Editorial 06/06/2019

Dear Parents,

We would like to highlight to any members of the Chomesh L’Chinuch kehillohs (GGBH, Hendon Adass, Beis Yisroel, Beis Shmuel and Edgware Adass) that we have been informed by the community funding for school’s charity – Chomesh L’Chinuch, that there is a special Shavous sign-up bonus worth up to £1,250 per donor. This bonus amount is triggered by each new Chomesh L’Chinuch standing order and the donor selects which school receives the sign-up bonus. If you (or your family/friends) join Chomesh L’Chinuch and select our school as the sign-up bonus beneficiary, this could be worth many £10,000s for our school and will make an important contribution to the schools financing.

We therefore encourage all parents, grandparents and alumni who are members of these kehillohs to sign up to Chomesh L’Chinuch and to please select OUR school for the Shavous sign-up bonus. Please click here to view the attached poster which provides further information regarding this special Shavous bonus.


Eli Katz & Emanuel Meyer

Dear Parents,

I would like to share an electrifying idea that pertains to Megilas Rus and contains, in my very humble opinion, a key ingredient to successful parenting and chinuch.

Towards the end of the first perek, the Megila shares the famous dialogue between Naomi and Rus where Rus is adamant that she will cleave to her mother in law and join the Jewish people. On a personal note, these pesukim are poignant, as my father הריני כפרת משכבו, made me and my siblings learn them by heart when we were young!

Rashi, citing the Gemara in Yevamos 47b, teaches us the principle that if someone wants to convert to Judaism, we attempt to dissuade them. This is derived from these pesukim.

Naomi tells Rus about the restriction of techum Shabbos, that it is prohibited on Shabbos for Jews to go 2,000 amos beyond the boundaries of his domain. To this restriction, Rus replies “כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ – wherever you go, I will go”, accepting on herself this restriction.

Naomi then tells Rus about the prohibition of yichud, seclusion with a man other than one’s husband. To this restriction, Rus responded “וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין – wherever you lodge, I will lodge”. Again, Rus accepted this prohibition on herself. And so it continued.

Rav Moshe Bamberger, in his sefer Shiras HaLevi, asks a striking question. Would it not have been more accurate for Rus to have responded “Wherever you may not go, I will not go” and “wherever you do not lodge, I will not lodge”.

Rav Bamberger’s answer is spectacular.

Our relationship to Torah and mitzvos should be rooted with a feeling of how beautiful and pleasant they are and how privileged and fortunate we are – אשרינו מה טוב חלקנו.

This explains Rus’ answer to Naomi. Rus did not see Yiddishkeit as a burden, full of restrictions but as a glorious way of life, an opportunity being presented to her to keep a life of Torah and mitzvos.

This explains her positive response. “כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ – wherever you go, I will go”,
“וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין – wherever you lodge, I will lodge”. You can now sense her excitement and enthusiasm.

A friend once told me of a conversation he overheard in the barber’s shop. Someone was moaning about a two-day yom tov (what would he say about this year’s three-day Shabbos and Shavuos!). Another person in the barber’s shop told him “for some, one day is too long and for others two days is not enough”. How true; it is all matter of perspective.

Rus teaches us אשרינו מה טוב חלקנו, how good is our portion, ומה יפה ירושתנו and how beautiful is our inheritance. The feeling of good fortune and excitement is a powerful and beautiful message to internalise as we enter the yom tov of Kabbolas HaTorah. As we renew our commitment to Torah once again, let us model and convey this message to our children and students. Let our Shabbos tables be places of song and simcha where our children want to be. Let us live with a simchas hachaim that a life of Torah learning and mitzva performance can bring.

Wishing you all a wonderful Shabbos and Yom Tov,

Rabbi J Golker