Archive for May, 2023

From The Rabbi – Shavuot/Shabbat 5783

Have you ever wondered what, if anything, Moshe (Moses) would recognize, if he were to fly into Brisbane today? He would most likely recognize very little, as our material world has been significantly transformed over the centuries. However if he were to enter our Synagogue tomorrow,for the festival of Shavuot, he would be completely familiar with the same Mezuzah, the same Tallit, the same Torah scroll, and the very same words of the 10 Commandments which he conveyed to us 3,335 years ago on Mt Sinai, which we continue to teach to our children today!

The same Shabbat that was gifted to us then, continues to uplift our souls and sanctify our homes, as do the Tefillin we wear which synchronize our minds and hearts to our spiritual mission in life. Mikvah and family purity provides intimacy with its holiness and freshness, and Torah study continues to guide our moral vision and spiritual inspirations. We still follow the exact same timeless traditions which have been practiced by Jews throughout the millennia.

Please come along and join us at Shul over Shavuot as we celebrate this magnificent anniversary and milestone, along with our children and grandchildren, who were the guarantors, without whom we would never have received this priceless gift, which has carried and preserved the Jewish people throughout our long and challenging history.

We extend a huge thank you to Sinai College students and staff, and Ibrox Park Nursery in Burbank for the lovely greenery and floral decorations which adorn our beautiful Synagogue in honour of Shavuot. Please see image below.



Wishing you Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom, and may you receive the Torah with joy and internalize its teachings.

Rabbi Levi & Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Bamidbar 5783

Humans have always been fascinated by the mysterious, the realm that lies beyond the natural and rational world we experience and relate to on a tangible level through our physical senses, and it is gratifying to receive such a healthy response from many within our community who have signed up to join us on a fascinating four-week journey into the world of signs, spirits and superstition in Jewish belief.   

As we enter the final week in the count down to our epic anniversary, the festival of Shavuot, the moment which has shaped the moral compass of our world more so than any other experience in history, we reflect on the unique gift of the Torah, which has been bequeathed to us from Hashem on Mt Sinai more than three thousand years ago.

The Torah portion, Bamidbar, which means “in the wilderness” or “in the desert,” is read before the holiday of Shavuot. The classic explanation for this is to emphasize that the best state in which to receive Torah is when we make of ourselves a desert, meaning that we nullify our egos and enter into a state of total humility.

The opening line of the Torah portion is: “And God spoke to Moses in the desert.” The word midbar (“desert”) and dibur (“speech”) share the same root, and so the relationship between the desert and speech is beautifully correlated.

But speech only works when one is able and willing to both talk and listen. And to listen deeply and truly hear what the other is trying to say requires patience, focus and humility. Therefore, the desert is the ideal location for the Jewish people to be open to the communication of the Torah for there is no distraction. We don’t have to be physically in a desert to consciously strip away the layers of egocentricity that distort our clarity. By shutting out the noise that distracts us, we can transform ourselves into an appropriate desert of open receptivity.

When it comes to receiving the Torah, we must humble ourselves, create the space to take it in and learn, at times, to focus on our collective identity rather than our individual identity.

Wishing you a meaningful and uplifting Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Levi & Dvorah Jaffe