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important info Uptown class offerings

Hello Friends,

Tomorrow, March 26, we will begin our 12th (!) JLI Parsha series on the book of Vayikra, entilted "Approaching Completeness".

The Course:
Fulfillment does not come by finding ourselves. The Torah teaches that, counterintuitively, we achieve completeness by losing ourselves in the process of living a purpose-driven life.

Tommorow's class: Vayikra: Perfect Closeness
It’s a given fact of life that the exhilaration and joy of success and victory is always the product of strenuous effort, steady determination, and no small amount of discomfort, even pain. Whether one is seeking success in one’s studies, in one’s career or in one’s relationships, it is inevitable that there are going to be painful struggles in order to enjoy the sweetness of a reward that has been honestly earned. This is as true for spiritual goals as it is for material ones. In this week’s class we will show how the sacrifices commanded in this week’s parsha required the most painful struggles of all — the surrender of the ego, the admission of guilt, the acknowledgment of our shortcomings, and the mindfulness that our self-centeredness has distanced us from our loving Creator and from our own true happiness. But like all other struggles, the more perfectly broken the spirit is, the more perfect will be our closeness to HaShem and the feelings of earned joy and inner peace that follows. 

Click here for the entire course syllabus: http://www.torahstudies.com/courses.php?task=details&CID=33

Our Thursday classes are engaging and stimulating food for thought, with no prior knowledge necessary. Offered two times on Thursday, there is every reason why to join!

  • Lunch Class: 12-1:15 pm (this week from Randalls - RSVP)
  • Evening Class: 8-9 pm

The class is offered every week on Thursday and you are more than welcome to join us at any time.

Next Thursday, April 2,  we will break the course for a special class on Birchat Hachama.

Birkat HaChamah, the blessing over the sun, the rarest event in Jewish practice, is recited only once in twenty-eight years. This year, on April 8, 2009, the sun will arrive at the exact location of its creation— at the precise moment of the anniversary of its creation. Upon witnessing this extraordinary synchronization of time and place, Jews gather together to recite a blessing—Birkat HaChamah. There will be a major community event (only 30 min.) at JCC that morning 8:30-9:00 am. More at www.chabadtexas.org/sun

This special course from JLI peppered with Rabbi Chaim's anecdotes and humor will include:

  • Overview of Berachot: Recognition and Thanksgiving
  • A Meditation: “The heavens speak the glory of G-d.”
  • Understanding the Practice
    A. Why It Does Not Resemble Idolatry
    B. When Do We Recite Birkat HaChamah?
  • The Birkat HaChamah Ceremony
  • The Message
    A.The Sun-Moon Relationship
    B. Aligning Time, Place, and Person

So, our class schedule will be as follows:

March 26 - Vayikra: Perfect Closeness
It’s a given fact of life that the exhilaration and joy of success and victory is always the product of strenuous effort, steady determination, and no small amount of discomfort, even pain. Whether one is seeking success in one’s studies, in one’s career or in one’s relationships, it is inevitable that there are going to be painful struggles in order to enjoy the sweetness of a reward that has been honestly earned. This is as true for spiritual goals as it is for material ones. In this week’s class we will show how the sacrifices commanded in this week’s parsha required the most painful struggles of all — the surrender of the ego, the admission of guilt, the acknowledgment of our shortcomings, and the mindfulness that our self-centeredness has distanced us from our loving Creator and from our own true happiness. But like all other struggles, the more perfectly broken the spirit is, the more perfect will be our closeness to HaShem and the feelings of earned joy and inner peace that follows.

April 2 - Special Birchas Hachama Class

April 9 & 16 Pesach Holiday - no classes

April 23 - Tazria-Metzora: Brit Milah-The Essence of Judaism
One of the most celebrated and universally observed mitzvot in Judaism is the brit milah, the circumcision. It results in the entry of the soul into the body of the infant boy, and symbolizes the entry of the child into the Jewish nation. Yet it is somewhat of a paradox that this greatest of mitzvot is done to a child who is simply too young to appreciate it. This baby boy only feels the pain, but experiences none of the gain. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to celebrate the brit at his Bar Mitzvah when he has the ability to begin to understand this amazing connection? In today’s class we will study the mitzvah of brit milah in depth, and see how the very lack of intention and awareness on the part of the infant creates a truly unbreakable bond between the soul and its Creator.  

April 30 - Acharei-Kedoshim: Looking Upward, Downward & Forward
There is one day a year that practically every Jew is aware of: Yom Kippur. Most Jews make the effort to be in synagogue for at least part of the day, and fast, pray and reinvigorate their spiritual energy for the coming year. Much of the prayer service on Yom Kippur recalls the Temple service on this day, and many of the day’s instructions for the High Priest appear in this week’s Torah portion. But the parsha concludes with a seemingly unrelated topic — the dos and don’ts of our most intimate relationships, and refers to some of mankind’s lowliest behaviors. In this week’s class we will learn how these subjects are not contradictory, but compliment each other. Their juxtaposition is fully in keeping with the Torah’s objective of having us be mindful every day of the year of the spiritual heights that we should aspire to, the aspects of the material world that we can elevate, as well as the mundane depths of human behavior that we must avoid descending to. 

