat Shabbat 4:15pm
Shacharit 9:30am
Shabbat Minchah 4:10pm
Shabbat ends and Ma'ariv 5:10pm

Service Times

      Morning Evening
Sunday  14th January 8.15am 4.15pm
Monday 15th January 6.50am 8.00pm
Tuesday 16th January 7.00am 8.00pm
Wednesday 17th January Rosh Chodesh 7.15am 8.00pm
Thursday 18th January 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 19th January 7.00am 4.15pm


The Hashkama Service is on Shabbat Va'eira at 8.00am in the Beith Hamidrash. All Welcome.

      Morning Evening
Sunday  21st January 8.15am 7.15pm
Monday 22nd January 6.50am 8.00pm
Tuesday 23rd January 7.00am 9.30pm
Wednesday 24th January 7.30am 8.00pm
Thursday 25th January 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 26th January 7.00am 4.30pm


Events Coming Up

Starting at
Opportunities, Threats and Challenges currently in Israel and the Middle East 17 January 2018 - 8:15pm
Maturians: Angels Theatrical Costumiers 18 January 2018 - 10:30am
Pesach Community Magazine Deadline 21 January 2018 - 9:00pm
Shabbat Family Friendly Service 27 January 2018 - 11:00am
Harrow Holocaust Memorial Day Event 29 January 2018 - 6:30pm
Maturians: Funny Guys 31 January 2018 - 7:00pm
LSJS in Pinner : February 2018 7 February 2018 - 10:00am
Maturians: Sandys Row Synagogue 11 February 2018 - 11:00am
Abba's Angels 11 February 2018 - 6:45pm
Games Afternoon - February 2018 12 February 2018 - 2:30pm


Regular Events Running This Week

J.A.C.S. Programme for January 2018

On: 17 January 2018 - 1:30pm

SEED one-to-one learning

On: 23 January 2018 - 8:30pm

J.A.C.S. Programme for January 2018

On: 24 January 2018 - 1:30pm