Archive for August, 2021

From The Rabbi – Parshat Shoftim 5781

Baruch Hashem – Thank G-d, we are able to once again able to gather together at the Synagogue, while so many of our Southern, and Northern brothers and sisters are still suffering in lockdown. Please remember to adhere to the various social distancing and mask wearing health guidelines, and to register your attendance before Shabbat, if you wish to attend services at Shul this Shabbat.

This past couple of days have been extremely uplifting for me, as I have been driving around town delivering care packages and blowing the Shofar (in a socially distanced manner) for families and individuals who are currently in quarantine. This experience has for me further emphasized the concept that the greatest happiness we derive in life is from the joy of giving and sharing with others. Kol Hakavod to Paul Johnson and Howard Posner from JCare for initiating and supporting this wonderful little exercise.

Another important lesson I was reminded of from my little adventure is how much we all value human contact and the ability to interact with one another face to face (mask to mask), and when this basic gift is taken away from us, we learn to cherish and appreciate so much more the simple blessings in life that we so easily take for granted.

Gratitude must also be extended to modern technology as, due to my new Android Auto Stereo system, I merely step into my car, and “okay google” with instructions to navigate to my next address and off we go. In my earlier years of community deliveries, I would spend hours of frustrated efforts trying to figure out my way through the Brisbane Refedex, only to find myself going around in circles. How fortunate and blessed we are to be living in an age of such amazing technology.

This week we continue to read the great sermon of Moshe (Moses) as he inspired the new generation of Jews, who were to soon cross over the Jordan river into the Promised land of Israel. Among the topics he addresses is the importance of establishing cities in the land, to which people are able to find refuge if they accidently killed another person. It has always intrigued me why it would be necessary to establish such cities and why the Torah seems to attach so much focus and attention to them.

We have just entered the introspective and Holy month of Elul, as we prepare for the High Holidays and, as we reflect on the year gone by, many of us become aware of areas or incidents in our life, in which we may have intentionally or unintentionally transgressed ourselves, or to towards others and we seek spiritual refuge. Our sages teach us that words of Torah and the adherence to its Mitzvot serve as a means of protection, much like the cities of refuge of old served as a physical place of peace and tranquility.

May each of us be blessed with good health, happiness, and menuchat hanefesh vehaguf – tranquility of soul and body, and may we utilize this opportunistic month of reflection on the past and preparation for the future, to tap into our

Shabbat Shalom
ברכת כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוקה
May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Re’eh 5781

Only last Friday evening we were expressing our gratitude for having been able to gather together at the Synagogue, while so many of our fellow Jews in NSW and other locations were unable to do so, only to discover on Shabbat morning, that we too were about to be enter a strict lockdown, which has now been extended until Sunday, thus we will once again be unable to attend Shul this Shabbat.

This week’s Parsha – Torah portion begins, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, that you will heed the commandments of Hashem, which I command you today; and the curse, if you will not heed the commandments of Hashem, but turn away from the way I command you this day, to follow other gods, which you did not know.”

The great Torah commentator, Ohr HaChaim explains: The ultimate blessing and curse are not what come later, as a result of the way we lived. Rather, a life of Torah and Mitzvot is itself the greatest blessing that can be, (and living otherwise, is an opposite experience).

This Sunday and Monday will be Rosh Chodesh Elul – when we commence the Holy and introspective month of preparation for the New Jewish year, 5782. On Monday we commence the blowing of the Shofar, which is our spiritual  wake up call to follow the rules, a term we have become all too familiar with in recent times.

Let us hope and pray that through our combined efforts to follow the rules, we will all be blessed with a month and coming year filled with good health, happiness and prosperity.

Next week every Australian household will need to fill out their census form. It’s important our national census reflects the diversity of Australia, including the Jewish population.

Queensland has been the fastest growing Jewish community in Australia. Census data plays an important part in shaping government policy decisions. Let’s make sure our vibrant, growing community is reflected in this census. Accurate data ensures services reflect the needs of our residents, including healthcare, housing, aged care, and other essential services.

Please complete all relevant questions in the census. In the religion question, you will be given a list of options to select. Judaism/Jewish will not be listed. Instead of selecting from the options given, we strongly encourage you to tick “Other” and write JUDAISM or JEWISH. Let’s make sure we count this Census!

Unfortunately, quite a number of our members have been forced into quarantine due to having been in a active Covid location, and it has been particularly challenging for these individuals and families during this time. If you are aware of anyone in this situation, or individuals who are struggling with the lockdown, please reach out to them with a phone call or text message to let them know that they are not alone and to help lift their spirits. It means so much to all of us, to know that our friends and community members are thinking of us and reaching out to us during these challenging times.

Please note that, in view of the current lock down, our Erev Shabbat zoom session will take place at 4.30pm tomorrow, instead of the usual time of 2pm.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

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