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  May 4th: Light Candles 4.56pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 5.50pm

Fri  May 11th: Light Candles 4.52pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 5.45pm

Fri  May 18th: Light Candles 4.48pm
Sat 19th: Erev Shavuot Light Candles after 5.42pm.
Sun 20th: Shavuot Day 1. Light after 5.42pm. : Mon 21st Shavuot Day 2. Yom Tov ends 5.41pm

Fri  May 25th: Light Candles 4.45pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 26th  5.40pm

Fri  June 1st: Light Candles 4.43pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 5.38pm

Fri  June 8th: Light Candles 4.42pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 5.38pm

Fri  June 15th: Light Candles 4.43pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 5.39pm

Fri  June 22nd: Light Candles 4.44pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 5.40pm

Fri  June 29th: Light Candles 4.46pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 30th 5.42pm