May 7 - Emor: The Ultimate Sacrifice
We often hear or read about extraordinary acts of Kiddush Hashem, which are usually connected with martyrdom in times of trouble and persecution—the many, many times throughout our history when our people have given up their lives to rather than desecrate their faith, or have died to defend the lives or the faith of their fellow Jews. But Judaism’s primary focus is on life, not on death. Thus we will see in this week’s lesson that the Torah provides a broad definition of Kiddush Hashem to include life-affirming, extraordinary acts that demonstrate HaShem’s sovereignty over the world and over the individual Jew. By reaching into the deepest point of our souls, each of us can draw fresh, daily inspiration that will take us through hard times and keep us growing even in best of times through everyday acts of Kiddush HaShem.

May 14 - Behar-Bechukotai: Tough Love
To many people, the admonitions and curses from HaShem that appear in the Torah are downright frightening. Others are perplexed by how a loving G-d could be involved in curses and punishment. But the truth of the matter is that they are nothing other than an expression of HaShem’s fatherly love, caring and compassion. While most children despise punishment, they eventually come to understand and value parental discipline. HaShem’s discipline also takes maturity and wisdom to fully appreciate. Today’s class will focus on three aspects of HaShem’s caring that are conveyed through His blessings and curses, and show how they are there to help us to make conscious and correct choices, and how they clearly mark the best and only true pathway through life. 

Chazak, Chazak, V'nischazek! 

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

Visit our mega Pesach site www.chabadtexas.org/pesach
Sell your Chametz now! www.chabadtexas.org/chametz
Join our communal seder www.chabadtexas.org/seder

new friday service times, chazak & uptown purim pics!

Dear All,

Wow! What a Purim! We could not have had such a wonderful Purim party until 11:30 pm with over 100 people if it was not with your help! Thank you so much for all of the volunteers who helped shlep, set and fres (eat) the Great Purim Feast and the very special Chabad of Uptown International Purim Party. Pictures are online here!

This week is a triple special Shabbos - PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE MINYAN! SCHEDULE BELOW

  • Shabbos Mevarchim Nissan 
    This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of upcoming month of Nissan, which falls on Thursday of next week. Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. Click here for molad times. It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.
    Links:
    On the Significance of Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen
  • Shabbos Chazzak - Completion of Book of Shemos
  • Shabbos Parshas Hachodesh
    On the Shabbat that falls on or before the 1st of Nissan, a special reading called "Hachodesh" (Exodus 12:1-20) is added to the regular Shabbat Torah reading. Hachodesh recounts G-d's historic communication to Moses in Egypt on the 1st of Nissan (2 weeks before the Exodus) regarding the Jewish calendar, the month of Nissan and the Passover offering.
    Links: Parshat Hachodesh with Commentary
    From the teachings of the Chassidic masters on Hachodesh
    About the Jewish calendar and the Passover offering

Friday,  March 21:

  • Candle Lighting : 7:15 pm
  • Shabbat Services: 7:30 pm (New time for Summer Schedule) followed by dinner (RSVP)

Shabbat, March 22:

  • Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim 8:30 am
  • Shacharis Services 10:00 am
  • Torah Reading Chazzak & Hachodesh approx. 11:00 am followed by lunch kiddush
  • Mincha at 7:15 pm
  • Maariv & Shabbos ends at 8:09 pm

Important items coming up:

See you Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan

Uptown zachor, ethics, PURIM!

Dear Chaim & Chanie,

Four IMPORTANT topics to talk about:

This week, Parshas Teztaveh, is also the Shabbos before Purim, on which we celebrate the foiling of Haman the Amalekite's plot to destroy the Jewish people. The weekly Parshah is supplemented with the Zachor reading (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) in which we are biblically commanded to hear this Torah portion and remember the evil of Amalek and to eradicate it from the face of the earth. Please join us this Shabbos to help us complete a minyan for this special Torah reading. Please let me know if we can count on you for a minyan!

  • Friday Night: 6:30 pm followed by Shabbos dinner - RSVP.
  • Shabbos morning Study at 9am
    Shacharis at 10 am, Zachor Torah Reading at approx 11 am followed by Shabbos lunch.
  • MIncha at 6:15 pm
  • Shabbat ends, Maariv & Havdalla 7:00 pm
  • Change your clocks to DST!

This week's Thursday Business Ethics class lunch will be from Randalls at 12-1:15 pm and evening at 8-9pm. The topic is:

  • Employment and Hiring Practices - Employee responsibilities to our current employer. According to the Torah's higher moral standards, do employees and recruiters have unlimited rights? Do I have the right to leave my company if doing so will threaten the livelihood of others? Do I have ethical responsibilities to my employer that might prevent me from taking the better job? Does a recruiter have the right to "steal" an employee from his current company? Employment and hiring practices, standards that would be in the best interests of the individual, the employer, and society as a whole.

The Purim deal:

  • Sunday at 2 pm we are looking for volunteers to help set up for the Tuesday International Purim Party at the Pavilion. Please call Chanie at 713-419-3962 if you can make it!
  • Prepare for Purim and join the costume contest at www.chabadtexas.org/purim
  • Monday is Taanis Esther, the Fast is from 6:28 am-7:50 pm.
  • Join us on Monday night at Chabad Lubavitch Center on Fondren for a Brazillian themed break fast and party!
  • Catch a Megillah Reading around town! Listing of many posted here.
  • Be sure to do the Four Mitzvos of Purim: 1. Hear Megillah; 2. Mishloach Manos - minumum of 1 gift of two foods; 3. Matanos L'evyonim - money to two poor people / charities; 4. Mishteh - have a celebratory meal.
  • You can do ALL FOUR MITZVOS at the same time at our International Purim Party! More & RSVP info below. RSVP on Facebook as well here.

We look forward to seeing you!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan

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