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Your monthly Phone and Learn
email catch up
Issue 9
July 2010 
Tamuz/Av 5770
Dear Reader,
Phone and globe
A quick glance at the list of people learning over the phone through PaL reveals that we ought to think about changing our name to 'PaL International'! From Turkey to Glasgow, and Berlin to Amsterdam, distance is no object when it comes to telephone learning! Don't forget, the PaL team is happy to advise on books for you to study and our interactive courses on the Shabbos Kitchen, Kosher Kitchen and Tefillah are still available for those who are interested in learning them.
Have an inspiring month of July!
Judy Silkoff

Programme Coordinator
Round Up...  
An Overview of Events in the Community
United Synagogue
Hampstead Synagogue
  - Dennington Park Road, London NW6 1AX
Talk and Dinner for Baby Boomers (aged 46 to 64 years old) - Genesis and The Big Bang with Rabbi Dr Julian Shindler. £25 per person on Sunday 4 July, 7.30pm. Call 020 7435 1518 or visit www.hampsteadshul.org.uk to book or for more information.
JLE logoJLE, 152-154 Golders Green Road, NW11 8HE 
The Secrets of Marriage, with Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz in Belsize Park. Sunday 18 July 2010, 8 pm, £16 per couple pre-booked (online booking available) or £24 on the night. For more information visit www.jle.org.uk
seed logo
seed, Mowbray House, 58 - 70 Edgware Way, HA8 8DJ
Tisha B'Av programme, Tuesday 20 July. All day seminar in The Shrubberies, Manchester and  2 - 9pm in the Mowbray House centre, Edgware. For more information email info@seed.uk.net or telephone 020 8958 0820 (London) and 0161 792 4457 (Manchester).


speech bubbles imageAsk the Rabbi
with Rabbi Harvey Belovski 
Questions from the PaL Mailbag...
Q: During the month of Av, until after Tisha B'Av, we are meant to 'reduce our joy' as a sign of mourning for the loss of the Temple. Does this injunction also include going out to eat in a restaurant in a group of five or six friends? I feel instinctively that this wouldn't be 'in the spirit' of the Nine Days but I'm not sure if that's halachically the case.
A: It's well known that the first nine days of the month of Av are the saddest period of the year.  It's a time for introspection and reflection on the tragedies of Jewish history, many of which occurred at this time of the year.  Our thoughts should turn especially to the loss of the both Temples on Tisha B'Av, the 'black fast', with which this period culminates.  The Talmud rules that from the start of Av, we should reduce joyful activities to enable us to focus correctly on these themes; this is understood to include avoiding meat and wine (except on Shabbos), freshly laundered clothes, building projects and even court cases and non-essential bathing.  While technically, a case could be made for arranging a dinner party or a social engagement (teetotal and meat-free, of course!), many would consider this an inappropriate diversion from sombre tone of the season.

Partners and Tutors are invited to email questions arising from their PaL learning to asktherabbi@phoneandlearn.org

Recent Book Releases
dangerous diseasesDangerous Disease and Dangerous Therapy
Rabbi Akiva Tatz
One Small DeedOne Small Deed Can Change the World
Nachman Seltzer(Artscroll)
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Torah Treasures
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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.
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