Archive for November, 2020

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayetze 5781

A lonely and frightened young man leaves home to an unknown destination, where he contends with a hostile environment, dealing with a deceitful man, who tries to take advantage of him yet, it is in this very place that he manages to confront the challenges, build a family and eventually return home, as a wholesome man, who is blessed with much material and spiritual prosperity.

This is the story we read this week, of our forefather Yakov (Jacob), who eventually becomes Yisrael (Israel), which serves as an inspiration and guiding light to his descendants, the nation of Israel.

Those of us who have been fortunate to join the current JLI course, ‘Secrets of the Bible’, have been privy to the incredible richness and depth contained within this story and other Biblical narratives, discovering the reflection of these stories in our own lives and the powerful life lessons we draw from them.

On a basic level, Yakov was a man on a mission to establish a family, and elevate his environment, true to the traditions of his ancestors, fully aware that he would confront many challenges along the way, but confidant in the strength that Hashem had invested within him to fulfill his Divine mission.

Although Yakov was far away from home physically, he knew that by remaining spiritually true to his unique mission, his connection to his family and his Creator, he would prevail, hence the name Yisrael,  Israel, alluding to the idea of prevailing over adversity, was bestowed upon him and all of his progeny, until this very day.

The above idea is also the theme of Chanukah, which we will celebrate in two weeks from now, namely the transformation of darkness to light and illuminating the outside world with spiritual light of Torah and Mitzvot.

Please see information below regarding the various Chanukah celebrations on offer for our congregation and community, will be a Menorah lighting and games night at the Brisbane Synagogue on Motzoey Shabbat – Saturday evening, Dec. 12, and a Covid-safe ‘Chanukah in the City’ will, please G-d, take place on Sunday Dec. 13, at Reddacliff Place.

Shabbat Shalom    

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Toldot 5781

We are pleased to report that, as of this past Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, the Queensland Government has eased restrictions in our State and the barriers on the Bimah at Shul have now been dismantled. In its place, a smaller transparent single panel has been erected to separate the Torah reader from those being called to the Torah. Social distancing is still mandated, though this has now been reduced, indoors, from one person per four square metres to one person per two square metres.

For the safety and protection of everyone, we urge you to please follow the various guidelines regarding washing hands and social distancing and, until further notice, we request that the practice of not kissing the Torah or the Mezuzah be maintained.

We here in Queensland have been Baruch Hashem – thank G-d, extremely fortunate and, due to strict adherence to the various restrictions and guidelines, like various other locations around the world, have been spared much of the negative repercussions which have been experienced by others.

One of the great lessons Covid has taught us, is that, although it is not comfortable to have restrictions imposed upon us and our natural instincts are resistant to this, ultimately by submitting to a higher authority, which has our best interests at heart, this becomes a source of blessing to us all.

On the topic of blessings, this week we read the epic story of the ‘stolen’ blessings, and the apparent deceipt employed by Yakov – Jacob and his mother Rivkah – Rebecca, to extract the blessings which Yitzchak – Issac had intended to bestow upon Esav – Esau. There are many challenging questions about this story and, upon deeper exploration, as is the case with all stories of the Torah, we discover the story playing out in world history and in our personal lives. Our current JLI course, ‘Secrets of the Bible’ is taking participants on a profound journey though the struggles of Jewish history and our personal challenges, through closer examination  e depth and multilayered insight contained within these extraordinary stories.

With only three weeks to Chanukah, we are pleased to announce that, among the various Chanukah celebrations on offer for our congregation and community, will be a Menorah lighting and games night at the Brisbane Synagogue on Motzoey Shabbat – Saturday evening, Dec. 12, and a Covid-safe ‘Chanukah in the City’ will, please G-d, take place on Sunday Dec. 13, at Reddacliff Place.

May the wonderful blessings contained in this week’s Parsha, received by Yakov – Jacob, be received and shared by all, wherever they may be.

Shabbat Shalom    

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Candle Lighting Times Brisbane


Fri July 2nd: Light Candles 4.47pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 3rd 5.43pm

Fri July 9th: Light Candles 4.50pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 10th 5.46pm

Fri July 16th: Light Candles 4.53pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 17th 5.49pm Tisha B’Av fast starts Sat 5.12pm until 5.38pm Sun 18th

Fri July 23rd: Light Candles 4.57pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 24th 5.52pm

Fri July 30th: Light Candles 5pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 31st 5.55pm

Fri August 6th: Light Candles 5.04pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 7th 5.59pm

Fri August 13th: Light Candles 5.08pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 14th 6.02pm

Fri August 20th: Light Candles 5.11pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 21st 6.05pm

Fri August 27th: Light Candles 5.14pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 28th 6.08pm

Fri Sept 3rd: Light Candles 5.17pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 4th 6.11pm

Monday Sept 6th: Erev Rosh Hashana Light Candles 5.19pm

Tuesday Sept 7th: Rosh Hashana 1 Light Candles after 6.12pm

Wed Sept 8th: Rosh Hashana 2 Yom Tov ends 6.12pm

Thurs Sept 9th: Fast of Gedaliah: 4.40am-6.02pm

Fri Sept 10th: Light Candles 5.21pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 11th 6.14pm

Wed Sept 15th: Erev Yom Kippur – Kol Nidrei Night Light Candles 5.23pm

Thurs Sept 16th: Yom Kippur   Yom Kippur ends 6.16pm

Fri Sept 17th: Light Candles 5.24pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 18th 6.17pm

Mon Sept 20th: Erev Sukkot  Light Candles 5.25pm

Tues Sept 21st: Sukkot 1  Light Candles after 6.18pm

Wed Sept 22nd: Sukkot 2  Yom Tov ends 6.19pm

Thurs Sept 23rd – Sunday 26th: Sukkot intermediate days (Chol Hamoed)

Monday Sept 27th: Hoshana Rabba    Light Candles 5.28pm

Tuesday Sept 28th: Shemini Atzeret: Light Candles after 6.21pm

Wed Sept 29th: Simchat Torah   Yom Tov ends 6.22pm