Archive for March, 2021

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayikra 5781

This week we begin a new chapter, with the commencement of the third book of the Torah, Vayikra – Leviticus, which discussed primarily the various activities which took place in the first Synagogue, the Mishkan –  Tabernacle, which the Jewish people built as a home for the Divine, as they traveled through their forty-year sojourn in the desert.

Although we no longer have the physical Mishkan, neverthelessits symbolism and spiritual message exists within each of us, to create within our hearts, homes and communities a place for the Divine presence to rest. Just as the central service of the Mishkan involved sacrifices, so too, an integral part of our mission on earth is to make the necessary sacrifices in our own lives for the betterment of others and to create a piece of heaven on earth, where our Creator feels ‘at home’. 

As the English name, Leviticus, suggest, it’s all about service, represented by the Levites, the lives of whom were totally dedicated to the service of others.               

Next weekend will be Pesach – Passover. Please be aware that, as Shabbat runs straight into Pesach – Passover this year, there are a few important differences regarding how we prepare for the festival. Please see information below in this regard.

Being that this newsletter was not published last week, we have included information and special occasions in this edition, to cover for last week too.

We welcome and extend our sincere thanks to Shaya Sufrin and Shraga Feldman, who have came to Brisbane over the past two weeks to assist in leading the service during our absence.      

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news                             

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Ki Tisa / Parah 5781

With the joyous festivities of Purim behind us, we now begin our preparations for the upcoming redemptive month of Nissan and the Festival of our Liberation, Pesach – Passover.

One of the most poignant quotes from the Hagaddah – Passover Seder texts is “Ïn every generation, we are obligated to see ourselves as we came out of Egypt”, meaning that we all experience a state of slavery from which we need to strive to emerge, and most of these experiences emanate from our ego and a lack of spiritual expression.

Last night we concluded our six-week JLI course, entitled ‘Journey of the Soul’, attended by over twenty five people, who were treated to an exciting journey into an enriched appreciation for life, including insights into the Jewish perspective on the afterlife, reincarnation of the soul and much more. Much of the course focused on developing spiritual awareness and the importance of aligning our bodies and souls in order to experience true freedom.

It has been an enlightening journey and I commend all the attendees for their participation, questions,  and contributions towards our class discussions.

The next course, entitled ‘This Can Happen’ – A credible case for feeling good about the future, will commence in the end of April.

This Shabbat we will once again remove an additional Torah from the ark, as we read the third in the series of four special readings, this one about the Red Heifer, which was used in an unusual ceremony to purify people who had become ritually impure through contact with the dead. This Mitzvah is referred to as the “Statute of the Torah” as, like many aspects of Judaism, the logic of it transcends our human rational, though we accept and perform them simply because they are of Divine origin.

We welcome and extend our thanks to Shaya Sufrin and Shraga Feldman, who have come to Brisbane to assist with leading the services while we are away in Sydney to celebrate the upcoming marriage of our son Mendel.

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe