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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!

Romance galore!

Wow what a week!

A great big Mazal tov to David Barsky and Brittany Horwitt on their engagement!

A great big Mazal tov to Leon Trakhtenberg and Rina Singer on their engagement! Come celebrate Shabbat dinner this week in their honor!

Keep the simchos coming! See THE WHITE PARTY for singles and couples (including married ones :)) below!

Save the dates for these upcoming events!

PARSHA THOUGHT: These are the journeys of the children of Israel...(33:1): The forty-two "stations" from Egypt to the Promised Land are replayed in the life of every individual Jew, as his soul journeys from its descent to earth at birth to its return to its Source. (Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov) More...

Learn about your soul's journey at our choice of Tanya classes! Wed Young Pros at 8:30 pm, Thursday at noon 8 pm.

This week we conclude the book of Bamidbar and bless the new month of Menachem Av.

Shabbos Chazak Parshas Maasei 

Friday July 29
Services at 7:30 pm
    Candle lighting at 7:59 pm | Shabbat dinner this week dedicated in honor of the engagement of Rina Singer and Leon Trakhtenberg! Join us!

Shabbos July 30
Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim at 8:30 am
Services at 10 am
    Followed by kiddush and farbrengen
Mincha at 8 pm
    Ethics of our fathers, Chapter 2
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 8:55 pm
Living Torah

See you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

Paperclips, White Party, Cocktails

Dear Friends,

Today, 19 Tammuz, is my Jewish birthday.  In Jewish thought on one's birthday Mazalo Gover, one's spiritual energy is at its maximum potential. Therefore, blessings from a birthday boy or girl has special significance and strength. On that note, I would like to wish each and every one of you with blessings of health and success in all of your endeavors, physically and spiritually. May Hashem fulfill all your hearts desires for yourself, your family and the world.

Men, please join me tonight for a traditional Chassidic birthday farbrengen at 9 pm (following the Tanya class at 8).

AUG 8: Tisha B'av Eicha & Screening of Paper Clips - The Movie

On Monday, August 8 at 8:30 pm, join Chabad of Uptown for an evening of the traditional reading of Eicha-Lamentations on the 9th of Av and a screening of the film Paper Clips Project. - Facebook

This day is when we traditionally mourn the destruction of the Temple and all the subsequent tragedies to befall the Jewish people.

This award-winning documentary film tells the story of middle school students from the small southeastern Tennessee city. A simple 8th-grade project evolved into one gaining worldwide attention. 

UH Professor of History Barbara Hales will introduce the film. Barbara's publications focus on film history, cultural studies, and intellectual history of the Weimar Republic.

AUG 14: THE WHITE PARTY - Chabad's Young Adults & Professionals 

 Join us for the 1st Annual White Party at Aroma Classique! - Facebook

Get Dressed in White and Meet 100s of Houston's Young Jewish Adult Community on this special holiday of Tu'BAv - The Jewish Holiday of Romance. 

August 14th - 7:30PM. Open Bar - Fun Finger Food and Drinks

RSVP $10 before August 7th and $20 at the Door. Pay online at

Corporate Sponsorships Available contact Co-Sponsored by Aroma Classique

TuB'Av - There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur. On these days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out... and dance in the vineyards. And what would they say? "Young man, raise your eyes and see which you select for yourself....

AUG 26: Summer closeout Cocktails and Shabbat Dinner 

Join Young Professionals For End of Summer Cocktails and Shabbat Dinner! Please feel free to invite your friends, Ages 21-39. Friday Night Services: 7:30PM. Cocktails and Shabbat Meal: 8:30PM

Shabbat Dinner and Open Bar. $10 Before August 24th at 6:00PM - $18 After. RSVP at

This Shabbos kiddush is sponsored in part by Reuven Randy Krumbein in commemoration of the 20 Tammuz yartzeit and in memory of  his parents Zev (Billy) and Chaya (Jeanie) Krumbein. May their memory be for a blessing. 

Shabbos Parshas Matos 

Friday, July 22 
Services at 7:30 pm
    Light Candles at 8:03 pm | 

Shabbos, July 23  
Chassidus / Kabbala Study at 9 am
Shacharis at 10 am
    Followed by kiddush sponsored by Reuven in memory of his parents
Mincha at 8:05 pm
    Ethics of our Fathers Chapter 1
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 9:00 pm
Living Torah

Sunday, July 24 
BLT: Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 am 

See you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 


Another Tragedy. Uplift on my Birthday.

