Archive for March, 2018

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayakhel / Pekudei

Why marry Jewish?

Please join us this Sunday evening for an enlightening talk by visiting internationally acclaimed  author and speaker, Doron Kornbluth on this topic and the related issue of raising our children to love being Jewish. Please see information below in this regard and RSVP today!

What is the Jewish view about the notion of ‘Live and let Live’? At a recent lecture on the topic of ‘communication’, we came to the startling discovery that, according to western society, there is nothing illegal about ignoring the distress of another individual, even if they are in a life-threatening situation. According to Torah, however, there is a clear verse, instructing us ‘not to stand idly over the blood of our neighbour’ (Lev.19:16). In other words, we are morally held accountable for our lack of action in helping others who are in distress.

If we take into consideration the full ramifications of this principal, we come to the conclusion that we all have a moral duty to do whatever we can to encourage others to improve their lives and to positively influence society. The reason for this logic is that we are all in the same boat,with a common goal and mission to accomplish, namely to make our world into a place of goodness and holiness for the Divine presence.

The main content of this week’s double Parsha is the implementation of the building of the Mishkan(Tabernacle), which constituted the physical space created by the Jewish people to house the Divine presence.

Although, the physical Mishkan and Bet Hamikdash are no longer here, their spiritual implications and messages are eternal and ever-present in our lives and serve to remind us of our duty to make the world into  a spiritual sanctuary for Hashem.

This week we conclude the second book of the Torah and we again remove an additional Torah from the Aron Kodesh (ark) for the special reading of Parshat Parah (the Red Cow).

As in previous years, communal Seders will be conducted on both nights of Pesach in the Brisbane Synagogue Memorial Hall. Information in this regard will distributed please G-d next week, along with other Pesach (Passover) information. In the meantime, please see below information regarding Pesach products available in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news.             

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Ki Tisa 5778

What a wonderful Purim we enjoyed at the Brisbane Synagogue, with a buzzing Shul, filled with Purim spirit, along with many children and their families, who enjoyed the Megillah reading followed by delicious Hamantaschen, graciously prepared by our dedicated communal volunteers, in the Memorial Hall.

As usual, our fancy dress competition was a highlight of the evening, with ‘Dr’ Mia Harpaz taking first place, followed closely by ‘Thing 1 and Thing 2’, Elovics sisters, Maya and Shelly, and Woolfy Zavodnik as ‘ET & Elliot’.

The celebrations continued the following day at Sinai College, with many members of the community in attendance for the exciting program, which was enjoyed by all.

Last Shabbat, we were honoured to welcome at our Shul Melbourne businessman and communal activist Dr Danny Lanzer and his wife Vivien, who joined us for the Kiddush, following the service in the Memorial Hall.

As per our standard practice, we invited the Lanzers to share a few words and Danny shared the following beautiful concept, beginning with a question, “Where do we find Haman mentioned in the 5books of the Torah? In the beginning of creation, Adam and Chava (Eve) were told that they may eat from the fruits of any tree they desired, with the exception of one tree. Following the incident when they ate the fruit of that very tree, Hashem appears to Adam and exclaims Hamin HaetzHazeh Asher Tziviticha levilti achal mimenu Achalta? Did you eat of tree which i instructed you not to?”.The word ‘Hamin’ has the same Hebrew spelling as ‘Haman’.

Drawing from his profession as a plastic surgeon, Danny shared with us the simple, but profound message that, from all the fruits they were permitted to eat, Adam and Chava felt compelled to eat from this particular tree, the only one that was off limits to them. Unfortunately many of us suffer from this ‘Haman’ syndrom, thinking that if we could only enjoy that one item which we do not have, we will somehow become happy and content.

I could not help myself from reflecting on the above message as we gathered last Sunday at the Mt Gravatt cemetery for the Hakamat Matzevah (Stone Setting) of our dear beloved communal legend, the late Reb Tzvi Hirsh (George) Frey OBM, who epitomised the concept of “Who is the wealthy man, he who is happy with his lot”, miraculously arriving in Brisbane all alone in 1939, from Germany, with a burning love for his heritage, Israel and Jewish continuity, throwing himself into communal life for decades, serving  humbly a whole host of communal and Zionist organisations, while raising a wonderful family. May his memory be a blessing and may we all be inspired to follow his shining example.  

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.