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Thoughts, notes and happenings...

Chabad of Uptown and personal diary updates! Please comment on our posts, we would love to hear from you!

What. A. Weekend. !!

Dear Friends,

The time is here, the time is now! Last and final call to reserve for our first ever fundraiser for Chabad of Uptown this Sunday! We are truly inspired by your support and generosity. If you haven't yet, now is the time to register for the Appreciation Dinner with Alan Veingrad at the Marriott Westchase! (We do have student sponsors for those that can not afford it. Please let us know if you or someone would like to take advantage of this offer).

But, the biggest shout-out goes to our volunteers in the committee who have put in countless hours to bring this event together. The decor etc will be exemplary - you will not want to miss this event!

Click here for more photosLast weeks Texas Shabbaton was an amazing success where hundreds of students descended on College Station for an amazing Shabbos experience. It only gets better with every year!

Six days work shall be done; and the seventh day shall be holy... (35:2) The Torah describes the Jew's work in the course of the week as a passive endeavor -- "Six days work shall be done" (not "six days you shall do work"). For the Jew regards his workday endeavors not as the source of his sustenance, but merely as a "vessel" in which to receive G-d's blessing. (The Chassidic Masters) more

Please join us this Shabbos Parshas Vayahkhel for another fantastic Uptown Shabbos! 

Friday, February 25
Services at 6:30 pm
    Light Candles at 6 pm | RSVP for dinner

Shabbos, February 26
Preprayer Kabbala Study at 9 am
Services at 10 am
    Followed by lunch kiddush with best cholent - in honor of our volunteers!
Mincha at 6 pm
Maariv Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 6:57
Living Torah

See you on Shabbos (and Sunday :))!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

Hit me again!

Dear Friends,

This past week's second freeze took a toll on our starter. It was a crazy morning (as usual) and Chanie was stuck at home with no car to join us at my (TMC) nephew's first haircut. Baruch Hashem for #road on our cell phone they came out and got it started. We left it running straight to the mechanic, who was honest enough to tell us not to change it, it was just the sudden cold weather. Next morning, it wouldn't start. Chanie said that the mechanic said to tap the starter. Huh?! What, where is that? "He showed me" she says! So we pop the hood, and get a hammer and at Chanie's instruction, tap the "starter" (silver cylinder looking thing) and walla! the car starts! We are proud of Chanie becoming a real proud Texas Cowgirl!  

Here is a nice one: The crumbling, old Shul building desperately needed a face llift, so the Rabbi made an impassioned appeal, looking directly at the richest man in town. At the end of the message, the rich man stood up and announced, "Rabbi, I will contribute $1,000."

Just then, plaster fell from the ceiling and struck the rich man on the shoulder. He promptly stood again and shouted, "Rabbi, I will increase my donation to $5,000."

Before he could sit back down, plaster fell on him again, and again he virtually screamed, "Rabbi, I will double my last pledge."

He sat down, and an larger chunk of plaster fell hitting him on the head. He stood once more and hollered, "Rabbi, I will give $20,000!"

This prompted the Gabbai to shout, "Hit him again, Hashem! Hit him again!" 

This week's Parsha of Ki Sisa states: This they shall give... half a shekel (30:13). The mitzvah of the half-shekel is that each should contribute a coin that [is valued at] half of the dominant coin of that time. If the prevailing coin is takal, they should give a half-takal; if it is a selah, they should give a half-selah; if it is a darcon, they should give a half-darcon. (- Midrash HaGadol) Why not a complete coin? To teach us that no man is a complete entity unto himself. Only by joining with another can a person become a "whole thing". (-The Chassidic Masters). More at

We are humbled by the response of many of you to contribute towards our first fundraiser for Chabad of Uptown, and thank you for allowing us to take the liberty to "hit" you again with another email about it... You see - every little bit counts.When you do your small part, with your "shekel", you become a part of the greater whole. The journal is almost at the printer and you can still get in the last minute ads! Please give generously and make your reservation for a fantastic evening with formal NFL Packers and Cowboy player and Super Bowl winner, and Jewish, Alan Veingrad!