First, this week's Tanya (15) inspiration: Serving Hashem is a greater feat than being his servant. The means is greater than the end.

In horrow we watched the drama unfold when the young pure and holy life of Leiby Kletzky, a"h, was brutally snuffed out this week in Boro Park, NY. There are questions but there are no answers. Standing before thousands, Reb Nachman Kletzky, Leiby's father solemnly and tearfully declared: "G-d gives and G-d takes. Thank you G-d, for giving us Leiby for nine years. We have to thank You for what You gave us. Pray for your parents, your sisters and the rest of your family, including the entire Jewish nation, which is now part of our family". Our response to an outrageous act of evil must be with an outrageous act of goodness. Choose a meaningful deed of indiscriminate kindness to bring comfort to his Soul. May Hashem wipe away the tears of sadness and replace them with tears of gladness and redemption. (Related: When the unthinkable happens).

stenhardt.jpgThis past Monday found me back in NY for an inspiring full day conference with other Chabad Rabbis who do programs for Jewish Young Adults and Professionals. We had some very spirited conversations, including with Newsweek named America's #1 Rabbi Yehudah Krinsky and the founder of birthright Israel, Michael Steinhardt, discussing the future of the young adult & professional demographic.

This Shabbos the kiddush is sponsored by Dr. Louis & Sheila Train in loving memory and in commemoration of the yartzeits of her mother Alte Yita bas Yaakov Friedman, sister Rochel bas Chaim Kelman and brother in law Rabbi Chaim Yosef ben Tzvi Yehudah Kelman, a"h. May their memory be for a blessing.

July 4 is my birthDATE. However, 19 Tammuz is my birthDAY. That is when we celebrate and commemorate. As is customary among Chabad Chasidim, I will be making a birthday " farbrengen" (FOR MEN) in honor of my birthday on Thursday evening, 19 Tammuz, at my home at 4311 Bettis beginning at about 9 p.m, (after the Thursday evening Tanya class at 8). I fully understand if your schedule does not allow you to attend. Please let me know if you can make it. (For more about celebrating birthdays read: What is a Jewish Birthday? and related articles there on the right).

Shabbos Parshas Pinchas 

Friday, July 15
Services at 7:30 pm
    Candle lighting at 8:06 pm | RSVP for 

Shabbos, July 16
Pre Prayer Kabbala Study 9 am
Services at 10 am
    Followed by expanded Kiddush menu, with the same great Cholent, sponsored by the Trains (see above). 
Mincha at 8:15 pm
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 9:04 pm
Living Torah

Sunday, July 17
BLT = Bagels, lox and Tefillin (and coffee too!) 

Tuesday, July 19 - fast of 17 Tammuz - 5:12 am - 8:49 pm
Tammuz 17 is a fast day, devoted to mourning the breaching of Jerusalem's walls and the other tragic events that occurred on this day and repenting and rectifying their causes. We refrain from all food and drink from "daybreak" (about an hour before sunrise, depending on location - in Houston at 5:2 am) until nightfall (in Houston 8:49 pm). Special prayers and Torah readings are added to the day's services.

The 17th of Tammuz also marks the beginning of The Three Weeks period of mourning which culminates on the 9th of Av, commemorating the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people. Weddings and other joyful events are not held during this period; like mourners, we do not cut our hair, and various pleasurable activities are limited or proscribed. (Consult the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch) or a qualified rabbi regarding specific proscriptions). The Lubavitcher Rebbe urged that the Three Weeks should be a time of increased giving of charity and Torah study (in keeping with the verse (Isaiah 1:27), "Zion shall be redeemed by law, and her returnees by charity"), particularly the study of those portions of Torah that deal with the laws and the deeper significance of the Holy Temple.  Links:; Some Laws and Customs of the Three Weeks, About Holy Temple

Wednesday, July 20
Class and social for Young Adults and Professionals

Thursday, July 21 - Tammuz 19
Tanya. Choice of 12 pm or 8 pm
Men's Farbrengen for Rabbi Chaim's birthday at 9 pm

See you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

P.S. It was bad enough with all the phone numbers! Now, how do you keep track of all the websites?! 


