This Week in Our Community


Sunday, 16 May, 19:00-20:00 (zoom)
Shavuot Evening Service

Followed by Tikkun Leil Shavuot – Shavout Leaning Night

English Programme:
20:15-21:00 Rabbi Barbara Borts: Food and Drink in Yiddish Song
Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts has worked in synagogues in the UK, Europe, and North America. Now, she spends her time going to Yiddish reading circles, walking her 2 rough collies, and working to finish up her learning in preparation for ordination as a chazzan

21:15-22:00 Ilana Bet-El: Responsibility and Privacy
Social media, mass communication and disinformation are the essence of our times. Remaining a private individual yet being part of cyber life is becoming increasingly difficult. This problem is unique not only because the digisphere is new but because the very idea of privacy is very modern: before the options of mass cheap lighting and heat, some 200 years ago, collective living was a necessity. We also see this reality in the many tales of the Bible, but more significantly, the idea of God is dependent on an almighty that sees right into each of us individuals. So why do we care about privacy and how do we reconcile ourselves to these different strands and remain responsible to ourselves and society? Ilana Bet-El is a senior strategic advisor, an historian and a writer. A former senior official in the UN, she holds a PhD in history and sociology. 

22:15-23:00 Ruth Friedman: The Revelation of Our Lives
This experiential session is about ongoing Revelation and what it can mean in our own lives. We also explore how our (human physical) body can support us to experience this revelation. Ruth Friedman is a Certified Professional Coach and Focusing Guide, and she supports her clients to gain new insights based on their own bodily awareness.  She is originally from London and lives in Belgium since 2004.

23:30-00:15 Yisrael Abir Mitra: United and Divided by the Torah?
Yisrael Abir Mitra is completing his PhD in Hebrew Bible at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and is currently on a Jewish Studies programme at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem.

00:20-1:00 Student rabbi Brian Doyle-Du Breuil: Queering Boaz?
An exploration of gender stereotypes in reading the book of Ruth through a Queer lens. Brian Doyle-Du Breuil is a final year student rabbi at Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible and enjoys exploring alternative strategies for reading the Bible.

French Programme:
20:30 Dr Gérard Haddad, La Violence dans la Torah.
21:30 Les rabbins François Garaï et Gabriel Farhi en dialogue : LA Torah ou NOTRE Torah
22:30 Etudiant Rabbin Iris Ferreira,  Voyage de la Torah au Talmud (nous partirons de l’épisode de la révélation des dix paroles dans la Parachah Yitro, Exode chapitres 19 et 20)
23:30 Rabbin Marc Neiger, La Torah est-elle vraiment un don ?  La révélation du Sinaï est présentée comme un don, mais les Israélites ont-il vraiment eut le choix d’accepter la Torah, en étaient-ils dignes ?

German Programme: 
Further details: (Jüdische Libeale Gemeinde Zürich)
20:30 – 21:15 Machla bat Zelofchad und ihre Schwestern
21:15 – 22:00 Jüdisches Leben in zwei Deutschlands
22:15 – 22:30 Warum Milchigs an Schawuot?
22:30 – 23:15 Das Ende des Exils – eine Befreiung?
23:15 – 0:00 Jüdische Befreiungslieder
0:00 – 0:15 Musings. Gedichtlesung
0:15 – 1:00 Cherut al Haluchot, Charut al Haluchot

Monday, 17 May, 10:00-10:40 (zoom)
Shavuot Morning Service

Friday, 21 May, 18:30-20:30 (zoom)
Community talk: 18:30-19:00
Kabbalat Shabbat

Torah Weekly Portion
Naso – Take a Census
Numbers 4:21-7:89
A census of the Gershonites, Merarites, and Koathites between the ages of thirty and fifty is conducted and their duties in the Tabernacle are detailed. (4:21-49)
God speaks to Moses concerning what to do with ritually unclean people, repentant individuals, and those who are suspected of adultery. (5:1-31)
The obligations of a nazirite vow are explained. They include abstaining from alcohol and not cutting one’s hair. (6:1-21)
God tells Moses how to teach Aaron and his sons the Priestly Blessing. (6:22-27)
Moses consecrates the Sanctuary, and the tribal chieftains bring offerings. Moses then speaks with God inside the Tent of Meeting. (7:1-89)


Haftarah: Judges 13:2-25 or Judges 16:4-21 or Psalm 67