Printed from


Thoughts, notes and happenings...

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

Event Photos, Videos and Upcoming Young Pros and College Shabbats!

Scroll down for more on:

  • Torah ceremony recap, photos, videos and news.
  • Thurs. Feb 2 screening of Rebbe's 10 Shevat Farbrengen
  • Friday, Feb. 3 "First Fridays" Young Pros Shabbat dedicated to Catherine Shaw
  • YouTube: What Chabad Rabbis Say...
  • Feb 10-12: 4th Annual Intercollegiate Shabbaton
  • Tomorrow night Shabbos dinner in honor of Omri Buzi
  • This Shabbos Schedule
  • Thus Sunday BLT

What a beautiful event! Thank you for all of your dedication and support for the Torah completion, parade and dedication ceremony! A special shout out to all of our committed volunteers! You truly pulled through and over extended yourselves for a beautiful event! We will read from the Torah for the first time ever this Shabbos- please join us!

Pictures & Video of the completion ceremony catered by Laykies Gourmet and the Torah installation ceremony at the Chabad House catered by Flour - Made with Love are now on the website. Only some clips from the video taken are there are on our YouTube channel.... Hopefully we will find time to clip and upload others as well.

Selections from the mailbag:

  • This definitely deserves an OMG the brownies and ice cream were Amazing!!!!So glad to have been a part of the dedication... The luncheon at the Junior League was outstanding as was the parade back... Thank you and all involved in this momentous event.
  • We had a wonderful time today at the Unity Torah ceremony! You did an amazing job! Thank you so much!

In the news:

Thursday, Feb. 2, is the eve of Yud Shevat. At 8 pm, we will have the opportunity to experience as a community as we watch a newly released DVD farbrengen of the Rebbe. Experience the spiritual joy and intellectual rigor of a Farbrengen with the Rebbe, while you listen as the timeless truths of the Written Law, the Talmud, Kabbalah and Chasidism are applied to issues of contemporary social and ethical concern. During pauses in the Yiddish talk, the thousands in attendance sing Chassidic melodies and the Rebbe greets them with blessings of L’Chaim! To experience a Farbrengen is to glimpse the unity of higher and lower worlds, a meeting of the Divine and the human, the mystical and the mundane, the timely and the timeless. Join us!

Next Shabbos, February 3 we will have our "First Fridays" Young Professionals Cocktails and Shabbat Dinner! This one is dedicated to the memory of the UH law student who was in a fatal accident a few months ago, Catherine Shaw. Please feel free to invite your friends, Ages 21-3. Friday Night Services: 6:30PM . Cocktails and Shabbat Meal: 7:30PM. Shabbat Dinner and Open Bar. $10 Before Wednesday at 6:00PM - $18 After. RSVP at http://www.chabaduptown.or​g/shabbatdinner. See who is coming by clicking here!

This week we posted a fun parody to a new YouTube trend. Our video is called "Stuff Chabad Rabbis Say"... It is a hit passing 10,000 views...! It was great fun to film and even more to edit! See it on (and subscribe to) our YouTube Channel

The parody film acts as a commercial for our upcoming Fourth Annual Intercollegiate Shabbaton in College Station, February 10-12, 2012. ***You must register at*** Join Students from Texas A&M, UT, Tulane, UNT, Rice, U of H, Blinn, Oklahoma, South Texas College of Law, Texas State, TCU, UTSA and more at the 4th Annual Grand Texas Intercollegiate Shabbaton! The Shabbaton draws hundreds of Jewish college students from across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, to College Station, Texas for a one-of-a-kind Shabbat experience. Highlights of the event include a massive Shabbat dinner and lunch, guest speakers and workshops on contemporary Jewish topics, lively services, musical entertainment and a Saturday night Texas barbeque. The event is hosted by the Chabad Jewish Student Center at Texas A&M in collaboration with Jewish student centers in the Texas region. THIS IS ONE WEEKEND YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS! Register today!

This Shabbos, the Friday night dinner is sponsored by the Buzi family in honor of Omri's acceptance to business school. Please RSVP and join us as we celebrate together!

