Archive for August, 2022

From The Rabbi – Parshat Re’eh 5782

We are about to enter the introspective and holy month of Elul, during which we reflect on the past year and prepare ourselves for the Yamim Norayim – the Days of Awe, which will be upon us in just over four weeks.

As a communal initiative to increase our spiritual growth and enhance our relationship with Hashem, we will be adding another day to our midweek Shacharit – morning services and, from the coming week, in addition to our regular Monday and Thursday services, we will gather together on Tuesday too. We encourage members of the community to consider joining us for either of these mid-week services, or for Shabbat services, as it’s a great way to start the day, and the coffee is not too bad either. We avail ourselves of this opportunity to thank and salute all those dedicated members and friends, who join us regularly on Shabbat and during the week. Kol Hakavod to you all!

We recall vividly the thrill, twenty years ago, when Her Majesty the Queen came to visit Brisbane. We took our children to see and hear her speak in Roma St. Parklands, and we recited the special Brachah – blessing, upon being in the physical presence of Royalty. It was quite remarkable to witness how she mingled with the people, regardless of their social standing, greeting old and young with such grace and with such a warm smile.

It is during the upcoming month of Elul, that our sages compare Hashem, the Supreme ruler of the universe to a King, who comes out of his Royal palace and greets us all with his cheerful countenance, affording us the unique opportunity to approach Him on a more close and personal level, without the need for the usual bureaucracy necessary for such an encounter.

May we utilize this unique opportunity to make amends for the past and prepare ourselves appropriately for a year that will, please G-d, be filled with much good health, happiness, prosperity and nachat, with true and enduring peace throughout the world.

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

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov 

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Eikev 5782

Last night we enjoyed an uplifting talk in the Brisbane Synagogue Memorial hall, presented by visiting Rabbi Ian Goodhardt, on the importance of looking after our mental wellbeing. Drawing his inspiration from the Torah, and from his work in training people around the country in the delivery of Mental Health First Aid courses, Rabbi Goodhardt provided us with ten valuable tips on how we may look after our own mental wellbeing.

For those who were unable to attend the talk, please see link below for a video recording of the talk.

We are honored that  Rabbi Goodhardt, and his wife Sharon, will be joining us at the Brisbane Synagogue this Shabbat, and Rabbi Goodhardt will deliver the sermon tomorrow evening on the topic of the Challenge of Wealth.

The fifth book of Torah, Devarim – Deuteronomy, which we are currently reading, contains the last speech of Moshe – Moses to the Jewish people, before his passing and, among the phrases he uses, is “If you should say in your heart: “These nations are more numerous than I; how can I dispossess them?” (7:17).  You will say in your heart: “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth…” (8:17)

The warning to the Jews not to entertain feelings of fear and haughtiness in their heart contains a powerful message about the danger of negative thinking and, that the narrative we ‘speak’ to ourselves greatly influences all other aspect of our lives.

There is a well-known Yiddish expression ‘tracht gut vet zeit gut’, ‘think positive and it will be positive’.

As we bless the incoming introspective month or Elul, this Shabbat, and we already begin to imbue ourselves with the atmosphere of the High Holidays, may we be inspired to approach the New Jewish Year with optimism, hope and positive thoughts, which will please G-d materialize into a year filled with much blessing for good health, happiness and true and enduring peace in our own lives, in Israel, and throughout the world.

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

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom 

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe