Chayei Sarah - Sarah's Life According to an ancient midrash (rabbinic interpretation of the Torah), all the time that Sarah lived, a sense of holines


Chayei Sarah - Sarah's Life


According to an ancient midrash (rabbinic interpretation of the Torah), all the time that Sarah lived, a sense of holiness was palpably present in her home. The food she made tasted of blessing; a cloud hovered at the doorways of her tent - which were always spread wide to receive guests - and a candle burned without ceasing from one Shabbat to the next.

When Sarah died, as reported at the beginning of this past week's parsha (Gen 23:1-2), these indications of divine presence departed.

But when Rebekah joined the family, the midrash tells us that these signs returned. (Genesis Rabbah 60:16). This, say the rabbis, is what is hinted at in the verse we read towards the end of this Shabbat's parsha: "And Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, and made Rebekah his wife, and he loved her; thus was Isaac comforted after [the loss of] his mother." (Gen 24:16)

A light once again burned from one Shabbat to the next.


Introducing... 25-Hour Shabbat!


With the merit of our ancestors Sarah and Rebekah, as we close this Shabbat, we look already to the Shabbat that lies ahead - may a holy flame light our way from one to the next.

Next Friday and Saturday, from sundown to sundown, we will be celebrating Shabbat together as a community not just for an evening or a morning - but for the whole blissful expanse of the sacred sabbath.

Friday 2 - Saturday 3 December

Come For Everything, or Drop In Any Time!


So, In Practice?

aleph shabbat

Friday Night 12/2, 6pm

Please join us for an evening of prayer, rituals, teachings and a delicious meal in community... potluck style. With musical support from Ian McPherson and Kendall Perry.

Please rsvp to so we know how many to expect, and please bring a vegetarian potluck contribution to share.

Members and guests of all ages are very welcome.


Saturday Morning 12/3, 10am

Join us for an easy-to-follow, musical, participatory Shabbat shacharit and Torah service, featuring Shul of Rock musicians Josh Phillips and Andy Better.

We will take out the Torah and read the story of Jacob and Esau's birth.

The service is appropriate for anyone 5 and up, though younger children are welcome to attend if their parents are OK tending to them.

Details of lunch (packed lunch? potluck? oneg?) tbc. Watch this space.


Want to sponsor an oneg? Please email

Phillips  Joshua

Josh Phillips - guitar


Andy Better - percussion and ukelele

Teen musicians we want you! Get in touch if you want to play.


12:30-3:30pm Board Games and Hangout Time!

One of the awesome things about Shabbat is having time to do very little. Folks are invited to stay after lunch, come early for Torah study, or just drop in to read, drink tea, chat, or play board games together. We have some games at the shul, but why not bring your favourite?


Maggid Charna Rosenholtz

Saturday 3:30-5:15pm: Third Meal and Torah Study

Join Rav Bracha and Maggid Charna for one last episode of Shabbat joy.

Over the "third meal" of Shabbat (mostly tea and cake given the timing), we will take a deep dive into some Torah study, with regular Shabbat afternoon Torah teacher Charna Rosenholtz, who has been ordained as a Maggid - sacred teacher and storyteller - by the Alliance for Jewish Renewal.

We'll also sing the gorgeous sequence of songs sung in the last hour of Shabbat, supported by ian McPherson.

Cookie contributions most welcome.

Please bring a chumash (Bible or Pentateuch/Torah) if you have one. We have several too.

Saturday 5:15pm: Havdallah


Help conclude our 25-hour Shabbat together in style, with the classic Havdallah service.

Havdallah means separation, and in a beautiful candlelit ceremony we use wine, spices and fire to signal the end of shabbat and prepare to begin a new week.

Come share farewells to Shabbat and blessings for the week ahead.


We Look Forward to Celebrating With You!

Please email if you would like to sponsor some food for any part of 25-Hour Shabbat

That would be lovely!


As the chassidic masters teach us, on Shabbat we are able to attain a place of soul connection that is denied to us during the week. This is a day for celebrating existence itself, remembering and glorifying the creation of the world, and our special relationship with time.

"A semblance of the world to come," may our celebration of Shabbat together give us a collective vision of the light that will in the future dominate the whole earth.

And May We Be Blessed, Like Sarah and Rebekah Our Mothers, To Carry That Light Forward, From This Time To The Next.


Shavua Tov - And I'll See You Next Shabbes!


Rav Bracha


PS Yes we are meeting tomorrow Sunday 11/27 at noon to vision together our collective CNK contributions to Tikkun Olam, repair of the world. Please join us!

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