Archive for February, 2018

From The Rabbi – Parshat Mishpatim / Shekalim 5778

One of the Torah’s most practical lessons in human decency can be found in this week’s Torah portion: “When you will see the donkey of your enemy trapped under his burden and you will be tempted to refrain from helping him, you shall surely help him.”

Chassidic teachings explain what this directive means on a spiritual and psychological level:

The “donkey of our enemy” refers to the powerful inner enemy we encounter every day–our animalistic soul. This ferocious beast within is responsible for all our physical lusts and desires—the things that try to prevent us from doing the right thing. Naturally, we are driven to label our “donkey” the enemy, and dismiss him entirely.

Chassidic thought explains that while treating our instincts derisively and viewing them as the “donkey” is prudent, it is not a secure, lasting solution. At best, it is merely a temporary fix. Strong feelings of the heart don’t just go away; they fester and grow and eventually erupt like a powerful volcano.

The only lasting, healthy, long-term solution is alluded to in this verse: “…you shall surely help him [the donkey].” We need to stop viewing our “donkey” as the enemy and start to see him as a potential ally. With the right attitude we can transform our animalistic desires into our greatest assets. If we choose to look beyond the surface, we will discover that they contain great, unbridled energy. By harnessing the wild “donkey,” we will discover that he is not in fact an enemy, but our greatest friend.

We will take out an additional Torah tomorrow in honour of Parshat Shekalim,the first in a series of four special Shabbatot, leading up to the Pesach (Passover),in which we will read of the half-Shekel contribution, which Jewish people would make during this time of year,during Temple times towards the upkeep of the Temple – like Synagogue membership today.

This Shabbat, we bless the incoming month of Adar, the happiest month in the Jewish calendar, during which we celebrate the transformative festival of Purim, when the impending sad events of the Purim story were transformed into joy and festivities. May we all experience the transformation of all sadness and challenges to happiness and growth.

For those wishing to join us, we will be reciting Tehilim (psalms) from 7.30am tomorrow morning as a special preparation for the incoming new month.

We extend our Mazal Tov wishes to President Michael Arenson and his new board of Management. May we enjoy a year of productive growth, materially and spiritually.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Yitro 5778

How do we define communication?

This question, along with various techniques to help us improve our communication skills, will be studied and discussed over the next six weeks as part of the transformational JLI course, commencing this coming Monday evening.

This week we read of, and re-live, the most magnificent event in history, which has impacted the entire world more profoundly than any other historical experience, namely the 10 Commandments, which was essentially the communication of G-d to humankind. Through a deeper analyses of the Divine communication at Sinai, we are able to glean wonderful insight into the nature of human communication and how to effectively improve our lives and the world at large.

Please see information below regarding this transformative JLI course, entitled ‘Communication – it’s Art and Soul’ and please join us. You are welcome to come along to the first lesson for a obligation-free trial.

Shabbat Shalom

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.