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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!

Mexican Shabbos, Mommy & Me, Torah completion...

Hard to believe that it is Thursday already! 

Join this event on Facebook! YOUNG PROS: This Shabbos we will host the Summer Closeout Cocktails and Shabbos Dinner for Young Professionals. RSVP at 


Join this event on Facebook!MEXICAN SHABBOS: Next Shabbos, August 2, we will be featuring authentic mouthwatering Mexican Cuisine Shabbat Dinner & Shabbat Day Cholent with Salsa! Many thanks to Sandra Morgan for spearheading the kitchen! If you want to help prepare, please let Chanie know.


Join this event on Facebook!MOMMY AND ME THIS TUES: Summer end session for Mommy & Me begins on Aug. 30. Click here fore more.


  • The committee for the Chabad of Uptown Shmuel Goldberg Unity Torah completion ceremony and annual fundraiser is now forming. If you would like to part of this dynamic group of professionals and help make this a successful and memorable event, please let us know! A meeting will be held next week, on Sunday evening to discuss details. The tentative date for the event is Sunday, January 15, 2012 (MLK weekend), so please hold the date! Take a sneak peak at the Torah dedication opportunities at
  •  Do you want an iPad? How about $500 in travel vouchers? Check out to win amazing prizes!
  • My HDMI 19" Dell monitor went kaput. That means dead, gone and out for lunch. If you got an extra one handy you would loke to donate to Chabad, that opprtnity is available. :) 
  • Parshas Re'eh is my "bar mitzvah anniversary". In it we read, "See, I give you today a blessing and a curse" (11:26) Yonatan ben Uziel's [Aramaic] translation of the verse reads "See, I give you today the blessing and its transmutation". The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that, "See" -- Moses is giving the Children of Israel the power of sight -- to perceive that the true nature of evil is nothing more than a transmutation and distortion of the Divine good. When evil is thus seen, it can be transformed into the good that it essentially is. More Parshah
    For more on this concept, join us in our array of Tanya classes! Wed night for Young Pros, Thursday lunch hour at noon an din the evening at 8! 
  • Next Tuesday is Rosh Chodesh Elul. We begin preparing for it this Shabbos, as we bless the new month of Elul. 
    • As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking -- a time to review one's deeds and spiritual progress over the past year and prepare for the upcoming " Days of Awe" of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.
    • As the month of Divine Mercy and Forgiveness (see "Today in Jewish History" for Elul 1) it is a most opportune time for teshuvah ("return" to G-d), prayer, charity, and increased Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G-d. Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when "the king is in the field" and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace, "everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all."
    • Specific Elul customs include the daily sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) as a call to repentance. The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms).
    • Elul is also the time to have one's tefillin and mezuzahs checked by an accredited scribe to ensure that they are in good condition and fit for use. Chabad is bringing a sofer the week of Septemeber 19. You can reserve your place to have your tefillin and / or mezuzos checked by posting on
    • Links: More on Elul 

Shabbos, Parshas Re'eh
Friday, August 26

Services at 7:30 pm
    Candle lighting at 7:34 pm | RSVP for Shabbat Dinner for Young Professionals

Shabbos August 27
Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim 8:30 am
Shacharis at 10 am
    Followed by lunch kiddush and Shabbos Mevarchim farbrengen  with best cholent this side of the Mississippi!
Mincha at 7:40 pm
    Ethics of Our Fathers Chapter 6
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends 8:27 pm
Living Torah 

Sunday, August 28
BLT: Bagels, lox & tefillin! 

Looking forward to seeing you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 


  G-d is calling! Are you going to answer that?

Matisyahu, iPads and other interesting stuff

Wow! What a week! The recap:

SUN: The White Party saw close to 50 young professionals gather at Aroma Classique to mingle and #showtheirhearts for the Berry Children. The small group pooled together $400 for the fund! Photos here

MON: Chanie has been working very hard on coordinating a PTO fundraiser for a new playground at Torah Day School. They are having a Chinese Auction online with a drawing and event on Sunday September 11. Amazing prizes including diamonds, ipad and more.. Check it out and support our kid's school!

TUES: The tour managers for Matisyahu asked us to arrange a minyan for Maariv backstage after his matisyahu 2011.jpgshow at House of Blues... It was a real scene watching people from ALL walks of life bobbing their heads and cranking out his lyrics verbatim. People were so excited to see Rabbi Chaim in his costume - the real deal! When they saw me headed backstage with our small group for the minyan a mob followed and the managers got all heated up, leaving me in charge of being the mean one of picking out who was supposed to come back with us! Anyway, it was nice experience all in all....Got home at 12:30 am... Some pic here...

