Archive for December, 2017

From The Rabbi – Parshat Miketz – Chanukah 5778

Chanukah Sameach!

Chanukah is not just a sweet story told while we enjoy delicious doughnuts and latkes! This was a harsh reality for the Jews under the tyrannical rule of King Antiochus IV. He forbade the public practice of Judaism, set up a statue of Zeus in our Temple and systematically desecrated Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Although the Chanukah story involves a small group of Jews, who miraculously defeated the mighty Greek army, yet, when we talk about ‘Chanukah’, we primarily recount a different narrative, involving the search through the Temple wreckage, to find a single cruse of pure oil that miraculously lasted eight full days. It is for this reason that we light candles in our homes, for eight days, at this time of year, and customarily eat donuts and latkes,in memory of the oil (not very good for the figure).

Why is there little emphasis on the military victory? As extraordinary as the military victory was… it wasn’t protracted. And 230 years later the Temple was destroyed again, this time by the Romans. What did endure, however, was the spiritual miracle, akin to the oil, that could not be extinguished.

Chanukah reminds us that faith proves stronger than empires. Imperial Greece and Rome have long since disappeared, yet Judaism lives on. Civilisations built on power never last, those built on care for the powerless never die. In essence, what is most enduring is not military or economic strength, but rather the flame of the irrepressible human spirit. As we read in the concluding words of the Chanukah Haftarah tomorrow fromthe book of Zecharia, “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts”.

Please see information below regarding Chanukah in the City this Sunday.

As we enter the holiday season, with many members going away, please make an effort to support your Shul by attending services so that we may ensure ongoing Minyanim.

May we merit to witness once again the complete restoration of Jerusalem and lighting of the Holy Menorah in the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) in a world filled with much light, peace and harmony. 

Shabbat Shalom and happy Chanukah

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayeshev 5778

The past few days have been eventful, with the announcement of the US to formally recognize Yerushalayim  (Jerusalem) as Israel’s official capital and the intention of Donald Trump to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

As usual, the international media have gone to town with this on grand scale, as my esteemed friend, Harold Garfield put it “Jews are News”.

Not that we require the US President to confirm the fact that Jerusalem has always been the focal point of the Jewish people, and the location towards all which our prayers are directed and, considered to be the gateway to heaven since the very genesis of our nation, from the days of Avraham Avinu and throughout Jewish history. The name Yerushalim is a combination of two words “Yare” (awe) “Shalem” (complete), representing the idea that the Holy atmosphere of that city, evokes great spiritual feelings and awe, which those who have ever visite the Old City of Jerusalem, particularly the Kotel  (Western wall), will attest.

At some of the most significant moments in the Jewish calendar,such as the conclusion of the Pesach Seder,and the Yom Kippur service, we declare our wish and prayer to return to YerushalyimLeshana Habba’ah BiYerushalyim – Next year in Jerusalem!

At the centre of the Chanukah story,which we begin celebrating next week, is the re-dedication of the Bet Hamikdash – Temple in Jerusalem, the complete restoration of which, we include in every service and Grace after Meals.                     

With Chanukah commencing this coming Tuesday evening, please see information below regarding the first night Chanukah Menorah lighting at the Brisbane Synagogue on Tuesday evening,and various other    Chanukah events and information.

As we enter the holiday season, with many members going away, please make an effort to support your Shul by attending services so that we may ensure ongoing Minyanim.

May we merit to witness once again the complete restoration of Jerusalem and lighting of the Holy Menorah in the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) in a world filled with much light, peace and harmony. 

Shabbat Shalom and happy Chanukah

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri 20th October: Light Candles 5.40pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 21st 6.35pm

Fri 27th October: Light Candles 5.45pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 28th 6.40pm

Fri 3rd November: Light Candles 5.50pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 4th 6.45pm

Fri 10th November: Light Candles 5.55pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 11th 6.51pm

Fri 17th November: Light Candles 6pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 18th 6.57pm

Fri 24th November: Light Candles 6.06pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 25th 7.03pm

Fri 1st December: Light Candles 6.11pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 7.09pm

Fri 8th December: Light Candles 6.16pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 7.15pm

Chanukah Tues 12th eve – Wed 20th

Fri 15th December: Light Candles 6.21pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 7.19pm

Fri 22nd December: Light Candles 6.25pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 7.23pm

Fri 29th December: Light Candles 6.28pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 30th 7.26pm

Fri 5th January: Light Candles 6.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 6th 7.27pm

Fri 12th January: Light Candles 6.30pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 13th 7.27pm

Fri 19th January: Light Candles 6.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 20th 7.25pm

Fri 26th January: Light Candles 6.27pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 27th 7.22pm