Archive for May, 2020

From The Rabbi – Shavuot / Shabbat 5780

Following the past forty nine days of introspection, personal development and preparation, we are finally arriving at the highly anticipated moment when we remember and re-live the greatest spiritual revelation in world history. The enduring power and impact of that experience continues to influence the lives of millions of people throughout the World, providing morally guiding principals based on the infinite wisdom of Hashem. Never has there been a time when people across the globe are searching for guidance and an understanding of the meaning of life. The Torah has been a guiding light to us and to the World in this regard. Is there any surprise that a book ‘Authored’ by such as the Almighty Himself continues to be the world’s best seller, year after year.

Although many communities in Australia and overseas are slowly resuming Synagogue services under strict Covid 19 guidelines, this year, Jewish people will be celebrating Shavuot in the privacy of their own homes. As the entire world has been forced to re-adjust to the realities of social distancing and communicating with each other on a whole new level, I would venture to say that the counting of the Omer period has never been more personally rewarding and enriching, affording so many of us the opportunity to reflect on what life is really all about, and to re-evaluate our priorities.

The above message was shared with representatives of the Qld State Library and a senior lecturer at Griffith University, who are respectively doing documentary-photography projects on Faith, Resilience and Survival: faith based communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. They have approached our congregation with a request to include our Erev Shabbat zoom sessions into their projects. Representatives from these groups will be joining us this afternoon for the zoom session at 4pm this afternoon, at which 10 of our members will present a short explanation on each of the Aseret Hadibrot – 10 Commandments.

Being that the second day of Shavuot is on Shabbat, we will not read the regular weekly Parsah of Naso, rather we will read it next week. In Israel, as they observe only oine day of Shavuot, they will read the weekly parsha this week, and we will catch up to them in a few weeks, when we read the double portion of Chukat Balak, and they will read them separately.

We wish you and your family Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom .

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Bamidbar 5780

Today marks the 53rd Anniversary of the Reunification of Yerushalayim – Jerusalem, which occurred during the Six Day War in 1967 (according to the Jewish calendar). How many of us still remember the stirring words of General Motta Gur, Head of the Paratroopers, “Har Habayit b’Yadeinu!” “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” and the soul-moving sound of the Shofar by Rabbi Goren z’l at the Kotel (Western Wall), which was broadcast  throughout the world.

The following are the exact words of General Uzi Narkiss, commander of the liberating forces of Jerusalem describing the moment of his arrival at the Western Wall: “In the narrow space were paratroopers, begrimed, fatigued, overburdened with weapons. They wept… tears of joy, of love, of passion, of an undreamed first reunion with our ancient wall…We clung to its stones, kissed them. Silently, I bowed my head and uttered the words Shema Yisrael…”

We will be marking this significant day during our Erev Shabbat Zoom session this afternoon at 4.15pm with a brief account from one of our very own communal members who served in the Sinai Desert during the Six-Day war and was actually in Jerusalem on the sixth and final day of the war.

This week we begin a new book of the Torah, the  book of numbers, which deals primarily with the travels of the Jewish people during their 40-year sojourn through the Sinai desert which, on a deeper more personal level, represents our journey through life. Among the many aspects of the manner in which our ancestors journeyed was the organized formation in which the 12 tribes camped and traveled, with the Mishkan (Tabernacle) always positioned at the centre. This represents the idea that, the Mishkan (presence and awareness of Hashem) must always remain at the epicenter of our journey through life, serving as our guiding light and inspiration in our daily lives..

With the festival of Shavuot less than one week away, please see information below regarding two innovative Shavuot initiatives which have been launched Australia wide to unite us all in the spirit of Shavuot.

Although some of the Covid 19 restrictions have been lifted to allow small gatherings to take place, we will not be returning to Shul services just yet, and prefer to wait until we are able to have larger numbers of people attend. Please see message from the BHC President Aaron Goldman in this regard below.

It has been gratifying and uplifting to witness the enthusiastic response to the call from board member Phillip Zavelsky, who has initiation a project to have fruit baskets delivered to the elderly members of our community for Shavuot. Kol Hakavod (good on you) and Yashar Koach (thank you) to the many kind and considerate members of our congregation and community who have generously volunteered their time and energy in this regard, and to Phillip and his family for initiating and coordinating this wonderful project, particularly during this time of social isolation and the temporary closure of our Synagogue.

Please join us for our weekly Erev Shabbat Zoom session this afternoon at 4.15pm. Please be aware that, in order to participate you need to download the Zoom app to your computer or mobile phone. All welcome!


Next week we will conduct  and Erev Shavuot Zoom session on Thursday afternoon at 4pm, during which 10 of our members will present a short explanation on each of the Aseret Hadibrot – 10 Commandments. All welcome!

We wish all those in need of a Refuah Shlemah – speedy recovery, much good health and long life.

We wish you and your family Shabbat Shalom .

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe