Archive for May, 2019

From the Rabbi – Parshat Behar 5779

Last Friday evening, following the Kabbalat Shabbat service, a moving and uplifting ceremony took place at the Brisbane Synagogue, at which the ‘Stan Been Simcha Bench’ was unveiled. Kol Hakavod to the Board of Management and all those who have generously contributed towards this wonderful tribute to our most beloved and cherished past President and board member, Reb Zalman (Stan) Z’L,  who put his heart and soul into our Shul and community. Please see image below of the ‘Stan Been Simcha bench’ and contact President Michael Arenson if you would like to contribute towards this, as there are a few more spare spaces for dedications.           

Bearuchim Habaim – Welcome! over fifty leaders and members of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, who have converged on Brisbane, from Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, to spend an uplifting and spirited Shabbat at the Brisbane Synagogue. They will be leading various parts of the service and sharing words of Torah and inspiration with us.

This evening they will be joined by members of Betar and AUJS for a youth Shabbat dinner, which has been graciously prepared by our wonderful communal friend and excellent chef Aron Kann.

We will be holding a Minchah – afternoon service at 4.45pm this afternoon, at the onset of Shabbat, following which, our vice-President Aaron Goldman, will present a talk about the history of the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation and community, to which you are welcome to attend.

In addition to the usual Shabbat services, we will hold a Mincha – afternoon service tomorrow at 4.30pm, followed by Seudah Shlishit – third meal, followed by Maariv – evening service, and Havdallah ceremony.                

The Adani mining project has featured extensively in the recent elections and again on the top agenda in the news. It is not my intention to share my personal views of this matter however, I do wish to share an interesting lesson that we can learn from coal mining and the significance of this discussion taking place in such close proximity to Lag B’Omer and the lead up to Shavuot.

Torah, and in particular the inner dimension of Torah, which were revealed primarily by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who’s passing we commemorate and celebrate on Lag Ba’omer, may be compared to coal in the ground. Coal, generates warmth and light. Warmth and light are not quantitative measures, adding to an object. Their effect is qualitative, as the same object that was previously lifeless is now warm and full of life.

The inner teachings of Kabballah and the Chassidic teachings did not add anything to Torah. The 613 Mitzvot were performed fully before its introduction. But when the world became spiritually darker and colder, these teachings infused added warmth and light, revitalizing the performance of Mitzvot. By tapping the inner resources of the soul, this deeper and mystical dimension breathed new life and joy into the observance of Torah and Mitzvot . And by shedding light, it demonstrated to us how to serve Hashem beyond our ‘normal’ capabilities, to transcend our limits.

Only two weeks until Shavuot, information in this regard will be distributed in the coming days.

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news

From The Rabbi – Parshat Kedoshim 5779

Last Friday evening we welcomed many visitors to the Brisbane Synagogue for the Kabbalat Shabbat service, from within the Jewish community and beyond, including a wide variety of faith leaders, who came to pay their respects and express their solidarity with the Jewish community in the aftermath of the tragic attack in Poway, San Diego. We were honoured to have Rabbi Ian Goodhardt of Melbourne with us in Shul for the occasion, who shared with us words of encouragement and comfort and Gail Paratz, who chairs the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies multi-faith committee, introduced Sister Lorraine  Victorsen , who too extended words of comfort and support. It is indeed heartwarming that human beings of all faiths come together in solidarity, particularly in times of grief to support one and other and to pray together for universal peace. 

Please see information below regarding various communal events, including our transformative JLI course, ‘Soul Maps’, which commences this Monday evening, May 13. Please click here to view course trailer:

With the upcoming elections almost upon us, let me please tell you how to vote, vote early, and don’t vote on Shabbat. Either apply for a postal vote or visit an early voting station.  

May we merit the ultimate blessing of true and lasting peace, with the coming of Moshiach NOW!

We wish you and your family Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe