Shiurim & Adult Education

Learning is a vital part of our ethos and vision and we would like to respond to our members needs and requirements. Initially the Dayan has established a programme offering weekly sessions for both men and women but please do let us know if you would like any additional learning sessions and we will do our best to find you a suitable chavruta.



THOUGHTS ON SHABBAT BAMIDBAR & SHAVUOT BY RABBI WILKINSON

This Shabbat is described as the ‘Aufruf’ Shabbat: The Shabbat before the ‘marriage’ of the Jewish people to Hashem at Har Sinai. For seven weeks, from the time of leaving Egypt, the Jewish people progressed spiritually to reach the level where they could receive the Torah. To move away from enslavement to the Egyptians to service of Hashem. Having been patiently counting our days of the Omer towards Shavuot we now have the end in sight.

On Sunday, the third of Sivan, we begin the first day of the Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah, the three days of “limits” which the Jewish people had to observe prior to their receiving the Torah. At the time of the giving of the Torah, the Jewish people had to prepare themselves to receive the Torah. It is interesting that the Torah chooses to refer to these days as hagbalah (limits) as opposed to the word hachanah (preparation).

Perhaps the Torah is informing us of an important lesson. Before we can accept the Torah, we have to realize the important lesson that life is about accepting and setting limits. We live in a society where there are no limits; the desire and the drive to constantly have more is growing.

So many boundaries which used to exist have been distorted and blurred. We need to have limits in our life to achieve anything which is of value. Before we can even think about accepting the Torah, we must realize that we must first accept upon ourselves the fact that not everyone will be allowed up to the top of the mountain. We have to realize that limitations in all areas of our lives are to our benefit.

By accepting these limitations, we take the first step in accepting Hashem, as only HE is totally limitless.

Then on Monday night we will complete our count of the Omer. What lessons can we take away from the last seven weeks? Perhaps the most important lesson to take with us is the lesson of “one day at a time.”

How often do we attempt to change ourselves only to fall back into our former behaviour patterns a few days after we have begun? How often do we make a big splash by announcing that we are changing our ways only to quickly return to our former paths?

I remember many years ago that I decided to run the London Marathon. I did all the research, I purchased the right trainers and decided to start with a gentle five-mile run. I think I made it round the block and never went jogging again.

Maybe if I would have just taken one day at a time and gone on a small run on day One and just a little longer run on day Two and continued to build one day on the next, then I would have managed. Unfortunately I attempted to conquer the world in one day and the result was that I achieved next to nothing ( I do still have the trainers, worn once).

You cannot reach Shavuot in one day; you must take each day as it comes. Only when one counts one day at a time, can the elevation be maintained.

When one takes baby steps then much can be accomplished. When those baby steps are maintained one day at a time then they add up to great strides.

That is really what Shavuot is all about. It is not about learning all of the Torah in one night; it is about learning five minutes consistently and daily. It is about maintenance and about patience.

That is the secret to climbing the ladder, one step at a time.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach

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