Archive for August, 2018

From The Rabbi -Parshat Re’eh 5778

As is the custom during the month of Elul,in the lead-up to the Yamim Noraim (Awesome High Holidays), we begin blowing the Shofar. The piercing cry of the Shofar has a natural effect on our souls, awaking us and instilling within us a feeling of trepidation and introspection as we prepare for Rosh Hashnah and YomKippur.

Our rabbi note that the name “Elul” is an acronym for the biblical phras ani ledodi vedodi li—“I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine.” In other words, the intense love between G‑d and the Jewish people comes to the surface during Elul and it is thus a unique opportunity for us to make amends in various areas of our life, between ourselves and our Creator and our fellow human beings.

Among the non-Kosher birds listed in the kashrut section of this week’s Parsha is a bird called the chasida (Deut 14:18) which is identified by classic commentators of the Torah as the stork.  “Why is it called chasida?” asks R’ Yehuda rhetorically in the Talmud (Chullin 63a). Relating the name to the root chesed, he replies: “Because it performs kindness with its fellows”

The obvious question is, why is this ‘pious’ bird that does kindness with its mates, listed as a non-kosher bird. Should this not be a reason to make it kosher?

This question is addressed by some of the great Chassidic masters, who suggest that the problem with this bird is that it directs its kindness exclusively towards its fellow species,but not with others.

In demonstrating chesed to others of its kind, this bird has done enough to be labeled chasida. But this is insufficient to be considered a kosher bird.

As we enter the Holy and introspective month of Elul this evening, let us take to heart the above lesson regarding the importance of extending kindness and concern for all, regardless of whether they are members of our family, congregation, or community and may we soon merit the ultimate blessing of true unity and  peace, happiness and prosperity with the long-awaited arrival of Moshiach!

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov 

כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוק
May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Eikev 5778

Among the many Mitzvot of which we read this week, is the Mitzvah of Mezuzah, as stipulated in the first and second paragraph of the Shema, in which we are informed of the positive consequences resulting from this Mitzvah, namely, “in order that your days, and the days of your children will be lengthened in the land which I have sworn to your forefathers”.

Enuring that Kosher Mezuzot are affixed on our homes and businesses is simply the best insurance policy!

According to Jewish Law, Mezuzot should be checked twice in seven years, and it is customary to have this done during the month of Elul in the lead-up to Rosh Hashanah. I will be more than happy to assist you with this important Mitzvah if you so wish to have your Mezuzot checked, as it is a great source of blessing to you and family.

Have you ever wondered why, according to Ashkenazi tradition is fixed in a diagonal position? Clue: read the President’s message below.

Congratulations to Yosef Meyers for correctly answering the question posed in last week’s newsletter regarding the difference between the two versions of the 10 Commandments in the Torah. Regarding the observance of Shabbat, in the first version the word ‘Zachor’ (remember)is used and in the second version ‘Shamor’ (guard).Alluding to concept that the observing the Shabbat comprises ‘remembering’ certain things, such as making Kiddush,eating Challah etc. and ‘guarding’,or refraining from various activities, such as working and cooking.      

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim Elul, (which blesses the incoming month of Elul), and in the spirit of enhancing our connection to Hashem during this time of Divine grace, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, I invite you to join us on Shabbat morning at 7.30am in the Synagogue for the recital of the book of Tehillim (psams), as is customary among many on Shabbat Mevarchim.

Shabbat Shalom and כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוק
May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times


Fri  April 5th: Light Candles 5.24pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 6th 6.16pm

Fri  April 12th: Light Candles 5.17pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 13th 6.08pm

Fri  April 19th: Passover Eve, First Seder: Light Candles 5.10pm
Sat 20th: Second Seder: Light candles after 6.02pm

Fri  April 26th: Light Candles 5.03pm
Shabbat/Passover ends: Sat 27th 5.56pm