Archive for March, 2019

From The Rabbi – Parshat Shemini 5779

We extend our Mazal Tov wishes to Michael Arenson, who was re-elected as President of the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation at the Congregation AGM last Sunday. We wish Michael and his board much continued success, materially and spiritually.       

With so much political uncertainty around the world, and in particular with the Brexit debacle, we are left wondering what is happening to our world leaders, and what are the crucial qualities of true leadership.

Contrary to conventional belief, humility and modesty are in fact among the most important character traits of  great leaders. Effective leaders are not required to be arrogant and highly confident in order to fulfill their roles. 

This week we read of the long-awaited climax of several weeks of anticipation and excitement for the great moment when the Divine presence will finally descend into the Mishkan, the Sanctuary that was constructed by the Jewish people. Aharon was chosen as High Priest, to lead the service of the Sanctuary, but he was reluctant to assume this role, as he did not feel worthy, until his younger brother Moshe – Moses comes along and says: “Approach the altar! You were chosen for this.” If G‑d has given you this opportunity, then you’re well-suited for the job. Your role is no longer about you; it’s about something much greater than you. You are here to serve G‑d; don’t worry about your inner doubts. Even if you don’t think you’re good enough for the job, G-d does!

While discussing humility in leadership, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks and best wishes to our outgoing Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk for his many years of great support of our community and his significant contribution to our great city. May Hashem bless him and his family with much good health, happiness and prosperity for the future.   

This week, we again take out an additional Torah for a special reading, named Parshat Parah, which discussed the red cow, used for purifying the Jewish people from contamination with the dead, may we merit soon merit the fulfillment of the prophesy, “and the spirit of impurity I will remove from the earth!”   

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim Adar, which blesses the incoming happy month of Nissan and as in previous months, we will gather earlier at Shul, prior to the service at 7.30am tomorrow morning, for the recital of the book of Psalms, to which you are welcome to join.      

Please see information below regarding Pesach and various communal programs and events in the coming weeks.       

Shabbat Shalom 

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Tzav 5779

We enjoyed a most exciting and uplifting Purim experience at the Brisbane Synagogue and around the community over the last couple of days and we extend our deep thanks and sincere appreciation to all those who have contributed to its success. Please see more details below regarding Purim at the Brisbane Synagogue.

In particular, we extend our thanks to Yeshivah student Shmuel Lesches, who graciously traveled up to Brisbane from Melbourne to assist with the reading of the Megillah, which he conducted competently on nine occasions, bringing the joy of Purim to hundreds of members of our community, young and old, in hospitals, homes and correctional centres around Brisbane.

This time last week, we received the tragic news of the senseless and barbaric attack in New Zealand, which sent shock waves throughout the Southern hemisphere and the world. In the aftermath of such an event we are left shaking our heads in disbelief, wondering what could have been done to prevent such a tragedy and how can a human being become so depraved to commit such a horrific attack on innocent people.

It was for me heartwarming to attend the prayer service held last Sunday at the Islamic College of Brisbane, which was attended by hundreds of people from all walk of life and religious beliefs, reinforcing the concept that our response to such acts of evil and terror must be our stronger commitment to boundless love and unity. As our fellow citizens in the Muslim community are in pain, we too share in that pain. One could feel a genuine sense of gratitude and comfort by the Islamic community towards the community for their support, which engenders friendship and understanding for each other, as fellow human beings created in the image of Hashem.

May we soon merit the ultimate blessing of peace and harmony throughout the world, when ”nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”. (Isaiah 2:4). and “May He swallow up death forever and may Hashem wipe away tears from every face”. (Isaiah 25.8).

Shabbat Shalom 

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe