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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!

The Great Shabbos! (read the fine print in schedule)

Wow, Pesach is coming our way in full speed! The Chabad House is getting cleaned up and we are almost spic and span.Pesach Matzah crumbs

This past Sunday, 9000 people (no, that is not a typo -nine thousand) gathered at Miller Outdoor Theatre for the Aishel House benefit concert with Matiysahu Live. I believe that this may have been the largest Jewish sponsored event Houston as ever seen!

This Shabbos is called Shabbos Hagadol (the Great Shabbos), the Shabbos before Pesach, in commemoration of the "great miracle" that happened in Egypt on this day, heralding the Exodus from Egypt five days later. Shabbat HaGadol customs include reading a portion of the Haggadah (from "Avadim hayinu..." to " kol avonotainu"), which tells the story of the Exodus, in between Mincha & Maariv on Shabbos afternoon. It is also customary that the rabbi of the community delivers a lecture in which he elaborates on the laws of Passover and their significance, in preparation for the festival. We will have a special class on Passover laws following Mincha on Shabbos afternoon.

This Monday night & Tuesday is the Lubavitcher Rebbe's 110th Birthday. Any marker of ten is significant and surely this one. Rabbi Chaim will be visiting the ohel and will be happy to deliver any notes or prayers that you would like included by replying to this email or dropping it off before Shabbos.

You can still join us for a seder! Visit for the complete Pesach service schedule and links to rsvp for the seder.

Please join us for another signature Uptown Shabbos!

Shabbos Hagadol Parshas Tzav

Friday, March 30
Mincha, Maariv & Kabbolas Shabbos at 7:30 pm
Candle lighting at 7:21 pm | RSVP for dinner

Shabbos, March 31
Chassidus at 9 am
Shacharis at 10 am
Shabbos Hagadol followed by Kiddush & Farbrengen
Mincha at 7:20 pm
Reading of portion Hagadah and Laws of Pesach (see above)
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 8:16 pm
Kiddush Levana / Sanctification of the Moon (weather permitting)
Living Torah?

Sunday, April 1
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 am
Public Model Matzah Bakery at Chabad Outreach at 3 pm (11000 Fondren)

Monday, April 2
Marking the Rebbe's 110 bithday on 11 Nisan there will be a screening of portion of Rebbe's Farbrengen followed by Chassidisc Farbrengen for men at 8:30 pm at Chabad Lubavitch Center (10900 Fondren)

Wednesday, April 4
YOUNG PROS: Soul of the Four Questions & Four Cups of Wine at 8:30 pm

Thursday, April 5 
Lunch Hour Tanya class at 12 pm (no evening class)
- Sell Your Chometz, now! Do not wait for the last minute! Click here to sell online
After 8:13 pm Formal Search for Chometz

Friday, April 6 (see laws or Pesach A-Z
- 5:52 am Firstborn Fast Begins 
- 6:45-7:30 am Teffilin wrap & Siyum ceremony for firstborns (or parents of firstborns under 13) 
Before 11:16 am Finish eating Chametz 
Before 12:19 pm Finish burning Chametz

Passover I & II Services & Candle Lighting 
(see The Sederlaws or Pesach A-Z

Friday, April 6, 2012 Communal Seder (225 Pixels)
Before 7:25 pm Light Shabbos & Yom Tov Candles (Blessings 3 & 4
- 7:30 pm Mincha & Maariv Services 
- 8:30 pm First Communal Seder - RSVP

Shabbos, April 7 
- 10:00 am Morning Services (Shacharit) 
- 7:25 pm Mincha & Maariv Services (Begin to Count Omer
After 8:21 pm Light Yom Tov Candles (Blessings 2 & 4
- 8:30 pm Second Communal Seder - RSVP 

Sunday, April 8 
- 10:00 am Morning Services (Shacharit) 
- 7:25 pm Mincha & Maariv Services 
- 8:22 pm Yom Tov Ends

See ya on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Toulouse or not to lose... hope. Mrs. Sandler's call from the heart

A week of intense Pesach preparation is behind us.... Marred, however, with the horrible news coming from Toulouse France where a father, his two children and another child were murdered in cold blood - just for being Jews. Posted on our website, Mrs. Eva Sandler has sent out a "Call from the Heart" to kiss your children, learn Torah, light Shabbos candles and invite one more person to your seder. As we enter the month of Nisan this Shabbos, the "month of redemption" we hope and pray to be siting at our first seder, this year in Jerusalem, in a peaceful world with the ultimate redemption, through the coming of Moshiach, now! (Articles, reflections, news and more in our online magazine:

The RSVP deadline for the seders is tomorrow, this Friday. Please let us know if you will be joining us for the seder - we would love to have you! Complete schedule, RSVP links and links to everything you need to know about Pesach are at

This Shabbos we will celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Alyssa Karchmer with a special service in her honor on Friday night. Mazel tov to Jeff and Deborah and the entire Karchmer family on this special milestone! Chabad of Uptown will be hosting the Shabbos dinner for her family and Chabad Hebrew School classmates.

Mazel tov goes as well to Chanie on last night's engagement of her sister, Mushkie Galperin to Rabbi Yossi Bendet of Minnesota! Many of you have met Mushkie who was in Houston numerous times to help the operations at Chabad of Uptown for holidays and the Torah celebration. May we only share simchas!

This Shabbos we read from three Torah portions, (alas, we only have two Torahs - much better then only one :)) with readings in Parshas Vayikra, Hachodesh and Rosh Chodesh. Triple wammo, home run! You don't want to miss this! :)

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 theJewish calendar, the month of Nissan and the Passover offering.vLinks: The Reading for Hachodesh; From the teachings of the Chassidic masters on Hachodesh; About the Jewish calendarHaftorah in a Nutshell.

Today is Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") for the month of Nissan. Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the Yaaleh V'yavoprayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals; the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted. Many have the custom to mark Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal and reduced work activity. The latter custom is prevalent amongst women, who have a special affinity with Rosh Chodesh -- the month being the feminine aspect of the Jewish CalendarLinks: The 29th DayThe Lunar Files

A special mitzvah, which can be fulfilled only once a year, is to recite the berachah("blessing" or prayer) made upon seeing a fruit tree in bloom: Blessed are you G-d our G-d, king of the universe, who left nothing lacking in His world, and created within it good creatures and good trees with which He gives pleasure to people. Today is the first opportunity to make this blessing, but it can be done anytime during the month of Nissan (referred to by the Torah as "the month of spring" ). Many visit botanical gardens during this time, so as to avail themselves of an opportunity to observe this beautiful mitzvah. Link: Trees

Beginning today, and continuing through Nissan 13, we recite the verses (from Numbers ch. 7) describing the offerings made by the "princes" (nesi'im) of the 12 tribes of Israel (see " Mishkan inaugurated"). Today we read of the gift bought by Nachshon ben Aminadav, the nasi of the tribe of Judah, on this date. Tomorrow we read of Issachar's gift, and so on for the 12 tribes. On the 13th of Nissan we read G-d's instructions to Aaron regarding the kindling of the menorah, which represents the participation of the priestly tribe of Levi. Following the verses of the day's "Nasi," we recite a short prayer in which we say, "...if I, Your servant, am from the tribe of ___ whose section of the Nasi I have read today in Your Torah, may all the holy sparks and holy illuminations that are included within the holiness of this tribe shine upon me, to grant me understanding and intelligence in Your Torah and my awe of You, to do Your will all the days of my life...." Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and EnglishLinks: Tribes.


Shabbos Parshas Vayikra, Hachodesh and Rosh Chodesh

Friday, March 23
Services at 7:30 pm 
Candle Lighting at 7:17 pm

Shabbos, March 24
Chassidus Study at 9: 00 am
Shacharis at 10 am
Readings of Vayikra, Hachodesh, Rosh Chodesh
Followed by celebratory Kiddush and Farbrengen
Mincha at 7:20 pm
Laws of Pesach
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 8:11 pm
Living Torah

Sunday, March 25 
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 am

See ya on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan



Yes, it's Pesach time!!

Purim (many more pics uploaded - pls send us yours!) is behind us and Pesach is coming full steam ahead - only 3 weeks away!

What are your plans for the Seders? Please join us for one or both of the signature Uptown Style Seders on Friday and / or Saturday nights, April 6 & 7 - we would love to have you! The RSVP links and complete Pesach schedule is on our website at

YOUNG PROS: For the next three weeks the Wednesday night 8:30 pm young professional classes will explore a Practical, Psychological and Spiritual Guide to the Passover Experience. Making Passover Relevant and Bringing the Seder Alive, including your 15 Step Program Toward Inner Liberation Each class will stand on its own, so if you miss one, don't worry you can always join the next one! Of course, for the most meaningful Pesach & Seder experience you won't want to miss any! :) On Facebook Here

  • March 21 - 15 Seder Steps towards Personal Freedom
  • March 28 - Spirit of the Three Matzahs
    (LOAVES OF LOVE - oops, Matzahs of Love)
  • April 4 - Soul of the Four Questions & Four Cups of Wine 


This week the Torah reading of Parah (Numbers 19) is added to the weekly reading. Parah details the laws of the "Red Heifer" and the process by which a person rendered ritually impure by contact with a dead body was purified. When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, every Jew had to be in a state of ritual purity in time for the bringing of the Passover offering in the Temple. Today, though we're unable to fulfill the Temple-related rituals in practice, we fulfill them spiritually by studying their laws in the Torah. Thus, we study and read the section of Parah in preparation for the upcoming festival of Passover. RelatedLinks: The Parah reading w commentaryThe Calf's Mother.

Don't miss the Aishel House concert live with Matisyahu on Sunday, March 25!

