Archive for July, 2020

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vaetchanan / Shabbat Nachamu 5780

Last Shabbat we returned to our first post-Covid 19 shut-down Cholent Kiddush which was enjoyed immensely by all those who participated, in accordance with the current restrictive socially-distanced conditions. In addition to the delicious Cholent, we were treated to spiritual nourishment too, as inspiring words of Torah were shared, in a wonderful spirit of Communal conviviality.

From this coming Shabbat, thanks to our newly co-ordinated dedicated ‘Sunday Morning Cooking Club’ members, Peta Briner, Del Cameron, Maxine and Gideon Cheilyk, Helen Tesar, Suzanne Quintner and Leah Phillips (coordinator), who have prepared a batch of scrumptious cakes, we will return to our regular kiddushim, following the Shabbat morning services. Exciting new Kiddush menus are being planned for the future. Watch this space.

There is much discussion currently in town regarding restrictions and the negative and harmful effects resulting from the actions of one or two people upon our entire State. This story is a stark reminder to us all of how important it is for us to abide by restrictions, however uncomfortable and inconvenient they may seem, which have been put in place to protect ourselves and our community.

This week, we continue to read the final sermon delivered by Moshe (Moses), which is essentially the above message, follow the Torah and the Mitzvot, as this will serve you well to protect you and secure Jewish continuity throughout the millennia. Although it may not always be comfortable or convenient, however it is always for our good and the good of the world! In addition, we must never underestimate the impact and ripple effect of each and every positive deed that we perform, our words and even thoughts.

This Shabbat is Nachamu (be comforted), as we commence a series of seven weeks of special Haftarah readings containing prophetic words of comfort, in the lead up to the High Holidays.

At this stage we have only seven registered for the service this evening and eight registered for tomorrow morning. As so many of our older regular attendees are not coming because of covid, we need the younger members to please step up and take their place. Please register via the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation website if you are able to join us at:

Shabbat Shalom, and may we experience the ultimate transformation of all sadness and sickness to happiness and healing.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Devarim 5780

This Shabbat we begin a new book, a new chapter in the history of our people, in which Moshe (Moses) begins his parting sermon, heartfelt words of encouragement and tactful admonition to his beloved people. Besides for the book of Tehillim (Psalms), I personally find this book of the Torah to be the most uplifting, and it is quotes out of this book that the Jewish kings of old would read to the entire Jewish nation, at the once-in-seven-year special Hakhel gatherings, which took place in the vast Women’s Section of the Bet Hamikdash (Temple of old).

This Shabbat is also known as Shabbat Chazon —“Shabbat of the Vision”, as the Haftarah  begins with the words Chazon Yeshayahu, the “vision of Isaiah” regarding the destruction of the Holy Temple.

The legendary Chassidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev explained that on this special Shabbat, preceding the sad day of Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av) every Jewish soul is shown a vision of the third Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple). The purpose of this vision is to arouse within each of us a yearning to actually see this edifice which will be built by G ‑ d, and to encourage us to perform as many Mitzvot as possible in order to realize this dream. While this vision may not be sensed with the physical eyes, the soul certainly experiences this vision, and it affects us all on the subconscious level.

One of the most striking aspects of the current Covid 19 pandemic is the global effect it has generated, one small virus has changed the lives of every human being on the planet. If this is so regarding a negative aspect of life, how much more so, our good deeds, however small and insignificant they may seem to us, have the power to literally transform the world.

May we soon merit the ultimate transformation of all sadness and negativity into happiness and prosperity, materially and spiritually.

Please see information below regarding Tisha B’Av.

Wishing you and your family much continued good health and happiness.

Shabbat Shalom and well over the fast

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe