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Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    WeinbergRabbi-150x200Dear Congregants and Friends,

I think all will agree that last Shabbat was one which will stand out in our memories for a long time.  I refer to the morning service, accompanied by the inspirational renditions of the South African choir.  The evening program was a huge success with an extremely large congregation.  It featured the sounding of the Shofar, Torah procession, beautiful music, and a spectacular collation. 

It now becomes our responsibility, more than ever, to live up to all the declared intentions – in every detail – as our synagogue enters its second century.
Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    matzah on Pesach Sheni / SheiniThis Sunday marks an interesting day in our calendar. It is the 14th of Iyar, exactly one month after Pesach.  It became a special day when Moses was asked by people who were tamei (spiritually impure) what they could do about offering the Paschal lamb.  People who were tamei were not allowed to perform this ceremony.  Moses inquired of G-d and was told that they, as well as those who were far away from Jerusalem on Pesach, would be given a second chance on the 14th of Iyar. 


We observe this day by not saying Tachanun; and many people eat some matza on that day.


So ……  Happy Pesach Sheini !

Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    siegeThe Fast of Asarah B-Tevet (the Tenth of Tevet) will take place on Thursday, Jnaury 5th.  The Fast will start at 5:43 A.M. and be over at 4:58 P.M. 

This is one of the four fast days commemorating the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the two Holy Temples. On this day, the Babylonians, headed by Nebuchadnezzer, launched their attack upon Jerusalem.  Because this day was first in the events which culminated in our dispersion around the world for many centuries, it has been marked by the Rabbinate of Israel as the day of the yahrzeit for our brothers and sisters who were murdered during the Holocaust and whose dates of death are unknown to us. 

I light a Yahrzeit candle on this day and recite the Kaddish for my relatives and the others who perished for the sake of Kiddush Hashem.  If you have not already done so, you might want to consider undertaking this meaningful minhag.

Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday evening and with best regards.
Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    Combining Shabbat and Chanukah: lighting candlesWe are about to light the fourth candle of Chanukah, and I hope and trust that we are all enjoying the festival and gaining inspiration from its manifold meanings.

There may be some confusion as to the order of the lighting of the candles on Erev Shabbat. In review, the Chanukah lights are always lit before the Shabbat candles. That is perfectly logical because once we have lit the Shabbat candles, we consider Shabbat to have arrived and can no longer light other flames.

A drawback to this is the fact that when we light the four candles this afternoon, it is still full daylight! The fourth day of Chanukah is still quite a way off.  We are caught in a quandary.

So let me share with you a minhag (custom) that my family has practiced for as long as I can remember. You might want to adopt it.

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