Friday is Purim Katan - Minor Purim. In regular years, the 14th of Adar is Purim, the festival that celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman's evil decree in the year 3405 from creation (356 BCE). In a leap year -- which has two Adars -- Purim is celebrated in Adar II (Purim Cafe @ Aroma Classique below), and the 14th of Adar I is designated as Purim Kattan, the "Little Purim." There are no special observances, however, associated with Purim Kattan, other than the omission of Tachnun ("supplications") from the daily prayers and a prohibition against fasting or holding eulogies on this day. The Code of Jewish Law cites an opinion that one should increase in festivity and joy, but rules that there is no obligation to do so; "Nevertheless,a person should increase somewhat in festivity... for 'One who is of good heart is festive always' " (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 697:1). Link: Always Happy 

This weekend, February 18-20, we will head over to Texas A&M in College Station where hundreds of students from around Texas and as far as Tulane and Illinois will convene for a Shabbaton at the Chabad House there. Over 25 stduents from Houston are attending! Don't fret the Trusches are coming! Please join them for a fabulous Shabbos!

Sunday, February 20, Rabbi Chaim will be presenting at the final (2pm) session of the annual Yom Limmud of the BJE on Tattoos and Body Art: Whys, Myths and Facts That Will Surprise You. The session will explore Jewish sources, philosophy, Kabbalistic thought and applied Jewish law for tattoos and body art in Jewish practice. If you are going, be sure to look it up! Immediately afterwards they are offering a FREE concert of the YouTube sensationlist Maccabeats! Visit for more information.

The weekly classes on Wednesday for Young Professionals class at 8:30 pm, Thursday lunch hour Tanya class and Thursday evening 8 pm parsha class are still going strong! Please join us!

Sunday, February 27, will be our first ever fundraiser (as above).

Sunday, March 6, will be the annual Aishel House concert, this year featuring Yehudah Glantz at the Wortham Center - Cullen Theater. More info at

Purim, Saturday, March 19, we will have our famous Chabad of Uptown Purim Party! Purim Cafe @ Aroma Classique will begin at 9:30 pm with a delicous Pasta, Falafel, Salad & Drink Bars. Variety of coffees and desserts. Havdalla ceremony, Megillah reading, L'chaims and Hamantashen! More at Chanie's brother Shimon, studying for his "Semicha", Rabbinical degree, will please G-d be joining us.  

Purim, Sunday, March 20, we will have Shacharis morning services at 8 am and Megillah reading at 9 am. 

Sunday, March 27, will be the Annual Frieship Circle walk. See for more details. 

Pesach, April 18-26, Chanie's family will be joining us for Pesach!!! Stay tuned for Seder details...

Wow! That was too much information..... 

Please join the Trusches this Shabbos Parshas Ki Sisa for a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 18, Purim Katan
Services at 6:30 pm
    Candle Lighting at 5:55 pm | Please RSVP for dinner at! 

Shabbos, February 19, Shushan Purim Katan
Preprayer Kabbala study at 9 am
Services at 10 am
    Kiddush with the best Trusch'es cholent! :)
Mincha at 6:00 pm
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 6:49 pm

Have a great Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 


Why homework? For students, teachers or parents?

Dear Friends,

Last frozen Shabbos was warm with the hearts that battled the cold. A wonderful dinner, minyan and cholent was had. Thanks to Michael Pasternak for helping RC cook up the storm! This week, we thank Barbara Goodman and Guitel Melnik for helping with Shabbos!

Tonight, in passing, I posted a tweet (@youngchabad) about homework that created a firestorm on Facebook. "Is #homework for the kids to learn more or to make the parents involved in the kids learning? If the latter why the stress!? #fail". For me it was a passing moment, but, the comments sure are interesting.... What is your take? See the raging debate and comment here.

