Archive for September, 2023

From The Rabbi – Parshat Haazinu – Shuva / Yom Kippur 5784

We currently find ourselves in the unique period of Divine closeness, known as the Aseret Yemey Teshuvah – the Ten Days of Repentance – Return, a most opportune time, in the lead-up to Yom Kippur, to make amends for the past year and prepare ourselves for the new year ahead.

The weekly Parsha – Torah portion this Shabbat is known as Shirat Haazinu – the song of  Haazinu – listening closely, and a special Haftarah will be read, commencing with the words Shuva Yisrael – Return oh Israel, hence the title Shabbat Shuva. – the Shabbat of Return given to this Shabbat.

In his final hours, Moshe is commissioned by Hashem to write and teach music. But isn’t the timing a bit off? This was the last day on earth for Moshe, and the Parsha which is usually read on the serious and solemn Shabbat Shuva, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

The last memory Moshe left his beloved people of their dynamic leader and faithful shepherd was of him singing, not preaching. His last words still singing in their ears, they watched him ascend Mount Nebo on his final mission, to return his holy soul to its Maker.

The scene is powerful, the soundtrack moving, and the lesson profound.

The Torah had thus far been thought of in many ways and as many things. The Divine wisdom of Hashem, His will, the marriage contract between Him and His people, the blueprint of existence, a manual for earthly life, secrets and prophecies of the world, a code of morality and ethics, “and much, much, more.”

Never before, though, had it been seen or heard of as a song.

On that memorable day, however, two of Judaism’s greatest leaders faced their beloved people, one to bid farewell and the other to say hello, and sang a duet together called “Haazinu,” redefining for all time how Torah was to be perceived: not as a sermon, but as a song.

Words are the building blocks of language; like a vehicle, they shuttle ideas between minds and hearts. Music, on the other hand, is both the soul of language and the language of the soul, able to cross vast gulfs of ideology, culture, nationality and personality.

Moses’ last lesson and Joshua’s first, to parents, teachers and leaders to come, was that for Haazinu to be “a witness to the [authenticity and continuity of the] children of Israel,” for it to engage the recesses of the Jewish spirit, to stir the soul of every Jew, Judaism would have to be musicalized and sung—not sermonized—into their ears.

“If Judaism will be celebrated rather than commemorated,” sang Moses, “and allowed to work its music over you and your families, you will not be able to help but dance to its tune.

“And like any good song, you won’t be able to get it out of your system.”

We look forward to seeing you at Shul and sharing good news and Simchot in the coming year.

בברכת גמר חתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוקה

May you to be sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom, and well over the fast.

Rabbi Levi & Dvorah Jaffe

Thank you Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson for the above message 

From The Rabbi – Rosh Hashanah 5784

This Shabbat we will be ushering in a New Year, as we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, 5784.

Just in time for this special time of year, we have this week concluded our meaningful JLI course, “With All My Heart” – the Jewish art of Prayer and Spiritual Experience, which was attended by a healthy group of community members, both in person and via zoom, highlighting for us all the wonderful gift and opportunity afforded to us all to engage in meaningful relationship building with Hashem, the Creator of heaven and earth. In the words of one of our members “I have found this course very thought -provoking and I am delighted to have been able to join the group to share in learning about such a meaningful subject.”

Kol Hakavod to the many participants who joined and we look forward to the next fascinating JLI course, after the Chagim – Festivals, on Kabbalah – Revealing how it’s mystical secrets relate to you.

One of the most well-known and beloved prayers of the Yamim Noraim – High Holidays is the familiar Avinu Malkeinu – Our Father Our King prayer, which reminds us of the unique relationship we have with Hashem, as our father and king and, while we approach Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Yom Hadin – Day of Judgment, with a degree of trepidation and solemness, we also celebrate the Festival with a quiet confidence that, although Hashem is our King, with whom we relate with a sense of awe, He is also our loving father, who is eagerly awaiting our sincere prayers and Shofar blowing, to which He will respond in kind, blessing us all, along with our families and community for a blessed year, filled with much good health, happiness, prosperity and Nachas!

We are pleased to be welcoming Dovi Jaffe, who will be joining us over the High Holidays, to assist in leading the services.

We look forward to seeing you at Shul and sharing good news and Simchot in the coming year.

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

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom, Shana Tova Umetuka and well over the fast.

Rabbi Levi & Dvorah Jaffe

Candle Lighting Times Brisbane


Fri Sept 1st: Light Candles 5.16pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.10pm

Fri Sept 8th: Light Candles 5.20pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.13pm

Fri Sept 15th: Rosh Hashanah Eve
Light Candles 5.23pm

Sat Sept 16th: Rosh Hashanah Day 1
Light Candles after 6.16pm

Sun Sept 17th: Rosh Hashanah Day 2
Yom Tov ends: 6.16pm

Mon Sept 18th: Fast Of Gedaliah
4.31am – 6.07pm

Fri Sept 22nd: Light Candles 5.26pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.19pm

Sun Sept 24th: Yom Kippur Eve
Light Candles 5.27pm
Fast begins: 5.41pm

Mon Sept 25th: Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur ends: 6.20pm

Fri Sept 29th: Sukkot Eve
Light Candles 5.29pm

Sat Sept 30th: Sukkot Day 1
Light Candles after 6.22pm

Sun Oct 1st: Sukkot Day 2
Yom Tov ends 6.23pm

Fri Oct 6th: Hoshana Rabbah: Light Candles 5.33pm

Sat Oct 7th: Shemini Atzeret: Light Candles after 6.26pm

Sun Oct 8th: Simchat Torah
Yom Tov ends 6.27pm