Shabbos Parshas Bo

Friday, January 27
Services at 6:30 pm
Candle lighting at 5:36 pm
Shabbat dinner sponsored by the Buzis | RSVP!

Shabbos, January 28
Preprayer Kabbala Study of Basi Legani at 9 am
In preparation for Yud Shevat
Services at 10 am
Followed by Special Kiddush and Farbrengen in honor of Yud Shevat
Mincha at 5:40 pm
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 6:34 pm
Living Torah

Sunday, January 29
BLT = Bagels Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 am

See y'all real soon!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan

Stuff Chabad Rabbis Say

This was tons of fun to film and even more to edit... :)

Your Red Carpet is Rolled Out

The moment is here! The Torah, Crown, Breastplate, Covers have all arrived! We will roll out the red carpet to complete and welcome our first Torah AND YOU AS WELL! We look forward to welcoming you together with the Shmuel Goldberg Unity Torah!

"A few days before the completion of the Sefer Torah and the bringing of it to the synagogue, announcements are made in all the synagogues of the city that: on such and such a day, there will be G‑d willing, a completion of the Sefer Torah and the bringing of it to the synagogue; and all congregants are invited to come to give honor to the Torah when it is being carried to the synagogue". (See more customs here


Up until the Torah's completion (and beyond) you can still partake in the special mitzvah of writing a Torah for yourself and any of your friends and family.

The entire Chabad of Uptown family extends its Mazel Tov to the newest couple, Leon & Rina Trakhtenberg on their wedding this past week! May they be showered with many blessings from above!!

Shabbos Mevarchim Parshas Va'eira

Friday, January 20
6:30 pm Kabbolas Shabbos
Candle Lighting at 5:30 pm |

Shabbos, January 21
Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim 8:30 am
Services at 10 am
Followed by Shabbos Mevarchim Kiddush and Farbrengen
Mincha at 5:30 pm
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 6:28 pm
Living Torah 15 min. video

Sunday, January 22
1:00 PM VIP Reception Lunch - Torah completion at Junior League - RSVP at
2:30 PM Harley Mounted Police Escorted Parade to Chabad of Uptown - FREE & OPEN TO ALL

Mazel tov and looking forward to seeing you!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Shamooelian Kiddush and more

  • Wow! We are truly humbled by the commitment and participation of the broader Chabad of Uptown family in their response to the conclusion and welcoming of our our first Torah! If you haven't yet, you still have an opportunity to choose a meaningful letter, word, verse, paragraph, parshah or Chumash in the The Shmuel Goldberg Unity Torah thus fulfilling a Mitzvah of the Torah! A beautiful commemorative certificate comes along with each dedication.
    • We have received many questions about the customs and order relating to an historic moment of a Torah's completion, so we have posted a selection of customs on our website. When reading them you get the flavor of what this big deal is all about....  
    • Even though the journal is on its  way to the printer we are still accepting ads. Any ads received after the book strikes the press will be included in an addendum. Visit to make your selection now!
  • 4TH TEXAS STUDENT SHABBATON: Save the date for the 4th Annual Texas Intercollegiate Shabbaton on Feb. 10-12, 2012!!! See photos from last year here! Registration will be opening soon at
  • This Shabbos lunch kiddush is sponsored by Ben & Regina Shamooelian in honor of their recent wedding. Please join us in wishing them mazel tov!
  • We extend our condolences to Andrea Schultz on the recent passing of her mother. May her memory be for a blessing. May Hashem comfort her and her wonderful family among the mourners of Zion & Jerusalem.

Shabbos Parshas Shemos

Friday, January 13
Services at 6:30 pm
    Candle Lighting at 5:24 pm

Shabbos January 14
PrePrayer Kabbala Study of Torah Or at 9 am
Services at 10 am
    Followed by kiddush in honor of Ben & Regina's recent wedding.
Mincha at 5:30 pm
Maariv Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 6:23 pm
Living Torah Video

Sunday, January 15
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Teffilin (and some great coffee too!) at 9:30 am
Go Texans!

Looking forward to seeing you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 


Partial Compilation of Customs for Completion of a New Sefer Torah

Partial Compilation of

The Customs for

The Completion and Welcoming a New Sefer Torah

– Collected from the letters and talks of our Rebbeim –

Setting the Date

1.      "Set the time for a meritorious day" – it is proper to set the celebration for a day of segulah close to when the time to complete the scroll has come.

Choosing the Synagogue

2.    From the two synagogues requesting to welcome the Sefer Torah, the Written Torah should be welcomed by a synagogue where the Oral Torah is learned within.

Preparations for the Completion Ceremony

3.    A few days before the completion of the Sefer Torah and the bringing of it to the synagogue, announcements are made in all the synagogues of the city that: on such and such a day, there will be G‑d willing, a completion of the Sefer Torah and the bringing of it to the synagogue; and all congregants are invited to come to give honor to the Torah when it is being carried to the synagogue.

4.    Do not use "Ksav Ashuri" for the invitations printed [for the celebration for completing and welcoming the Torah]. Also it is questionable if letters with "Tagim" should be used at all.

5.    The "Atzei Hachayim" of the Sefer Torah – should be made specifically of wood (and not iron).

6.    Surely, the mantle etc. for the Sefer Torah should also be prepared. Also appropriately prepare – as the custom is for generations – the "Yad" from silver etc., and also a "Keser".

7.     The Luchos – as a design on the mantle etc. – should be depicted square.

8.    There are those who place effort that when the mantle and sash for the Sefer Torah are sown, they take extra material (of silk) than what is necessary, and before sowing, small pieces are cut from the extra material (for the children, at the time of the Sefer Torah's welcoming – as mentioned in custom 22).

The Day of Completion

9.    The day of the completion is a holiday on which tachnun is not said.

10.Chassidim and men scrupulous in their deeds go to Mikvah on this day before the prayers.

11.   During the prayers, candles are lit in the Synagogue.

The Completion

12.Dress in Yom Tov clothes.

13. It is customary among all Jews to sell the "letters" (for the benefit of the synagogue or general charity). Still – appropriately check the local custom, especially among those who fear the word of G-d and adhere to His commandments.

14.After finishing the order of the completion – with the sewing of the parchment, lift the Sefer Torah (Hagbah).

15. Afterwards wrap the Sefer Torah, tying its sash and mantle, adorn it with the "Yad" and "Keser".

16. At the time of completing the Sefer Torah and bringing it to the synagogue, every action of honor, and the most scrupulous of honors, made [in the honor of the Torah] – is beautiful, praiseworthy and holy.

The Procession

17. After finishing the order of the completion – the celebration of the procession begins, made – generally – with a multitude of people and great fanfare.

18. Carrying the Sefer Torah and bringing it to the synagogue is a general celebration for all to participate in for the honor of the Torah, including those which for various reasons (as accustomed among the laymen with regards to honor and the like or jealousy and sinah) who do not want to participate in the conclusion of the Sefer.

19. The procession – even if it is done inside the synagogue – is with a canopy and lit candles; with song and musical instruments with great joy.

20.         Emphasis should be placed to allow all Jews, men, women and especially the children, to kiss the Sefer Torah's mantle at the time the Sefer Torah is being carried to the synagogue. It is a segulah for health and long life.

21.There are those who bring their children still in the cradle to a position on the processional path of the Sefer Torah, so to merit placing the Sefer Torah’s mantle on the child’s face.

22.         There were those who, when the children would kiss the Sefer Torah, the parents would purchase a small piece of the (silk) material used for the mantle of the Sefer Torah (as a protection for the child, with pure faith in the segulah hidden and concealed in beautification of a mitzvah).

The Welcoming to the Synagogue

23.         When preparing to enter the synagogue, the gabbai (warden) of the synagogue, his deputies, and the cantor of the synagogue, open the ark and take out the Sifrei Torah.

24.         Before the ark is opened, the cantor says “Sifrei Torah, you are requested by all; the holy community; the congregants of the synagogue; to trouble yourself and to go welcome the Sefer Torah which so and so has merited to write and to bring in to this synagogue in a good and successful hour.”

The Celebration in the Synagogue

25.         Announce the verses of "Ato Horaysa" – as on Simchas Torah.

26. When the verses of "Ato Horaysa" are completed (including "Av Harachamim") – on Simchas Torah – the Chabad custom in recent years add afterwards the verse: And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall gain strength westward and eastward and northward and southward; and through you shall be blessed all the families of the earth and through your seed.

27.When the verses are completed, seven hakofos are made [while saying the proper verses], and during each hakofoh they would dance with the Sefer Torah – with obvious joy – as on Simchas Torah.

28.         Do not remove the "Keser" from the Sefer Torah for the dancing (for fear of it possibly falling).

29.         When the seventh hakofoh ends, say “Rejoice and exult in the rejoicing of the Torah,” and while saying this passage an eighth hakofah is made.

30.         After the hakafosYehallelu” is said, all the Sifrei Torah are placed in the Aron Hakodesh. The “Oleinu” and Mourner’s Kaddish is said.

Seudat Mitzvah

31. At the conclusion of the order of completing the Sefer Torah, celebrate with a festive meal in honor of the Mitzvah, at times – with various "mezonot" and drinks alone.

32. The custom is for the celebrant to wear a new garment – or to eat a new fruit – and make the blessing "Sheyechiyanu" [aloud].

33.During the festive meal talk words of Torah, and words of inspiration to set fixed times for [study of] Torah, dissemination of Torah with the awe of Heaven, and strengthening of those who learn Torah. (At the time of the completing of the "Moshiach's Sefer Torah", the Chassidic discourse which begins with the words, "To comprehend the concept of writing a Torah" was said).

34. Excerpt of a letter of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, o.b.m.: "At the time of the rejoicing with the joy of the Torah … extend to them [the participants] my blessings of Mazal Tov, and may the Holy One, blessed be He merit us to rejoice with the joy of the Torah together with greeting our righteous Moshiach speedily, Amen, Kein Yehi Ratzon".

* * *

Excerpt of a letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, o.b.m.: "This Mitzvah is the completion of the 613 commandments of the Torah, and there are those who make the connection with the end of the period of Golus".

journal deadline Jan. 6, young pros dinner, Brenham mikvah

We hope your vacations and times spent with your families were meaningful. After a hectic vacation with a Chanukah packed season, the family needed some quality time. So, on Sunday, we headed out to Clear Lake together as a family to kasher someone's kitchen and searched for seashells on galveston beach. Ok, it was a little cold for that, but, it was memorable. :)

brenham shul.jpgMonday afternoon we took the kids for a visit to Zuma, one of these blinking lights, noisy arcade places, and they were closed. Where to go now?  Um, let's go to.... Austin! Just a slight detour... 290 allows you to ge a little taste of Texas, so we looked up the history of the towns as we passed through. As we cruised through Brenham, we read about the Toubins. They caringly and lovingly look after the shul that still stands near downtown Brenham. Built in 1893, B'nai Abraham Synagogue in the oldest orthodox shul still in continuous use in Texas. I mention that Mrs. Toubin is Michael Pasternak, our candyman's, sister. Mendel calls out, "let's go see it!" Not a bad idea! GPS. 5 minutes later, there we are! We text a picture of us in front of the shul that is locked. Michael quickly calls and asks, did you see the brenham mikvah.jpgmikvah? What?! A mikvah in Brenham? It has since been filled, but, you can still see the outline. The whole experience was so telling about the rich Jewish culture that was once so vibrant in Brenham.... Maybe one day we can do a BLT Sunday morning session in Brenham. That would be nice...

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS: Tomorrow night is First Fridays! It is not too late to register! Do it now! See who is going by clicking here:

The official journal ad deadline for the upcoming Torah celebration is tomorrow, January 6. Please support Chabad of Uptown and dedicate a portion, verse or word in the new Torah!!!

Shabbos Chazak, Parshas Vayechi

Friday, January 6

Services at 6:30 pm followed by Shabbat Dinner for Young Professionals

Candle lighting at 5:19 pm | RSVP for

Shabbos, Jan. 7

Preprayer Kabbala Study at 9 am

Services at 10 am

Chazak, conclusion of the book of Bereishis followed by lunch kidduah

Mincha at 5:15 pm

Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos ends at 6:16pm

Living Torah Video

Sunday, Jan. 8

BLT = Bagels, Lox and Tefillin at 9:30 am

Have a good Shabbos!!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie


Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.