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Your monthly Phone and Learn
email catch up
Issue 47
September 2013
Ellul / Tishrei 5773

Dear Reader,


September is the busiest month at PaL with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Succos just around the corner - those of you who are currently learning with a PaL will already have received your Yomim Noraim material from us.  


On September 2nd we are delighted to welcome Rabbi Paysach Krohn, founder of PaL, back to London for our annual pre-Rosh Hashanah lecture. Men and women are welcome to attend our event in Finchley United Synagogue, all details can be found in the flyer below. Alternatively please contact me on 0800 055 3276 or email rivka@phoneandlearn.org for more information.


PaL will be attending 'Party in the Park' on Wednesday 11th September.  We are very excited to be involved in the largest ever freshers party for Jewish Students arranged by UJS.  Please make sure to visit our stand if you are planning on attending.  Further details can be found in the flyer below.


Wishing you all a kesiva v'chasima tova 


Rivka Graham
Programme Coordinator

Round Up...
An Overview of Events in the Community


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Ask the Rabbi 
with Rabbi Harvey Belovski 
Questions from the PaL Mailbag... 

QI have heard that there is a custom to eat certain foods on the first night Rosh Hashana to symbolise a successful and prosperous year ahead. This seems unusual since Judaism doesn't usually approve of superstition. What is the background to this?



A: There is an almost universal custom of eating apple dipped in honey on Rosh HaShanah. It's based on an idea mentioned in the Talmud (Horiot 12a) that one should eat 'auspicious' foods to get the new year off to a good start.

The Talmud mentions dates, gourd and leeks, to which later sources have added such foods as carrots and fish. These foods have Hebrew, Aramaic or even Yiddish names that indicate prosperity and security. Interestingly, the Rambam omits this practice from his code, as he may have regarded it as superstitious, and while its Talmud origins do seem a little odd, later sources embrace it and assume that it merely symbolises our aspirations for the year ahead.


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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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