WED:  Our young professionals group studied Tanya, overtime, discussing how to not only transform your future, but, also your past.

THURS: The general lunch and evening Tanya classes, roll on! I must say, that I have realized that I studied Tanya this year like I never have before. The continuum, questions and group discussion has illuminated the Tanya for me in a whole new way, so thank you!


Upcoming around Chabad... 

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: As always, we like to keep our programming compelling and interesting, even our fundraisers. Rather than have a regular "dinner" that every org does, we try to change it up. This year the event will be a completion of a brand new Torah currently being written in Israel. We are setting the date and in heavy planning stages for the Torah Completion Ceremony. If you would like to join a dynamic and vibrant committee to plan this year's event, please let us know.

 SUMMER CLOSEOUT COCKTAILS & SHABBAT DINNER: Next Friday, August 26, join young adults and professionals for a special Shabbos evening!

MOMMY AND ME: Summer end session for Mommy & Me begins on Aug. 30. Click here fore more.

HIGH HOLIDAYS: All the information for the High Holidays, including schedules, youth service, dinner and break fast are now online at Although in keeping with our open door policy, we do not require membership, your membership allows us the secure footing to continue in that vein. Please consider becoming a member of Chabad of Uptown! Details are on the RSVP form. Also, to accomodate our young professionals and first time members we are offering Birthright Membership! Click here for more!  


Shabbos, Parshas Ekev
Friday, August 19

Services at 7:30 pm
    Candle lighting at 7:41 pm | RSVP for Shabbat Dinner

Shabbos August 20 / Chof Av
Preprayer Kabbala / Chassidus Study ay 9 am
Shacharis at 10 am
    Followed by lunch kiddush and farbrengen marking the Yartzeit of the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944).

R' Levik" passed away in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (currently Dnepropetrovsk), and was arrested and exiled to Kazakhstan by the Stalinist regime as a result of his work to preserve Jewish life in the Soviet Union. Links: A Brief Biography; Rebbetzin Chana Scneerson's biography, which includes her account of her husband's heroism, arrest and passing.

Mincha at 7:45 pm
    Ethics of Our Fathers Chapter 5
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends 8:35 pm
Living Torah 

Looking forward to seeing you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

The White Party price doubles in 20 minutes! - THIS SUNDAY!

A nice showing joined us for an evening of the traditional reading of Eicha-Lamentations on the 9th of Av and a screening of the film Paper Clips Project. This day is when we traditionally mourn the destruction of the Temple and all the subsequent tragedies to befall the Jewish people, including the Holocaust. UH Professor of History Barbara Hales introduced the film. Barbara's publications focus on film history, cultural studies, and intellectual history of the Weimar Republic. You can read her introduction here...

From the mailbag:

  • Powerful, provocative, unexpectedly took me deeper into the suffering of the Shoah and the power of love.
  • Very emotional! Inspirational to say the least... Making a difference one paper clip at a time...
  • Great movie for people to see what people can achieve with hard work and dedication!!
  • I enjoyed it, bc really it helped me put today in perspective as I was moderately depressed by stock market and other current events and in the end whats really important. I found it grounding.
  • In each of us we can make a difference .. Inspiring film for the holiday

THIS SUNDAY 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 tonight 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: Young Pros Summer closeout Cocktails and Shabbat Dinner | Facebook.
AUG. 30: Mommy & Me with a Jewish twist - Facebook
SEPT. 2: Mexican Shabbat Dinner; Featuring mouthwatering Mexican Cuisine Shabbat Dinner & Shabbat Day Cholent with Salsa! - Facebook


  • To Nir and Daphna Bublil upon the birth of a baby girl, Ella
  • To Oren & Natalie (Goldshtein) Cohen on their wedding tonight in Israel!

PARSHA, ELEVATED: As we have been studying in Tanya, it takes Da’at (deep, meditative knowledge)  to reach true and sustainable love. It inspired me to tweet: “True love can only withstand the test of time when it is not taken for granted”, that reverberated through the social media-sphere. Again, as divine prividence has it, this week we read Moshe’s words, “You, O G-d, have begun to show Your servant Your greatness” (3:24). Moses was G-d's faithful servant, the greatest of the prophets, the recipient of the Torah from G-d. Yet after 120 years of the most G-dly life ever lived, he sees himself as only having begun in his relationship with G-d! - Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. More...

Please join us this Shabbos Nachamu, Parshas Va’etchanan

Friday, August 12
Services at 7:30 pm
    Candle lighting at 7:48 pm | RSVP for dinner

Shabbos, August 13
Preprayer Chassidus Study - Likkutei Torah 9:00 am
Services at 10 am
    Followed by kiddush
Mincha at 7:50 pm
    Ethics of our Fathers, Chapter 4
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 8:43 pm
Living Torah

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie


Remembering the Past: Issues in Holocaust Education

A nice showing joined us last night at 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. This day is when we traditionally mourn the destruction of the Temple and all the subsequent tragedies to befall the Jewish people, including the Holocaust.

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

The following is her introduction.

Remembering the Past: Issues in Holocaust Education
By Dr. Barbara Hales

I wanted to begin by saying a few words about the academic study of the Holocaust before moving on to introduce the compelling true account presented in the film Paper Clips.

Holocaust studies is straddled by a debate regarding how one represents the Holocaust both as an historical event and in literary, artistic, and documentary works that attempt in some way to memorialize the Holocaust. The philosopher Theodor Adorno presents the most skeptical view of our ability to engage in Holocaust studies in the manner of other academic studies arguing that: “The world of Auschwitz lies outside of speech as it lies outside of reason.” Similarly, Hannah Arendt, in her essay “The Image of Hell,” cautions that the Holocaust narrative is unrepresentable, deeming that there is no iconic image able to reflect the “obliteration of human death.”

Representing a more moderate position, David Bathrick notes that while we must rely upon archival images as an historical document, these same images also have the tendency to become voyeuristic bordering on the pornographic; he writes that images of the camps, taken in 1945, offer verification and bear witness to the event, but there are “limits” to Holocaust representation, with areas of taboo including the overplaying of violence, dead bodies, etc. (“negative sublime”- Arendt).

With this academic debate about methodology in mind, let us now consider Holocaust education both within the Jewish community and beyond. The central message of Holocaust education within the Jewish community is “to always remember and to never forget.” Scholarly history tells a linear narrative of events, but Jewish history is one of synchronic time—at once we live in a past history, a present world, and a future world of which we hope and pray for redemption. This unique sense of temporality means that we share in the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea and the revelation at Mount Sinai, but also in the tragedies of our past as we today celebrate the destruction of the first and second temples.

So too, we should remember and never forget the Holocaust as if we were there in the death camps. This charge, this imperative upon every Jew is a greater and greater challenge in our own day as the generation that endured the death camps is dwindling leaving us to tell their stories and to be their collective memories.

The title and central metaphor of Paper Clips poignantly frames the question of memory. How easily we clean out a desk drawer and toss out some worthless paper clips. This scrap of metal might have had some value when it bound together an important document, but is nothing more than trash when it has become unfastened.

A fellow faculty member at the university where I teach once asked me why I’m teaching a university course on the Holocaust. Presumably, a class on World War II would make sense, but not one entitled Holocaust. Did I actually have to explain to her that Jewish genocide is a subject for all students—of all backgrounds and all faiths—to learn about? The film Paper Clips demonstrates that sometimes a schoolchild is better able to comprehend something than a Ph.D.

Paper Clips (2004), recounts the story of a middle school in Tennessee that takes on a project of collecting paper clips  (30 million to date) in order to remember those who perished in the Holocaust. This symbol was borrowed from the Norwegians, who wore paper clips on their lapels to protest Nazi occupation during World War II.  In this small Christian town of Whitwell, population 1600, this project was designed in 1998 by principal Linda Hooper to promote ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity. The learning here not only covered the history lesson, but also promoted soul searching within the community, including the vice-principal’s mention of the racist jokes his father used to make, and the fear that the area would be branded as red neck. (by the way, The Ku Klux Klan was born 100 miles from this community of Whitwell, in Pulaski, TN). Here past intolerances reflected in lessons of the Shoah create learning tools for present day tolerance. Others carelessly toss out a paper clip as a worthless scrap of metal, but the children of this small town in the deep South bind the story to the clip, elevating and imbuing each one as a symbol of the precious lives that were lost.

