Archive for July, 2021

From The Rabbi – Parshat Eikev 5781

Eikev, meaning (among other interpretations) “heel”. The name of this week’s Parsha seems to be an uncomplimentary and odd name for a portion of the Torah.

What is fascinating about our heels are that, although they constitute the lowest and most insensitive part of our body, it is our heels that most easily comply with the dictates of our mind, thus representing obedience and subservience to our needs and desires. In spiritual terms, this represents the quality of self-sacrifice and the acceptance of a higher power, known is Hebrew as Mesirat Nefesh.

As the Jewish people are standing on the threshold of their entry into the land of Israel, Moshe (Moses) reminds his beloved nation to remain cognizant of the presence of Hashem in every aspect of life, especially during the more challenging and lower (heels) realms of our lives.

Our sages relate that, although Moshe was not permitted to enter the land of Israel, he was shown the land and all future generations of the Jewish people up to the times of the Moshiach – Messiah, often referred in Aramaic as “Ikveta demeshicha” – the Heels of Moshiach, due to the relatively low level of spiritual sensitivity possessed by that generation. When Moshe saw that more than three thousand years after Matan Torah – The giving of the Torah, the Jewish people will still remain stead-fast in their commitment to their heritage and traditions, he became humbled by the self-sacrifice exhibited by modern day man.

The ultimate purpose of creation is realized when the lowest elements within creation (the heels) become a home for Hashem in this world. Therefore every positive act that we perform with zest and enthusiasm, especially in challenging circumstances, brings us closer to our ultimate purpose in life and the creation of the world.

Let us not minimize or dismiss the small acts that we fulfill, for they are the foundations of our existence.

Although we have already commenced the current JLI course, we still have a few spare places. Please consider joining us this coming Monday evening or Thursday morning as we continue this uplifting and transformational course, ‘Paradigm Shift’, which opens the eyes of its participants to the reality of a world filled with positivity and goodness.

Shabbat Shalom

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vaetchanan – Shabbat Nachamu 5781

This past Sunday it was heartwarming and uplifting for us, as we gathered together for our annual Tisha BÁv service, on the 135th anniversary, since the consecration of our Synagogue on July 18, 1886. In addition to members from the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation, the Minyan was comprised of members from other congregations in Brisbane, who converged together in unity for the solemn afternoon service, donned in our Tallit and Tefillin. It is indeed wonderful that, throughout all these years, our beautiful Synagogue has served as a spiritual sanctuary and a centre for social cohesion within our community, and a beacon of light for our city and state.

May our Synagogue and congregation continue to flourish and grow from strength to strength, materially and spiritually, for many more years to come.

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Nachamu – the Shabbat of comfort, as we emerge from the sad period of the Three weeks and mourning over the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash – Temple, into the next seven weeks of consolation, in the lead up to the High Holidays. It is also Tu BÁv, the 15th day of the month of Menachem Av, a festive day in the Jewish calendar on which many happy occasions, associated with marriage and unity, occurred in Jewish history.

May we merit to witness the transformation of all sadness, negativity and challenge, into comfort, joy, and opportunities for growth with true and lasting peace in Israel and throughout the world.

Please consider joining us this coming Monday or Thursday for our upcoming uplifting and transformational JLI course, ‘Paradigm Shift’, details below.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe