A smashing first week in summer camp! Parshat Va’eira

What’s Been Going On

It’s been a busy, fun-filled week at Chabad of Auckland with our Camp Gan Israel summer holiday programme in full swing. With one week down and next week still to go, it’s been an epic week of trips, bouncing on bouncy castles, strawberry picking at the farm, art projects, baking cookies for Shalom Court residents, davening, singing, and more! A huge thank you to this week’s counsellors and staff members: Alon Brokensha, Samara Chapman, Sivan Doukhan, and Julian Thomas, and a massive thank you to our head counsellor Lisa Brokensha for all your hard work in making camp a success!

Scroll down to see some photos of the fun we’ve been having!

Parshat Va’eira

“And I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov.” (Shemot 6:3)

In the first verses of Parshat Va’eira, G-d assures Moshe that He will soon redeem Bnei Yisrael from Egypt, thereby fulfilling the promises He made when He appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Rashi quotes the word “Va’eira – and I appeared,” and summarises to whom G-d appeared: “To the fathers.” In doing so, Rashi is pointing out that although they each had distinctive qualities, their primary virtue was the one they had in common – they were “the fathers”.

The prophet refers to Avraham as “Avraham, who loved Me” – his worship of G-d was characterised by his love for his Creator. Yitzchak’s relationship with G-d is described as “the fear of Yitzchak” – his life was primarily defined by fear and awe of Heaven. Yaakov represented a balance of both approaches, as he attested, “Had not the G-d of my father, the G-d of Avraham and the Fear of Yitzchak, been for me…” meaning that he incorporated both his father’s and grandfather’s spiritual traits in his worship of G-d.

Although love and fear of G-d are obviously unalike, they do share a commonality: both inspire action. As explained in Tanya, love of G-d motivates observance of the positive mitzvot, and fear of G-d ensures that one distances himself from transgressing any of His prohibitions.

Rashi hints to this with his emphasis that Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov were “the fathers”. Our Sages teach, “The principal offspring of the righteous are their good deeds.” Hence, by describing Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov as “the fathers”, Rashi is emphasising that their emotional attachment to G-d did not remain abstract; it translated into “offspring”, i.e., practical good deeds.

In addition, by highlighting that our forefathers were, first and foremost, “the fathers,” Rashi illustrated that more than the remarkable qualities they each exhibited in their personal service of G-d, our forefathers’ main accomplishments in life were that they bred and inspired successive generations to follow in G-d’s path.

-An excerpt from a talk by the Rebbe (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 3, p. 860)

To read more about this week’s parsha click here



7:00 PM Kabbalat Shabbat followed by dinner  – indoors – RSVP ONLY

10:00 AM Shacharit followed by lunch in honour of the yartzeit of the mother of Neil Rosin – indoors – RSVP ONLY



  • Please wear a mask
  • Shul and all events are RSVP ONLY. Please RSVP via email or via the website. Otherwise you may not be on the list.
  • Please email your vaccine pass to us if you wish to attend something. Once we have it on file there is no need to resend it every time you attend.


Shabbat Times for This Week

Candle Lighting 8:25 PM

Shabbat Ends 9:30 PM


Mazel Tovs & Yartzeits

We wish long life to Neil Rosin on the yartzeit of his mother.

Happy birthday to Rabbi Mendel Hecht! We wish you many more years of health, wealth and happiness.


Coming Up!

Wednesday 5th January 7:00 PM – Rosh Chodesh Society An evening for women – please RSVP


Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Mendel and Esther Hecht


Photos of Camp Gan Israel summer holiday programme