Newsletter Issue # 12 January 11, 2012

Over 25 members of Congregation Bnei Jacob Shaarei Zion (BJSZ) in Baltimore took part in a week-long chizuk and solidarity mission to Israel lead by the congregation’s rabbi, Rav Moshe Hauer. The group had a full itinerary that included stops in all parts of the country, be it showing solidarity in Sderot, visiting Baltimore’s sister city Ashkelon, or checking on the welfare of Gush Katif evacuees in Bnei Netzarim.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach gained worldwide popularity with his best seller “Kosher Sex.” He has since written more than 20 books. Boteach’s newest work – due to be released on February 1 – does not take on the issue of sex, it promises to be no less controversial than his previous works. “Kosher Jesus,” asserts that because Christians no longer consider Jews to be their enemies, it is therefore time to recognize Jesus as a Torah-abiding Jewish patriot.

Redbridge rabbis will have a significant presence at the Olympic Games where they will serve as chaplains. four rabbis will be providing first-hand support to athletes and visitors. Among them Shliach Rabbi Moshe Muller the assistant director of Chabad Lubavitch Ilford Center. The four  rabbis will also be in the Olympic Village during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And to those who love ice cream, according to a recent kashrut update from the Chief Rabbinate, Häagen-Dazs is not approved by the State Rabbinical Authority, and stores and outlets with kashrut certification that continue to sell the ice cream could lose their kashrut license. Now Häagen-Dazs ice cream in Israel is under threat, and may become a rarity on supermarket shelves.

Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal in LA informs that, “This week, the news broke that Shmuley, is being considered for the position of Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, currently held by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, aka Jonathan Sacks, who has held the post since 1991.” Be that as it may, we got to thinking about the future of British Jewry and came to the conclusion that indeed Rabbi Boteach would make an excellent Chief Rabbi.

A person should also reach a certain level of maturity and independence that will assist them in choosing a right religion for the right reasons. Since a person has a deep desire to reach a spiritual level and believes that religion is the best way to achieve this, then surely this informal methodology will be of benefit in making a sensible decision.

 According to the book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” most things are preventable and can be controlled, as long as you are smart, think ahead, and prepare for different situations. So what is the proper balance of trusting Hashem and being responsible? I trust Hashem, but I have so much to work on when it comes to my own actions, that I can’t write off everything that happens as His decision, because I could have really done better.

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