One thing is sure, Moshe was given his share of heavy homework it this week's portion with the continuing the constructing of the Mishkan. He was told: And you shall command the children of Israel (27:20): The word tetzaveh, "to command," also means "to connect" and "to bond." Thus the verse can also be read as G-d saying to Moses: "And you shall bond with the Children of Israel." For every Jewish soul has at its core a spark of the soul of Moses. (Ohr HaChaim) More on this concept here  Chanie grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and had the special merit to receive a Chassidic discourse, Ve'atah Teztaveh, on this subject from the Rebbe's hand. More on the Parsha at Tonight, 7 Adar 1, is also Moshe Rabbeinu's birthday and Yartzeit.

The Talmud Taanit teaches that when the month of Adar enters, we increase with joy. This year is a leap year, hence we have double joy with two Adars! Add to that all the fantastic upcoming events, and you have a lot to be joyful about!

Today, Feb. 10, is the official deadline for the Dinner Ad Journal to be distributed at the Appreciation Dinner on Sun., Feb 27 honoring Dr. Jerald & Irina Simmons, Omri & Anat Shafran and Ady Fisberg. The finishing touches of the journal are being made and getting ready for print. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! Place an ad in the journal in lieu of your tax-deductible donation, and join the celebration! The football theme "tailgate party" the committee has planned for you will be a real treat and not your regular fundraiser! Alan Veingrad, the only Jewish NFL player that wears a Super Bowl ring will be our special entertainment! Visit for all the details and to reserve your ad or RSVP. Visit and join the Facebook event here:

Purim will also see Chabad of Uptown at Aroma Classique for a Saturday night  PURIM CAFE! (Facebook event here).

Please join us this Shabbos, Parshas Tetzaveh! 

Friday, February 11
Services at 6:30 pm
    Candle Lighting at 5:49 pm | RSVP for dinner

Shabbos, February 12
Preprayer Kabbala Study at 9 am
Shacharis at 10 am
    Followed by lunch kiddush
Mincha at 5:50 pm
Maariv, Havdalla, Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of New Moon) & Shabbos Ends at 6:44 pm
Living Torah

See you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 


The Egyptian Chaos

Dear Friends,

Rolling blackouts and hail coupled with chaos in Egypt sure does evoke some Passover emotions. One thing is certain, I sent an urgent public notice to the Egyptian rioters this week: "Please do not damage the pyramids, we will not rebuild. Thank you." 

This Sunday will mark three weeks to the Uptown event! The Feb. 10 RSVP and ad deadline is in one week! Please RSVP now so we can plan accordingly at! We welcome Dr. Louis & Sheila Train to the dinner committee!

 Come for the Icy Souper Bowl Shabbat with a hot bowl of Matzal Ball soup! RC has cooked up a storm and he needs help eating it! Join the frozen chosen and make your way to shul and Shabbat dinner!

A Thought for The Week of Terumah:

Speak to the Children of Israel, that they should take to Me a terumah ("uplifting") (Exodus 25:2)

Every created entity has a spark of G-dliness within it, a pinpoint of divinity that constitutes its "soul", its spiritual function and design. When we utilize something to serve the Creator, we penetrates its shell of mundanity, revealing and realizing its divine essence. Thus we elevate these "sparks", reuniting them with their Source.

(The Chassidic Masters - More at

Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Adar 1 - Parshas Terumah 

Friday, February 4
Services at 6:30 pm
    Candle Lighting at 5:44 pm | RSVP for dinner

Shabbos, February 5
Preprayer Kabbala Study at 9 am
Services at 10 am with Rosh Chodesh Hallel and Musaf
    Followed by Kiddush and Rosh Chodesh Farbrengen
Mincha at 5:45 pm
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 6:39 pm
Living Torah

See you on this bbbbrrrrrr Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan 

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