Tranforming darkness to light

This week's Parshas Balak  is the Parshah of the future, where evil is transformed to good and curses emerge as blessings. It is in Balak that the most beautiful verses describing the uniqueness of Israel and the specialty of their relationship with the Almighty issue from the vile mouth of Balaam, summoned by Balak to curse the Jewish people. And it is in Balak that the most explicit reference to the era of Moshiach in the Five Books of Moses is found, in the form of a prophecy by the selfsame Balaam.

"Let Moses, who loves them, rebuke them," said G-d when the people of Israel needed rebuke, for rebuke from a loving heart is many times more effective. "And let Balaam, who hates them, bless them," for the blessing of an enemy is so much more real than a lovers praises. In the Parshah of Balak we enter a Moshiach-like world---a world of "the greater wisdom that comes from folly, and the greater light that comes from darkness" (Ecclesiastes 2:13). - The Lubavitcher Rebbe

Sheer pain rocked the Jewish community of Houston with the news of the tragic auto accident and the passing of Joshua and Robin Berry, leaving three surviving children - two of which are in serious condition. This Shabbos turn darkness into light. Light Shabbos candles (in Houston) at 8:08 pm in their memory and in honor of their three children's speedy recovery. When lighting the candles, say a prayer for a refuah shlaima, a complete and quick recovery, for the Berry children, Pinchas ben Shoshana, Aron ben Shoshana, and Batya bat Shoshana. Join the Facebook event and invite all of your friends in this worldwide effort.
(Related coverage & reading: Jewish Herald Voice; Why do bad things happen to good people?, 106 links on Pain, Suffering & Tragedy).

A reported 50,000 people (JTA, The Jewish Week, JPost, flowed through the doors of the Rebbe's Ohel in Queens commemorating his Yartzeit this past Tuesday. We (Rabbi Chaim, Chanie and Bluma) spent a meaningful few days in New York reconnecting with the Rebbe's mission and vision for ourselves and our world. There we along with our friends and family gained strength, inspiration and commitment to carry on the Rebbe's legacy of true love and care for the Torah, the Jewish people and all of humanity to make the world a better place with the ultimate coming of the Moshiach.

As we reported here a few weeks ago, Chabad of Uptown will be receiving a new Torah in memory of Shmuel (Leonard) ben Nosson Goldberg, a"h. The family has truly transformed pain into light. This Sunday will be the unveiling at the Beth Yeshurun Cemetery off of Allen Parkway and the family has requested we gather a minyan for kaddish. If you can make it, please let us know.

A double Mazel tov, mazel tov to Ben Shamoolian upon his engagement to Regina Levy of Caracas, Venezuela, sister and sister in law of Julliette & Ilan Melnik! May they build an eternal Jewish home with happiness, warmth and prosperity, illuminated with Torah and Mitzvos!

 We look forward to seeing you this Shabbos!

Shabbos Parshas Balak

Friday, July 8
Services at 7:30 pm
    Light Candles at 8:08 pmIn memory and in honor of the Berry's
    RSVP for Dinner

Shabbos, July 9
Pre Prayer Kabbala Study - Likkutei Torah 9:00 am
Services at 10 am
    Kiddush with the best Cholent this side of....
Mincha at 8:15 pm
    Ethics of our Fathers Chapter 5
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 9:06 pm
Kiddush Levana - Sanctification of the Moon
Living Torah

Sunday, July 10
BLT at 9 am
Unveiling for Shmuel ben Nosson Goldberg, 10 am

Wednesday, July 13
Young Professionals Class and Social at 8:30 pm

Thursday, July 14 - Yud Beis Tammuz
Tanya Classes at Noon and at 8 pm

On the 12th of Tammuz of 1927, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, was officially granted release from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia. Twenty-seven days earlier, the Rebbe had been arrested by agents of the GPU and the Yevsektzia ("Jewish Section" of the Communist Party) for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire and sentenced to death, G-d forbid. International pressure forced the Soviets to commute the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. The actual release took place on Tammuz 13, and Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a "festival of liberation" by the Chabad-Lubavitch community. Tammuz 12 is also Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's birthday. Links: The Rebbe's Prison Diary; The Soviet war on Jewry

See you on Shabbos!!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

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