Archive for December, 2020

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayishlach – Chanukah 5781

As always, the lead-up to Chanukah reaffirms the deep connection that we all possess with our inner spirituality and our souls and how strongly we wish to connect to our traditions, regardless of what we may superficially believe in this regard.

We have received a constant barrage of emails and text messages from Jews from all walks of life and nationalities, requesting Menorahs and candles for Chanukah, and it is always so heartwarming and uplifting to witness this incredible phenomena before each of the major Chagim (festivals), particularly Chanukah, Pesach, and the High Holidays.

This week we begin the epic story of Yosef (Joseph), arguably the most exciting and riveting story of all the Torah and, like all Torah stories contains many important lessons for life. Among the lessons we learn from this story is the importance of compassion and brotherly love and that, although we may have little control over many of the challenges that life presents, how we we respond to them is very much in our hands and Yosef was a shining example of someone who so gracefully handled his profound personal challenges with deep faith and optimism.

One of the common themes of the story of Yosef and Chanukah is the transformation of darkness and challenge to light and opportunity. May we all be inspired by the story of Yosef and the message of Chanukah.

We express our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to Odeliah Fitzpatrick and her helpers for organising the communal Friday night dinner this evening, in honour of Shabbat Mevarchim, the Shabbat during which we bless the incoming month of Tevet. Kol Hakavod!              

Please see information below regarding the various events and Chanukah celebrations on offer for our congregation and community, including a Menorah lighting and games night at the Brisbane Synagogue tomorrow evening, Motzoey Shabbat – Saturday evening, Dec. 12, and Chanukah in the City, please G-d, this Sunday Dec. 13, at Reddacliff Place. Looking forward to see you there.

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Chanukah  & Chodesh Tov   

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayishlach 5781

Among the important lessons we learn from Chanukah, which commences next week, is the idea that each day we should infuse a little more light into our lives, as we add an additional light to our Chanukah Menorah each night of the Festival.

Yesterday, I experienced a profound example of this when one of our esteemed senior members, Dr Bert Klug, who will please G-d celebrate his ninety ninth birthday next month, requested of me if we could study Chumash (5 books of Moses) together. Dr Klug, or Reb Baruch as I like to call him, was raised in an observant Jewish home in Sered, Slovakia, where he attended a Jewish school, where he was taught Chumash from the original text of the Torah. Even though Reb Boruch has been learning all of his life, and he is highly respected in the Medical world, he still finds it important to add in his Jewish knowldge and spiritual growth. Kol Hakavod Reb Baruch, may you continue to be a shining example to all of us!

This week we read in the Torah of Yakov’s – Jacob’s return home to his family and his confrontation with his brother Esav – Esau, after having spent over twenty years building a family in the foreign and hostile land of Charan. Many interpret this episode of the Torah as guide for the Jew in dealing with the ‘outside’ world. It is actually a custom among many to read this portion each week at the conclusion of Shabbat, as a source of inspiration, before embarking on their mundane work week ahead.

This too is one of the messages of Chanukah, to illuminate the outside world with the light, goodness and beauty of our traditions, as we engage the world, and infuse it with moral principals and the Divine direction of the Torah and Mitzvot.

Please be aware that from tomorrow evening, Motzoey Shabbat (Saturday night) we commence reciting the prayer for rain – Veten Tal Umatar in the Amida  – silent prayer. May Hashem shower us with much needed Gishmey Brachah – rain of blessing.

Please see information below regarding the various events and 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

Candle Lighting Times Brisbane

Fri Oct 1st: Light Candles 5.30pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 6.23pm

Fri Oct 8th : Light Candles 5.34pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.27pm

Fri Oct 15th: Light Candles 5.38pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.32pm

Fri Oct 22nd: Light Candles 5.42pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.36pm

Fri Oct 29th: Light Candles 5.46pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.41pm