Shabbos Mevarchim, Parshas Parah & Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei

Friday, March 16

Kabbolas Shabbos at 7:30 pm 
Candle Lighting at 7:13 pm | RSVP for

Shabbos, March 17

Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim at 8:30 am
Shacharis at 10 am
Blessing of the New Month of Nisan
Followed by Shabbos Mevarchim Kiddush & Farbrengen
Mincha at 7:15 pm
Preparatory Study of the Laws of Pesach
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 8:07 pm
Living Torah (if we are successful in replacing our broken DVD player).

Sunday, March 18
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 pm

Wednesday, March 21
Young Pros: 15 Seder Steps towards Personal Freedom at 8:30 pm

Thursday, March 22 
Tanya at Noon (optional lunch)
Tanya at 8 pm

See you on Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan

Purim Roundup!

 What an amazing Purim! Here it is in numbers:

    angry bird family.jpg
  • 7 Angry Birds roamed Houston.
  • Over 400 people attended Cirque du Purim, with 50 costume wearers walking away with a free gift.
  • A minyan (12 people) was held at 6:45 am(!)
  • 7 prisoners had their party
  • 40 residents at The Hampton of Post Oak
  • 100 at Family Purim in the Circus
  • There is no count for the drinks, sorry.
  • We collected some of the pictures, comments & videos on my Facebook profile at and put them on our website here
  • If you have any Purim pictures of our events please send them in!! We will try to collect them all and put them on our website

Next Sunday, March 25 will be a special evening to benefit Aishel House with Matisyahu in concert! This is an event you don't want to miss. Click here for more information

This Sunday is the Friendship Walk

Yes, it is Shabbos already!!

Shabbos Parshas Ki Sisa

Friday, March 9
Kabbolas Shabbos at 6:30 pm (NEXT WEEK AT 7:30 pm)
Candle lighting at 6:09 pm | RSVP for Shabbat Dinner

Shabbos, March 10
Preprayer Chassidus Study at 9 am
Shacharis at 10 am
Followed by Kiddush with the best cholent this side of....
Minchah at 6:10 pm
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 7:03 pm

Sunday, March 11
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:30 am
Young Abraham Film at JCC 11 am
Friendship Walk at 2 pm - Support the "Uptown Kids" team!

Wednesday, March 14
8:30 pm Young Professionals Torah Study

Thursday, March 15
12 pm Tanya Study (with optional lunch)
8 pm Evening Tanya Study

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Obliterating our Enemies - This Shabbos! Obliterating our Enemies - This Shabbos!

OK, so much to say, straight to the week's plan:

  • Friday, March 2
    Young Pros First Fridays Shabbos Dinner & Cocktails! See who is coming here!
    6:30 pm Kabbolas Shabbos Services
    Candle Lighting at 6:04. Followed by Young Pros Shabbat Dinner.
  • Shabbos, March 3
    A special reading of Parshas Zachor is read. It is one of the rare Torah readings that are biblically mandated. We also get to take out TWO Torahs this week! We hope you can join us!
    This being the Shabbat before Purim, on which we celebrate the foiling of Haman the Amalekite'splot to destroy the Jewish people, the weekly Parshah is supplemented with the Zachor reading (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) in which we are commanded to remember the evil of Amalek and to eradicate it from the face of the earth. Links: The Zachor Reading with commentary. More onAmalek9:00 am Preprayer Chassidus / Kabbala Study of Torah Or
    10 am Shacharis Services
    11:15 am approx - Biblically mandated Zachor Torah Reading
    6:05 pm Mincha
    6:58 pm Maariv, Havdalla, Blessing of Moon (weather permitting) & Shabbos Ends
    Living Torah Video
  • Sunday, March 4
    There will be the Global Siyum Harambam Ceremony at Chabad Lubavitch Center on Fondren. Learn about Maimonides and perhaps be inspired to join the yearly review of his works!
    9:30 am BLT = Bagels, Lox & Teffilin
    6:45 pm (SHARP) Siyum Harambam Event at Chabad Lubavitch Center
  • Wednesday March 7
    Cirque du Purim at The Galleria Prohibition Voyager Room. Only a few tickets at the dirt cheap $10 price left ($20 at the door). See the crowd coming here!
    8:30 pm and 12 am at The Galleria Voyager Room - Megillah Readings 
  • Thursday, March 8
    No Thursday classes
    6:45 am Shacharis Services

    7:30 am (approx.) Zachor & Megillah Readings at Chabad of Uptown 
    (10:30 & 11:30 Megillah & Parties at the Beumont Prisons - hopefully you will not be there :))
    3:00 pm Megillah Reading at The Hampton at Post Oak (Senior Living)
    5:30 pm Megillah Reading and 
    Family Purim at the Circus

We look forward to seeing you on Shabbos and at the festivities!!

Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan

Students & Young Professionals:Cirque du Purim at The Galleria - Prohibition Voyager Room


Community & Families:

Purim Family Circus


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