Chigwell and Hainault’s monthly family breakfast met at Hainault station on Sunday morning. We got off the train at Embankment and headed to a large hall where a fabulous programme awaited us. There were many crafts and activities educating us about Jewish Soldiers fighting the war. We made wreaths covered in poppies, painted some poppies, wrote names of Jewish soldiers who were killed during different wars (on red ribbons) and sung songs that were popular during the war. There were also plenty of refreshments to keep our energy up as we all went on from the education event to the annual AJEX Parade. We were proud to see many of our community marching in the parade. This included some teens in the JLGB marching band, lots of Chigs members and some grown ups wearing their parents' or grandparents' war medals to honour their memories. We all answered Amen as the Kaddish prayer was recited in memory of the fallen Jewish soldiers.
The Bat Mitzvah Club
The Bat Mitzvah Club is a group of year 6 and 7 girls who meet monthly at the Goodwin’s home to learn through fun activities. This month we held a Friday night dinner at shul for them and their families. All components of the dinner were put together by the girls. This began with a challah bake on the Wednesday night. The challos were eaten at the dinner. Some girls were in charge of preparing the food, creating parsha themed centrepieces, saying a dvar Torah, setting the table and being MC for the night. There was also a fun game led by Rabbi Rafi. A great time was had by all!
Harry Rothenberg, Partner of a Law Firm in New York, a graduate of Harvard Law School as well as attending Yeshivah for a number of years, spoke at a special breakfast at shul on Tuesday morning 21 November. The breakfast was kindly sponsored by Don Everitt and we are also grateful to the JLE who had co-ordinated Harry’s trip and did not ask for any payment. Those in attendance were treated to a unique perspective on the well known Joseph story. In what seemed 5 minutes but was actually 45, Harry set a scene whereby at first, nothing in the Joseph story made any sense. Why did the brothers detest Joseph’s words as well as his dreams? Was there a difference between the two? Why did Pharaoh select someone in prison, having been accused of a heinous crime, and of all people, a Jew, to interpret his dreams? Why did Pharaoh not kill Joseph on numerous occasions when Joseph was apparently providing recommendations well above his station? Why did Pharaoh appoint Joseph as Governor of Egypt for stating the obvious, that grain should be stored during the 7 years of plenty for the 7 years of famine?
In starting to answer these questions, Harry drew from some amazing sources. Of particular note was one of the piyutim, liturgical poems we read on the 10th of Tevet fast day, that perplexingly describes the innocuous baker in the story as one of the greatest enemies of the Jewish people. Harry went on to create a picture of Joseph as the master of dreams with an almost mystical, supernatural but ultimately G-d given power to use his power of interpretation into the reality that Joseph chose. That included shockingly, both the death of the baker in self-defence, as well as the interpretation of the seven ears of corn and the seven cows that was in the interests of both Pharaoh and Joseph. Further plots and sub plots thereafter intertwined and bounced off each other, leading to one of the most remarkable appointments in history – Joseph becoming the Governor of Ancient Egypt.
This was Harry’s second time at Chigwell & Hainault and we are already looking forward to his third visit PG