Archive for September, 2017

From The Rabbi – Shabbat Yom Kippur 5778

On all but one day of the year, bells that hung from the hem of the Kohen Gadol’s (high priest’s) robe would chime as he went about his service in the Temple. Yet, no such bells were attached to the special garments of plain white linen that he wore when entering the Kodesh Hakadashim (Holy of Holies) on Yom Kippur.

The bells on the fringes of the Kohen Gadol’s robe symbolized his representation of all elements of the Jewish community, down to the lowest elements, the “fringe dwellers”.

The righteous might be better represented by silence, denoting humility and a sense of nonexistence before G-d, but those who feel distant and estranged from G-d are best represented by noise. The penitent’s surge toward G-d is not a silent and still absorption in G-d’s perfect Oneness, but a rushing and roaring return from a life devoid and distant from G-dliness and holiness. Like a drowning man facing the horror of imminent death, the “distant” Jew kicks and screams trying to escape his current state of detachment from G-d as the Source of life. Noisy bells therefore represent this Jew who feels distant.

This is true of every day but Yom Kippur. On the holy Day of Atonement, the Jewish people are compared to angels, for a core and unbreakable bond with G-d is revealed within every single Jew on this day. On Yom Kippur, even the Jews on the fringe feel attached and stand close and near to G-d. Without exception, on this day the entire Jewish community has representation in the Holy of Holies in perfect silence.

As we prepare for the most holy day of Shabbat Yom Kippur this evening, we are aware of these precarious times for all civilized and peace-loving people throughout the world. May Hashem listen to our heartfelt prayers with mercy and blanket the Land of Israel and all of her inhabitants, along with all the world, with His Protection and Providence sheltering them from all sorrow and evil, and may He dispatch His benevolent angels of hope and deliverance, lighting the way to the ultimate blessing of peace and redemption.

We extend our warm welcome to all our members, their families, and visitors and a special thanks to Rabbi Shmuli Rosenbaum, who will be joining us over Yom Kippur to assist in leading the services.

Please see information below about the global Shabbat Project which is building momentum throughout the world, and we look forward to an amazing Shabbat Project Brisbane experience with participation from you and your friends.

Dvorah and I look forward to welcoming you at the Brisbane Synagogue over Yom Kippur and the joyous Chagim festival celebrations to follow.

Shabbat Shalom, Gmar Chatima Tova and well over the fast

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech 5777

A story is told of a man who was lost at a cross-roads, not knowing which way to go. Laying on the ground was a sign pointing in four different directions, each to a different destination. Not knowing which way the sign was supposed to be pointing, the man pondered his dilemma until finally it dawned upon him that, being that he knew from where he had come, he was able to point the sign in the correct direction. We often use the term, “ready…steady…go!”, particularly in the world of sport, meaning that, in order In order to progress forward, we need to ensure that we are firmly rooted, with strong foundations upon which to move forward.

The above message is alluded to by the name of this week’s Parsha (Torah  portion) Nitzavim – Vayelech, meaning “Standing firm – Going”. As Jewish people, this means to remain true to the values of the Torah, given to us by Hashem, creator of the world.

With the current debate raging in Australia regarding the definition of Marriage, it is my duty as a Rabbi to again state the Torah view in this regard, which is that the definition of marriage as taught in our Torah, which is the word of G-d, our Creator, is a union between a man and a woman only.

This week will be Shabbat Mevarchim Tishrei – during which Hashem himself will bless us for the coming month and year ahead. We will gather at 7.30am, prior to the Shacharit service tomorrow for the recital of Psalms, as we have done last month.

Tomorrow evening at 12am midnight, the first night Selichot service will be held. Please join us for this moving and meaningful introduction to the High Holiday experience.

Shabbat Shalom and כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוקה

May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri  Sept 7th: Light Candles 5.19pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 8 6.12pm

Sun  Sept 9th: Erev Rosh Hashanah Light Candles 5.20pm
Mon 10th: Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Light Candles after 6.13pm
Tues 11th: Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Ends 6.14pm
Wed 12th: Fast of Gedaliah  4.37am – 6.03pm

Fri  Sept 14th: Light Candles 5.22pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 15 6.15pm

Tues 18th: Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidrei night) Light Candles 5.24pm
Wed 19th: Yom Kippur Ends 6.17pm

Fri  Sept 21st: Light Candles 5.25pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 22 6.18pm

Sun  Sept 23rd: Erev Sukkot Light Candles 5.26pm
Mon Sept 24th: Sukkot Day 1 Light Candles after 6.19pm        Tues Sept 25th: Sukkot Day 2 Ends 6.20pm

Fri  Sept 28th: Light Candles 5.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 29 6.22pm

Sun Sept 30th: Hoshana Rabba Light Candles 5.30pm

Mon Oct 1st: Shemini Atzeret

Tues Oct 2nd: Simchat Torah.