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Your monthly Phone and Learn
email catch up
Issue 98
December 2017
Kislev 5778

Dear Reader, 

In the coming month we will be celebrating Chanukah. If you know someone who would benefit from exploring their Jewish heritage in more depth, why not take Chanukah as your springboard and invite them to have a look at our website www.phoneandlearn.org. The eight-day festival has strong associations with the rededication of Jewish learning, so it's the perfect opportunity.  

Don't hesitate to contact us at the PaL office for any learning enquiries - perhaps you would like some advice about which topic to focus on during your learning sessions?  Call us on 0800 055 3276!

You can find out about events of interest in our Round Up below; alternatively you could pick up a new Jewish book to study - take a look at the new releases we've highlighted.  

Have a Happy Chanukah and a fantastic month!

Warm regards

Rivka Graham 
Programme Coordinator
Round Up...
An Overview of Events in the Community

Contemporary Halacha Series: 
Monday 4th December
How Open is Orthodoxy?
8:30pm Rabbi Dovid Roberts
Monday 11th December
Court or Beis Din
8:30pm Dayan Y D Hool
Monday 18th December
Shabbos Ovens and Fridges
8:30pm Rabbi Y M Guttentag
at Nishmas Yisroel, 4 Brent Green, London NW4 2HA

Pre-Chanukah Shiur
Rabbi Reuven Stepsky will be giving 2 shiurim for ladies
Tuesday 5th December @ 8:00pm
in North West London
Wednesday 6th December @ 8:00pm in Edgware
To book and for venue details call Shuli on 07421 357 092

Friday Night 'Whisky' Tisch
Culinary, musical and intellectual delights at Kesher, 933 Finchley Road, London, NW11 7PE 
Friday 8th December @ 8:30pm 
Men and Women welcome!  
Ask the Rabbi 
with Rabbi Harvey Belovski 
Questions from the PaL Mailbag... 
QWhere did the custom of giving gifts on Chanukah come from? Is it really Jewish in origin (given the period in the secular calendar when Chanukah usually falls, it seems a little coincidental to me!)?
A: There is a long-standing custom on Chanukah to give gifts of money to children.  In Ashkenazic, Yiddish-speaking communities, this was known as 'Chanukah gelt', a phrase that is still in use. Some suggest that this practice has its origins in the tradition that at the time of the 2nd-century-BCE war that Chanukah marks, the Macabees gambled on dice games to cover up their rebellious plot against the Greeks.  (This is also cited as an explanation for the dreidel).  Actually, it may well have originated in the European custom to give children small coins to offer to their teachers at this time of year, which evolved into giving the money just to children.  According to some authorities, at Chanukah-time poor yeshivah students visited their supporters, who distributed money.  However, the phenomenon of giving Chanukah presents, while perhaps vaguely associated with 'Chanukah gelt', has no Jewish origin and may simply be an attempt to stop Jewish children from feeling left-out at Xmas!
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 Parsha Partner is an all-colour interactive weekly sedra sheet distributed by PaL in association with Partners in Torah.

Click here to send an email requesting to be added to the Parsha Partner distribution list!


Parsha Partner contains divrei Torah, inspirational thoughts on tefilla as well as illuminating ideas on the weekly sedra.   
  New Releases 
Kesser Dovid
Rabbi Dr David Katz
 An in-depth analysis of the wide range of laws pertaining to the practice of dentistry
Parenting by the Parashah
Rabbi Ari Neuwirth
(Menucha Publishers 
Uses the weekly parashah as a springboard for highlighting the best and most practical methods in Torah chinuch
What's the Halachah?
Rav Zev Smith and Rabbi Dovid Kaiser
(Israel Bookshop Publications)
Relevant halachos arranged according to the month of the year
Save 10%!   
With thanks to PaL's Judaica suppliers Torah Treasures (NW11), Judaica World (Manchester) and Brauns Judaica (N16) a 10% discount is offered on every book purchase made for your PaL partnership!

Torah Treasures
020 8458 8289  

Judaica World
0161 773 4956

Brauns Judaica
020 8809 9393
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About Phone and Learn 
Phone and Learn (PaL) is a division of Partners in Torah*, USA www.partnersintorah.org, a unique Jewish identity-building initiative committed to fostering unity among Jews of all backgrounds. PaL matches Jews who want to know more about their heritage with a friendly, knowledgeable tutor for an hour a week of Jewish study and discussion, over the phone.
PaL is dedicated in lasting memory of Sammy Homburger z"l

*Partners in Torah is a project of Torah Umesorah.

PARTNERS IN TORAH is a trademark of Partners in Torah, a division of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, and is being used under licence. 

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