On Tishab’Av, we commemorate the destruction of the first and second temples of past ages. This ongoing tragedy of living in exile, however, calls us as a people to perform mitzvot and acts of loving kindness in the present in order to hasten redemption. The story of Paper Clips responds to the tragedy of the Holocaust with positive actions. Even the simplest school child has the power to transform the world with knowledge of the past. Thus truth is found in the “past’s reverberation with the present” (Williams, “Mirrors without Memories” 20). Let’s always remember and never forget.


Chazon, Tisha B'av, Mommy & Me

The 9 day mourning period is a time to reflect on our efforts to bring about a better world through study and action. Thereby, we will herald a perfect world with Moshiach's arrival. Tisha B'Av will conclude the nine days.

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.

MOMMY & ME WITH A JEWISH TWIST IS BACK! Chanie will be leading a four week Mommy & Me summer session beginning on Tuesday, August 30. These weekly workshops are for mother and baby from 3 months to two years of age. Our Mommy & Me program offers a great opportunity to meet other moms, share experiences, discuss child growth and development. Click here for more and to RSVP...

Shabbos Parshas Devarim - Chazon

This Shabbat before the Ninth of Av is called Shabbat Chazon ("Shabbat of Vision") after the opening words of the day's reading from the prophets ("haftara"), which is the third of the series of readings known as " The Three of Rebuke." On this Shabbat, say the Chassidic masters, we are granted a vision of the Third Temple; we may not see it with our physical eyes, but our souls see it, and are empowered to break free of our present state of galut (exile and spiritual displacement) and bring about the Redemption and the rebuilding of the Temple. Links:  The Holy Temple: an Anthology; Shabbat of Vision; About the " Three of Rebuke";

Friday, August 5
Services at 7:30 pm
    Candle Lighting at 7:54 pm | RSVP by Shabbat Dinner!

Shabbos, August 6
Preprayer Chassidus / Kabbala Study 9 am
Services at 10 am
    Followed by Shabbos kiddush
Mincha at 8 pm
Ethics of our Fathers Chapter 3
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 8:49 pm
Living Torah

Sunday, August 7
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 pm

Monday, August 8
The fast of Tishah B'Av begins this evening at sunset, 8:10 pm.
Eicha & Screening of Paper Clips, The Movie at 8:30 pm

  • Some of the fast's mourning practices--such as refraining from Torah study other than texts related to the events and nature of the fast day--are observed beginning from midday, Chatzot, today at 1:28 pm.
  • The final meal before the start of the fast, eaten shortly before sunset, is called seudah hamafseket. Only one cooked food is eaten at this meal, customarily an egg dipped in ashes.
  • On Tisha B'Av we are mourning the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel, (see " Today in Jewish History") we abstain from eating and drinking, bathing, the wearing of leather footwear, and marital relations--for the night and day of Av 9 (i.e., from sundown on Av 8 to nightfall on Av 9).
  • It is customary to sit on the floor or a low seat until after mid-day. Torah study is restricted to laws of mourning, passages describing the destruction of the Temple, and the like.
  • "Eichah"--the Book of Lamentations--is read tonight in the synagogue after evening prayers.
  • Links: Mitzvah Minute: Tisha b'Av; Laws of Tishah B'Av

Tisha B'Av Tuesday, August 9
Fast Ends at 8:34 pm

  • Talis & Tefillin is not worn during Shacharit, morning prayers. You may join Chabad Lubavitch Center (10900 Fondren) at 6:45 am or 8 am for Shacharit. Rabbi Chaim will be at the 8 am minyan.
  • The tefillin are worn only during the afternoon Minchah prayers. (Chabad on Fondren at 7:15 pm) 
  • In commemoration of the burning of the Temple which lasted into the 10th day of Av, we continue the mourning practices of the "Nine Days" (abstaining from meat and wine, music, recreational bathing, etc.--see "Laws and Customs" for " Av 1) until after mid-day, Chatzot, at 1:27 pm on Wednesday August 10. 

AUG 14:  THE WHITE PARTY - 4 the Berry's - Young Adults & Professionals | Facebook 
The Steering Committee (please join) has decided to make all proceeds benefit the  Joshua and Robin Berry Children’s Trust! Do a mitzvah and have a great time! #showyourhearts

AUG 16-21: National Jewish Retreat - Hyatt Regency New Greenwich CT

AUG 26: Young Pros Summer closeout Cocktails and Shabbat Dinner | Facebook.

See you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

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