Archive for November, 2020

From The Rabbi – Parshat Chayei Sarah 5781

Last Sunday morning we were profoundly saddened to receive the news of the passing of former Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l.

Rabbi Sacks was a towering theologian, moral thinker, global religious leader, and one of the greatest Jewish intellects of our generation, who served over two decades, as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

Not withstanding his incredible knowledge, extremely high level of intelligence, prolific writing, eloquent oratory skills, and creative ideas and initiatives, Rabbi Sacks exuded humility and an unshakable faith, with the unique ability to transmit the profound depth, truth, and  contemporary relevance of Yiddishkeit (Judaism) to Jews and non-Jews alike. He was a proud and fearless advocate for Israel and the Jewish people, and the consummate lamplighter, who ignited and inspired the hearts, minds and souls of millions of people throughout the world.

Please join us this evening at the Brisbane Synagogue for a Memorial service for the late Rabbi Sacks z”l at 7pm. Please see information and below and we encourage you to come along and join us as we pay tribute to this remarkable leader in our time.

This week we read of the passing of Sarah Imenu (Sarah our mother) and Avraham Avinu (Abraham our father), the first Jews, yet the Parsha (Torah portion) is named Chayei Sarah – the life of Sarah. In one of his earliest books, Torah Studies, Rabbi Sacks examines out the paradox between the name Chayei Sarah, “the life of Sarah,” and the content of the Parsah with open with her passing. What is more, towards the end, it records the death of Abraham. Why is a Parsha about death called “life”? The answer he presents, is that, when a person passes on, and their legacy and moral values are perpetuated in their progeny and students, this signifies true life. In the case of Rabbi Sacks, we can certainly say that his incredible legacy lives on in his children, his students, and the wellsprings of wisdom contained in his numerous writings and lectures.

As we mourn and commemorate the passing of this outstanding  and humble leader and teacher, let us resolve to perpetuate his legacy of a thirst for knowledge and relationship with our Creator, by committing ourselves to increased Jewish learning and observance. Yehi Zichro Baruch – May his memory be a blessing.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov   

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayera 5781

Computers are wonderful machines when they work however, sometimes, they can be most annoying and frustrating, such as last night, as I discovered, following several hours of working on this week’s newsletter all the material had been been erased and I am now compelled to start all over again.

Judaism teaches us to accept such occurrences as Bashert, or Divine providence and therefore meant to be. Obviously whatever I was planning to include in this editorial about the lessons I believe we can draw from the US Presidential Election, was not meant to be and we will suffice with the notion that every vote counts and each of us possesses the power to transform the world.

Next week we commemorate Kristallnacht, a fateful night of November 9, 1938, of which we have heard first hand reports from members of our own community, who experienced the horrific scenes of their beloved Synagogues burning and the devastation they witnessed the following morning, of Jewish owned shops and businesses having been broken into and destroyed. This was the beginning of one of the darkest eras in human history.

This week we read of the miraculous birth of Yitzchak (Isaac), born to Avraham and Sarah at the age of one hundred and ninety, respectively. Thus begins the incredible and miraculous story of the Jewish nation which has for centuries continued to defy the laws of nature and survive the most horrific and barbaric persecutions and deportations, and outlive all of the once physically and militarily powerful nations who attempted to destroy her.

As we celebrate the birth and circumcision of the first Jewish child, let us resolve to perpetuate the miracle of Jewish survival and continuity by resolving to commit ourselves to increase at least one area of Jewish life and make our votes count!

Please see information below regarding the upcoming Kristallnacht Commemoration Service to be held at the Brisbane Synagogue and Remembrance Day Commemorations for all who have made the supreme sacrifice or otherwise suffered in Australia’s cause in wars and war-like conflicts.

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Candle Lighting Times Brisbane


Fri Nov 5th: Light Candles 5.51pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 6.47pm

Fri Nov 12th : Light Candles 5.57pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.53pm

Fri Nov 19th: Light Candles 6.02pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.59pm

Fri Nov 26th: Light Candles 6.08pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  7.05pm

Fri Dec 3rd: Light Candles 6.13pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  7.11pm

Fri Dec 10th: Light Candles 6.18pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  7.16pm

Fri Dec 17th: Light Candles 6.22pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  7.21pm

Fri Dec 24th: Light Candles 6.26pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  7.24pm

Fri Dec 31st: Light Candles 6.28pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  7.26pm