Monday, March 20

ShabbatUK in Glasgow

My Friends!
Thank you for having us.  We are the Traveling Chasidim or Travelling Chassidim - the modern type of Wandering Jew or Wondering Jew...
This week's Sedrah / Parsha is Lech Lecha talks about Abraham, the first Wandering Jew.  As the commentators say: We have to learn from our forefather - מעשה אבות סימן לבנים, they should act as our role models (רמב"ן, אלשיך, אור החיים הקדושים).
Abraham gave up so much to spread the knowledge of HaShem, as it says that travelling diminishes the chance to have children, lessens respect and costs money.
Rabbi Rubin has given up the luxuries of living in Salford or Stamford Hill to spread knowledge of HaShem and His Torah.
However after returning from Egypt he repaid his dues: פרע הקפותיו - reminds us of פרעה whose name contains the word פרע: Abraham confronted the immoral king and came away with all the answers to the remonstrations that people confronted him.
Sarah came from a non-Jewish home and still grew into our Matriarch!  She was the first to run a Challah Bake and a Challah Make, as we see in this Parsha: It says ויט אהלה because Abraham wanted to ensure there is the Cloud, the Challos and the Candles.  We learn from here that the wife is the mainstay of a Jewish home, providing food - Challah, Light - Candles and an atmosphere of peace and holiness - the Shechinah that hovered like a cloud atop her tent.
Let us all applaud our own Sarah's the ladies who toiled over the Challah Bake especially the staff at the Jewish school who won the prize for the best Challah and let us also send a salute to our dear wives who travelled with us and to those who let us come on our own.
This week is also the Yahrzeit - Remembrance Day of our matriarch Rachel who was Niftar on the 11th day of the month - Mar Cheshvan, which falls today.
Rav Elyashiv OB"M points out how we could learn from this week's Sedrah that one should sacrifice his/her own growth to benefit others.  Abraham suddenly has a companion: Sarah's brother was just a lout (as they pronounce it in the United Synagogue accent ...) - that's why his name was... you guessed: Lot!  Only after Lot went south, did Abraham merit to hear the voice of HaShem again.
We have in our midst the Rov of the Shul, Rabbi Rubin who it seems learnt a lesson or two from our forefathers and mothers.  With a Rov like Rabbi Rubin, who as a towering figure is someone to look up to...  Especially the way he cares for his young charges at school - why, he knows them all by their first name!
It says in the Midrash that Adam was told about all the places where people will ever live and - yes - even about Glasgow!  We've come all the way from London, to Glasgow, which spells גלות-גאו go into exile... This is also connected to our weekly portion: Lech Lecha - go to the Loch - Loch Lomond, Bishop Loch and Seven Lochs...
In the name of all the Travelling Chassidim I would like to thank you all for making us feel so welcome for making all the intricate arrangements and sorting out our accommodation, food and travelling needs - not to mention the warm atmosphere that permeates the whole community!
I conclude with the words that I heard at Calderwood Lodge: Yesimcho Eloykim ke-Efrayim, Menasche, Soroh, Rivkah and Rochel and Leah!

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