A Year Long Invitation

Sunday, 1 November, 2015 - 12:25 am

Shavua Tov and don’t forget to change your clocks to fall back tonight.

This Jewish calendar year is called Hakhel. In Temple times, in the year after Shemittah (Sabbatical year), all Jewish men, women and children would gather together as one during the festival of Sukkot to hear the king read passages from a special Torah scroll. It was a mini re-enactment of the revelation at Sinai. The purpose was to strengthen the dedication of the Jewish people to Torah and Mitzvot. In our current state, when we don’t have a Temple, we still have the opportunity to gather our fellow Jews together in a show of unity and inspire one another in matters of Yirat Shamayim, Torah and Mitzvot.

Chabad of Louisiana will be putting together a series of events and programs throughout the year to highlight the Hakhel – unity aspect of the year. We hope to offer at least one additional program each month in the spirit of Hakhel. We are also planning several other Hakhel initiatives this year. We encourage you to create your own Hakhel gathering by getting together with friends and utilizing the meeting to encourage and inspire each other.

Following the month of holidays, our first Hakhel gathering will be held on Friday night, November 13. We will have a community Shabbat dinner at Chabad Uptown. All are invited. We do ask for an rsvp so that we know how many to prepare for.

We are also looking forward to a Lecture / Farbrengen on Monday night, November 30 with acclaimed lecturer, Rabbi Dov Greenberg, director of Chabad at Stamford University. More details to be forthcoming.

Chanukah is just over a month away. Chanukah @ Riverwalk will take place on the first night, Sunday, December 6. There will also be a Mobile Menorah Parade on Saturday night, December 12 as well as a Celebrity Chef Latke Cookoff for Young Professionals on Wednesday, December 9. Look out for details about the Chabad Metairie family party and the celebration for Israelis.

This year, in light of the situation in Israel, we are launching a Poem/Essay Contest on the theme of Jewish pride. All submissions of a poem or one page essay on Jewish pride will be considered. The winning submission will be read at the Chanukah @ Riverwalk celebration as a prize package is being assembled as well. All submissions should be emailed by Wednesday, December 2 to [email protected].

We mourn the tragic passing of a good friend, Trevor Dreyfus. May his family, friends and loved ones be comforted by Hashem and may we all resolve to strengthen ourselves in the area of kindness and friendship in memory of this special soul. We should share only good news in the future!

Have a great week!
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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