Pause for a pesach thought

Pause for a pesach thought."

Hardening Pharaoh's Heart

There is a famous question, how could G-d harden Pharaohs heart,does that not undermine the concept of freedom of choice?

There are many answers given to this question,here is one which may resonate ethically with all of us,in our everyday lives.

Pharaoh had been arrogant and pig-headed for a long time , this caused him to find it hard to change ,and eventually to lose the ability to change.This is the “hardening of the heart”.
On the other hand, If you recognize the truth and refuse to act on what you know, you dig yourself into a rut that will get deeper and deeper.This is a lesson for everyone.

Rabbi Benjy









15 April-Halacha –Rabbi Benjy



Kashering a stainless steel sink for Pesach-many people will be kashering their sink in the next few days here is a step by step guide.This is actually ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT of the preparations for pesach.

(NB that this the halacha for asheknazim,sefardim have slight variations)

1 Clean the sink well

2 Do not use the sink with anything hot for 24 hours prior to koshering


3 Ensure the sink is dry prior to kashering

4 Pour boiling hot water over the entire surface of the sink including the sides

5 The boiling water should be poured directly from the kettle

6 On the bottom of the sink, the water must be poured on each part of the surface,and not just allowed to “run” from one part to another.



14 April

Rabbi Benjy-Halacha

Pets have to be considered on Pesach,despite the jokes ,there is no obligation on the pet ,but because of the issues of ownership of the animal and /or presence of Since one is not allowed to have chametz in one’s possession over Pesach, nor own chametz,nor to derive benefit from it, one cannot feed pets on Pesach with foods which are or contain chametz, nor can such food be kept in the house.  Please note that it does not solve the problem just to ask a Non Jewish Friend or neighbour to look after the pet during Pesach,and then feed the pet chametz.  On the London Beth Din website there is information about pet foods for pesach,

Wednesday,13 April

Blessings from Heaven - Anna Simmonds

Our Chachamim tell us that the night that Yitzchok blessed his son Yaakov was Seder night.The reason that Yitzchok specifically chose this time was because he knew that on this night the Heavens are opened with outpourings of blessings.

As well as those blessings, on this night Yaakov also received the brocho of ‘the voice’(Kol) as in HaKol Kol Yaakov.We use our voices in prayer and study,but on Seder night we use them to tell of the Yetzias Mitzrayim…as the Haggada relates, ‘and the more one tells about the going out from Mitzrayim,the more he is praiseworthy.’


Tuesday, 12 April

יד  ו?י??ע?ש?ו?-כ?ן ה?ח?ר?ט?מ??ים
ב??ל?ט?יה?ם ל?הו?צ?יא א?ת-
ה?כ??נ??ים, ו?ל?א י?כ?לו?;.

14 And the magicians did so their secret arts to bring forth lice, but they could not;.

The magicians of Egypt were unable to recreate the lice.They believed, that because they had hitherto controlled some natural forces ,that they could control human destiny. Here they learned otherwise.Technical prowess has led humans ,time and again to believe they are divine ,scaling the heavens.They are not and never will be.Humilty is the only antidote to hubris.

Adapted from The Writings of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks


Monday, 11th April


The vegetable for KARPAS should if possible, be a green vegetable because the Talmud refers to this mitzvah as” Y-E-R-E_K” which means green.It is preferable not to use therefore potatoes,cucumbers tomatoes and carrots which are NOT Green.

Rav Dovid Feinstein suggests that the reason why potatoes were commonly used in Russia for Karpas,was because they were the type available at this time of year.

Nowadays,green vegetables are readily avaliable.It is noteworthy that in some older Haggadot,this part of the seder is called”greens”

Rabbi Benjy




Sunday .10th April

Anna Simmonds

Responsibility for each other

Not all the Jewish people were enslaved in Mitzrayim to the same degree and our Sages tell us that the Leviim were not slaves at all.

As some Jews obviously had more to eat than others,they broke their bread and shared it with others who had less.

This is symbolized by the act of breaking the middle Matza in Yachatz at the Seder…the act of sharing.
We all have a responsibility towards each o

(Based on a thought by R.Aaron Goldscheider)





Mon, 26/06/17 | 2 Tammuz 5777

 Shabbat Korach

Shabbat begins at 9:27pm

Candle lighting is between 7:56 pm and 8:05 pm

Shabbat ends 11:00 pm





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I hope the ideas contained below, will provide you with some topics for discussion, at your Shabbos table.

Weekly Halocha - Rabbi Simmonds


1. If you are using your garden on Shabbos ,and want to carry out food furniture toys from the house etc, you must make sure the garden is properly enclosed. Just because it is a private garden does not mean that it is Halachically a “private area” “RESHUS HAYOCHID”. If you are not sure seek competent advice on the issue

2. Climbing up/ on trees or use of a tree house is not permitted on Shabbos.

3. Take care when carrying drinks not to spill any on the soil or grass.