Archive for November, 2018

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayeitzei 5779

The past week has not been an easy one. With sad news coming from Israel, rockets attached from Gaza, the bush fires in California USA and, of course, the tragic attack on the streets of Melbourne last Friday.

Let’s pray for a week of peace, protection and true Shalom for Am Yisroel, Eretz Yisrael and the world over!

This week we read  the story of Jacob’s dream and the famous ladder with its feet on the ground and head in the heavens. “And behold the angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it.”

Some ask…do angels really need a ladder? We all know angels have wings, not feet. So why would they need a ladder?

There is a beautiful message hidden in this quote from the Torah.

In climbing heavenward, one does not necessarily need wings, fancy leaps and bounds. There is a ladder, a spiritual route clearly mapped out for us to be traversed step-by-step, one rung at a time. The pathway to Heaven is gradual, methodical and eminently manageable.

Many people are discouraged from even beginning a spiritual journey because they believe it needs that huge leap of faith. They cannot see themselves reaching a degree of religious commitment, which to them, seems otherworldly. And yet, with the gradual step-by-step approach, one finds that the journey can be embarked upon and the destination aspired to is not in outer space.

A teacher once asked the following question: “If two people are on a ladder, one at the top and one on the bottom, who is higher?” The class considered this question rather silly — until the wise teacher explained that we are not really capable of judging who was higher or lower until we first ascertained in which direction each was headed.

If the person on top was going down and the person on the bottom was going up, then conceptually, the one on the bottom was actually higher.

This message is simple, yet profound. It doesn’t really matter what your starting point is or where you are on the ladder of spiritual life. As long as you are moving in the right direction, as long as you are going up, you will, please G-d, succeed in climbing the heavenly heights.

Shabbat Shalom and we look forward to see you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Toldot 5779

Having just returned from the annual ‘Kinus Hashluchim’ – international conference of Chabad emissaries, which was an uplifting, invigorating and humbling experience, allow me to share with you a couple of personally inspiring and powerful messages that I was able to draw from the Kinus.

Aside from the opportunity that the Kinus afforded me to catch up with many of my old Yeshivah friends, many of whom now serve as Rabbis and emissaries around the world, as I sat in awe , absorbing the electrifying atmosphere which pervaded the massive banquet hall at the conclusion of the Kinus, among more than 5000 Rabbis and Lay-leaders, representing communities across the entire Jewish World, it was a poignant reminder for me of the great privilege and honour it is for me to be a part of this incredible force, transforming the landscape of world Jewry and preparing for the ultimate Geulah (redemption)

In the wake of the horrific tragedy of the eleven ‘kedoshim’ (holy souls) who were brutally murdered  just under two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, much of the Kinus was dedicated to transforming the darkness of this tragedy into increased efforts to bring additional light into the world.

This is the power of the Jewish response to darkness. While we mourn, grieve, acknowledge and continue to remember and be vigilant taking the necessary steps to improve our safety and security. But we never let such events define who we are. On the contrary – we fight darkness with light, despair with resolve and destruction with increased building.

Another personally moving moment for me was a tribute to veteran Rabbi Lazar who serves the community in Milan Italy, and was introduced by his young grandchildren who live in Moscow and Hungary, respectively. Rabbi Lazar is a holocaust survivor who, as a young child witnessed Hitler Y”S (may his name be erased) marching through his hometown, explained that his most significant revenge against Hitler is the fact that his children and grandchildren continue to build Judaism in the very countries that persecuted and oppressed his family.

Today marks ten years, since the tragic Mumbai attack, in which Rabbi Gabi and Rivkah Hotzberg and others were brutally murdered in their Chabad House and, as we commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, let us be more resolute than ever to make firm and practical resolutions to transform the darkness by increased Jewish pride and additional Mitzvot, kind deeds, and Jewish learning, illuminating our world and strengthening the eternity of our people.

Please see information below regarding Remembrance Day Services at the Brisbane Synagogue and Lutwyche Cemetery over this weekend.

Shabbat Shalom and we look forward to see you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

The above message is adapted from an article by Rabbi Michael Gourarie   

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri Sept 27th: Light Candles 5.28pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 28th 6.21pm

Sunday Sept 29th Erev Rosh HaShana: Light Candles 5.29pm

Monday Sept 30th Rosh HaShana Day 1: Light Candles after 6.22pm

Tuesday October 1st Rosh HaShana Day 2: Yom Tov ends 6.23pm

Wednesday Oct 2nd Fast of Gedalia 4.13am-6.12pm

Fri Oct 4th (Shabbat Shuva): Light Candles 5.31pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 6.25pm

Tues Oct 8th: Erev Yom Kippur – Kol Nidrei Light Candles 5.33pm

Wed Oct 9th: Yom Kippur

Yom Tov ends 6.27pm

Fri Oct 11th: Light Candles 5.35pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 6.29pm

Sun Oct 13th: Erev Sukkot Light Candles 5.36

Mon Oct 14th: Sukkot Day 1 Light Candles after 6.30pm

Tues Oct 15th: Sukkot Day 2 Yom Tov ends 6.31pm

Fri Oct 18th: Light Candles 5.39pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 19th 6.33pm

Sunday Oct 20th: Hoshana Rabba Light Candles 5.40pm

Monday Oct 21st: Shemini Atzeret Light Candles after 6.35pm

Tuesday Oct 22nd: Simchat Torah Yom Tov ends 6.35pm

Fri Oct 25th: Shabbat Bereishit Light Candles 5.43pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 26th 6.38pm