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Lech Lecha  |  11th Cheshvan 5777  |  November 12th 2016  |  Issue 674
Wishing good luck to our staff and shlichim who are enjoying the annual
North American Shlichin Convention in Mexico City

   Rabbi Yonatan Rosensweig


Former Rosh Kollel Melbourne (2006-2009)
Currently Community Rabbi in Beit Shemesh
Avraham's faith
 
At the beginning of our parsha we learn that Avraham is commanded to come to Israel. He is to leave everything behind and follow Hashem's request. It is interesting and surprising that the first divine revelation to Avraham that is recorded is this one – it would seem important to first understand how exactly Avraham came to make a connection with Hashem to begin with. Indeed, it is not only us who are interested to know this, but rather the Midrash itself is interested in the matter and fill in the gap for us.

The Midrash explains that Avraham searched out God, as he was interested to know how everything came to be. The Rambam brings this Midrash and tells us that when Avraham was 40 years old, after much searching and rational deduction, he came to know Hashem and to realize his existence. However, it is interesting to note that the Raavad disagrees with the Rambam and quotes a different Midrash that Avraham was in fact only three years old when he found Hashem. What are the Rambam and the Raavad disagreeing on?

It seems clear that they are disagreeing on the source of faith. According to the Rambam faith is sought and gained through the use of one's intellect. Avraham had to work hard to find faith, because real faith is only found through proof. The Rambam believes that the highest faith is the one which is based on evidence and logical conclusions, and so he portrays Avraham in similar fashion.
The Raavad, on the other hand, believes that faith – at its core – is something internal, something which one naturally can find within oneself. Avraham's faith, therefore, predated his being capable of intellectual analysis. He found it naturally within him. For the Raavad, faith is a natural component of our makeup, and all we need to do is access it.

 

Spotlight on:
'Chodesh Tov'
in Manchester, England

This past month we have had the pleasure of watching a brand new program unfold in the 'Sha'ar Haim' community in Manchester, England!

Three former shlichim - Shlomi Adin, Or Shimoni and Daniel Spiro had an amazing shlichut together in Washington in 2012-13, and now teamed up again for a short-term shlichut, during the chagim.
Building on their previous experiences, they managed to create a remarkable impact for such a short time period.
As a new model of shlichut, the 'Chodesh Tov' program has been a huge success

What kind of activities did you run in the community?
As the Chodesh Tov Program is rather short, we tried to fit in what we could into the time we had. We held Shabbatons and activities about the Chagim; before, after and during. We helped lead youth minyanim and offered chavrutot to members of the community. We also went to the local Jewish High School a few times too!
 
Which event was the most successful?
Definitely the IDF one! We did a great army-themed event. It was based on the three years which someone spends in the army; so we split the event to three stages. Firstly was 'Toranut', which consists of helping cleaning up in the kitchens or rooms. Then we had Daniel Spiro, who was a medic in the Israeli army, gave a little demonstration class, followed by a meaningful and moving video which was based on a personal letter sent by a soldier to his girlfriend before going to battle, from which he never returned.
Then the last thing we did is we held a 'Hashba'ah' ceremony in which we handed out certificates to the 'graduates' with their parents there too. We played music and had shawarma and chips as a lovely end to the day.
 
How did the community react to the overall experience?
We think it really went well and it exceeded our expectations. The Rabbi of the community is already talking about bringing long term Torah MiTzion shlichim in the future!
Be"h this short program will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between Torah MiTzion and the Jewish Community of Manchester.


Around The World
In Cape Town they set up activities in the local High School to teach them about Yitzchak Rabin . 
Our Shlichim in Cape Town went up the Lions Head with the kids in the community to go Daven Shacharit . 
In Washington our Shlichim joint with the local grade 9 kids , had a great bonfire and kumzitz
All the 10th graders in the MJBHA spent a lovely Shabbat together with our shlichim in Washington 

  Where was this photo taken?

 

Please send answers to -
 arik@torahmitzion.org

The answer, further information about this location, as well as the first person to recognize this site 
will be published in next week's edition.      

Torah MiTzion was established in 1995 with the goal of strengthening Jewish communities around the globe and infusing them with love for Torah, the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

Over the past twenty years, Torah MiTzion's shlichim have inspired and enriched their host communities through high impactful formal and informal educational programs.

Like https://www.facebook.com/ShlichutTorahMitzion/?fref=ts on Facebook

In cooperation with :

Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website,  www.israelk.org, which contains accurate
and 
fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.







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