Archive for September, 2021

From The Rabbi – Parshat Nitzavim 5781

Last Motzoey Shabbat  – Saturday night, at midnight, our Synagogue made history, as approximately twenty members of our community gathered together for the first Selichot service, and we were joined, via zoom, by over three hundred and fifty people from across the East Coast of Australia and New Zealand, who were unable to gather at Shul due to Lockdown. This would have probably constituted one of the largest Selichot gathering in Australian history, and certainly the most diverse participation, geographically.

The portion of Nitzavim  – Standing, is always read in the lead-up to Rosh Hashanah and, although it is among the shortest of all the potions, it contains important message for us to take to heart as we stand on the threshold of the new year, 5782.

Nitzavim, begins: Atem nitzavim hayom kulchem lifnei Hashem Elokeichem—“You are all standing this day before the L‑rd, your G‑d: the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers—every person of Israel.”

The idea is that before we head into Rosh Hashanah, we gather together as a group, as a community. Among the words in Hebrew to describe a community is the term tzibbur.

The 17th-century Kabbalist Rabbi Nathan Nata Shapiro of Krakow explains in his work Megaleh Amukot that the word for Tzibur “community” should be understood as an acronym: Tzaddik: Tzaddikim – Righteous, Beit: Beinoni – Intermediary, Vav – and, Reish: Rasha – Not So Righteous

Each of these categories are bound by the letter vavVav means “hook,” and hooks them all together. So it is not distinguishing between the righteous and the intermediary, and then, down there, the rasha, the wicked one. But rather, it shows that they all must coexist to be considered a tzibbur, a community.

It is easy to want to forget those who we don’t feel are worthy of our respect, who we don’t feel deserve to be included. Yet this is our reminder that everyone is part of our community, and no one can be left out or forgotten about.

Among the messages derived from the reading of Nitzavim in the lead up to Rosh Hashanah, is that unity and respect for the dignity of all people, is a most important preparation for Rosh Hashanah.

With only a few days to Rosh Hashanah, we take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to the many members of our wonderful community, who have, over the past year, given of themselves so selflessly to help support others and to keep our communal institutions alive and well. We are so blessed to have within our midst a significantly large proportion of our community members, who volunteer their time, resources and finances to support our own community and the wider community without seeking honor or recognition. Kol Hakavod to you all, and may the coming year be filled with revealed goodness and sweetness!

Please see information below regarding High Holiday services and please ensure  that you register your attendance via the Brisbane Synagogue website.

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

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