Archive for January, 2019

From The Rabbi – Parshat Yitro 5779

On a recent visit to one of our esteemed senior members, 97 year-old Reb Baruch (Dr Bert) Klug, as usual we enjoyed a lovely stimulating conversation, during which we discussed the upcoming JLI course, entitled ‘Crime and Consequence’ and, it was fascinating for me to hear his views on this topic, as someone who, up until only eighteen months ago, had been working in forensic psychiatry.

Towards the end of my visit, Reb Baruch asked me if I had heard of “Shtisel‘, the award winning Israeli television drama series about a fictional Jewish family living in the religious neighborhood of Geula, in Jerusalem, as he was curious to know if I believed the series to be an accurate depiction of how observant Jews live their lives. As it happens, I am familiar with Shtisel, as it was introduced to me several years ago by my good friend Michael Erlbaum, who strongly recommended that I watch it. I have since met several Shtisel ‘junkies’, who rave about it, including members of my own family.  

It is fascinating to me how this series resonates so strongly with so many people, of all ages and walks of life, as I recall being surprised in 2006, when Fiddler on the Roof was staged in Brisbane at the Lyric Theatre, starring Chaim Topol as Tevya, as a complete sell-out for three solid weeks.      

My theory is that such scenes and themes reveal the deep and personal spark of the Neshamah inside all of us, which is naturally drawn to authentic traditional Yiddishkeit, with which we yearn to connect and, in the case of many, bring back nostalgic memories of their parents, or Boobas and Zaidys (grandparents) from a bygone era.     

Talking about nostalgia, this week we read the 10 Commandments and the Sinai experience which, according to our sages, was an event attended by all Jewish souls, past and present, and which therefore resonates deeply within us, as our spiritual anniversary and birth as a nation.

Kol hakavod to the many dedicated members and friends, who have been braving the sweltering heat to attend services and ensure that we have been able to secure regular Minyanim, on Shabbat and during the week.           

Please try to keep cool and consider joining us in a couple of weeks time for our upcoming fascinating JLI Course, Crime and Consequence. Please see information and booking link below.  

Shabbat Shalom and happy Australia Day.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Beshalach 5779

Late last night, an important and sensitive communal matter was resolved thanks to the intervention of a government official, who was moved to help and was aware to our particular religious needs, due to a close relationship and respect that he had developed for his previous Jewish neighbors. It was heartwarming for me to hear of the positive impression that this gentlemen had gained towards Jewish people because of his Jewish neighbors, who had made a Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name), and reminded me of the tremendous power we all have a make a positive impression on other individuals, through acts of kindness and sensitivity, and the ripple effect this has on transforming the world. 

Where does our food come from? What is the source of our income and livelihood? We get caught up in our own lives and the pressure of the world around us, and we often forget that ultimately it is all in the hands of G-d. This was the lesson of the Manna that fell from heaven for the Jews in the desert, and this is the message of Shabbat that we celebrate every week.

This Monday will be Tu Bishvat, the New Year for trees,when we customarily eat fruit, particularly those fruits of which the land of Israel is blessed,such as grapes, dates, pomegranates, olives, and figs. In recent years, many have adopted the practice of planting trees, and supporting the work of the JNF in Israel.                 

Please try to keep cool and consider joining us next month for our upcoming fascinating JLI Course, Crime and Consequence. Please see information and booking link below.  

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach, we look forward to seeing you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe