Archive for August, 2019

From The Rabbi – Parshat Eikev 5779

We are once again thrilled to welcome members of the Bnei Akiva Australia Youth group, along with their leaders, who have converged on Brisbane from Melbourne, Perth and Sydney for a special Shabbaton, where they will be joining our local Betar Youth group in leading the services and for a teen Friday night Shabbat dinner. Kids programs, for members of our community, ages 5 – 13, will be conducted in the Cheder rooms above the Memorial Hall, this evening from 6 – 6.30, and tomorrow morning from 10 – 11am. Please come along to join us for an uplifting and energizing Synagogue experience this evening and tomorrow morning.

It is always so heartwarming to witness the generosity of spirit from members of our community, who come forward to volunteer their services for such occasions and, in particular, we extend our sincere appreciation to Peta Briner, Aaron Goldman, Sharryn and John Goldman, Leah Phillips, and Philip Zavelsky for their kind help, and our deep thanks to Chef Aron Kann, who is always gracefully willing to come up from the Gold Coast to assist us in preparing delicious communal dinners.

In conjunction with Queensland Multicultural Month, as part of the recent Queensland Faith Communities Council Place of Worship Visiting Program, we take pleasure in welcoming to our Synagogue, this evening, a significant number of Faith Leaders, and members of other faiths, to join us in experiencing a traditional Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service.

An interesting online article recently came to my attention, entitled ‘Digital Detox Helping to Forge Better Leaders’

Excerpts from the article read, ‘At Scrunch, a digital data agency connecting online influencers with advertisers, CEO and founder Danielle Lewis tends to employ digital natives. Lewis uses natural sunlight, plants, essential oils and diffusers to create a workplace environment that is conducive to mindfulness….”In an agency environment it’s very easy to let everything overwhelm you,” she said. “While I’m at work I have lunch away from my desk and get some sunlight if I can. I’ll even take off my shoes and put my feet on the grass.”

Lewis also instigated the daily ritual Tea at 3. “At 3 o’clock we get up, leave our desks and have a cup of tea and actually talk. It gives you 10 or 15 minutes of getting away from your big screen and your phone … particularly if it’s been a busy day, it’s so easy to just sit in front of your laptop and forget about the rest of your colleagues who are sitting right next to you.”

We Jews are very fortunate, as we have a full 25 hours, each week, of digital detox, affording us the opportunity to focus on family, friends and our relationship with Hashem. It’s called Shabbat and, If you have not tried it, I challenge you to give it ago and discover the peace and serenity it provides and serves a powerful detox from the past week, and meaningful re-charge for the coming week.      

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim Elul, (the Shabbat 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 (Psalms), 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

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vaetchanan 5779

Following the past three weeks of sadness and commemoration of destruction, we now enter seven weeks, in the lead-up to the High Holidays, of comfort and consolation, commencing this week with Nachamu, Nachamu Ami – ‘be comforted, be comforted my people.

What a nachas – pleasure it was for us to witness a record crowd who attended our current JLi course, ‘With All My Heart’ – dealing with subject of Jewish prayer and spiritual experience, which opened my eyes to just how much members of our community are thirsting for spiritual connection and made me realize how important it is for us to share the richness and depth of Judaism with others.

This week we will read an account by Moshe (Moses) of the the Ten Commandments, with a few slight variations of the way we read the original 10 Commandments in the book of Shmot (Exodus).     

The Jews were given the Ten commandments engraved on the tablets on two separate occasions. The first time, the tablets were Divinely engraved and contained intense holiness. However, when Moses descended from the mountain, and saw the Jews serving the Golden calf, the tablets were smashed. Eighty days later after tremendous repentance, prayer and hard work the Jews received the second tablets. The second set were less holy than the first. Yet they were everlasting and ignited far greater depth and opportunity for Jewish learning.

What we invest in and work for might not be as beautiful as the gift we receive but enjoys far greater permanence. Spiritual growth that comes from outside or external inspiration might be powerful, but short lived. Change that comes from within, with effort, learning from mistakes, and tremendous effort will stay with us for a long time.

 Shabbat Shalom and well over the fast, and we look forward to seeing you in Shul. 

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Thank you Rabbi Michael Gourarie of BINA for the above message