Archive for March, 2024

From the Rabbi –TZAV / PARAH

Last Shabbat, was a truly meaningful and uplifting experience for all who attended the Brisbane Synagogue Shabbat morning service, as we used our historic 200-year-old Czech Torah, which was saved from the Shoah, and restored, to read Parshat Zachor, the special Torah portion, which is read in the lead-up to Purim, and contains the Mitzvah, we are obligated to fulfil daily namely, to remember how the ancient nation of Amalek confronted us, in an unprovoked attack, cooling down the enthusiasm of the Jewish people as they commenced their journey from Egypt to receive the Torah on Mt Sinai.

The Nazi regime, which too sought to destroy our people, along with many other evil regimes before them, have all come and gone, only to be relegated to the history books while we, the Jewish nation, are alive and well, still reading the very same words and being inspired by their messages, as we have been doing from more than 3000 years. Am Yisrael Chai!

We extend our sincere thanks to the two Yeshivah students, Shneor Cohen and Sholom Ber Kaye, who came from Melbourne to assist us over last Shabbat and the Purim celebrations, reading the Torah and the Megillah multiple times at various services and communal functions, and for some private people who, due to various reasons, were unable to leave their homes.

Kol Hakavod to Leah Phillips and her JCCQ team for the wonderful Purim day celebrations at the Community Centre, at which a large number of people were afforded the opportunity to observe the various Purim traditions, while enjoying great food and entertainment, with great spirit.

Due to the long weekend, and several members being away, please make a special effort to join us this Shabbat to ensure that we can secure Minyanim, particularly as we will take out an additional Torah for Parshat Parah.

With heartfelt prayers for the release of the remaining hostages and enduring peace in Israel and throughout the world!

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news.

From the Rabbi – VAYIKRA / ZACHOR 5784

In response to an email which was sent out a couple of days ago reminding people about Purim and the various celebrations taking place around our community, we received the following response from one of our Israeli readers. “Dear Rabbi, I feel that this year we cannot celebrate Purim as always”.

With the above question in mind, this Shabbat we will read the second of the special portions of the Torah, in the lead-up to Pesach – Passover namely, Parshot Zachor, in which we remember the nation of Amalek, which were the first nation to attack the Jewish people, as they made their exodus from Egypt and cooled down their enthusiasm, as they journeyed towards the receiving of the Torah on Mt Sinai. On a spiritual level, this represents the battle to maintain our enthusiasm and optimism, in the face of doubt and adversity, which often requires of us to dig deep inside of ourselves to discover the resources we need to live up to the various challenges we confront us in life, from within and from without.

In response to the valid question posed above by our Israeli friend yes, these are certainly challenging times for Israel and the Jewish people however, and this is certainly a difficult time for us to be celebrating the joyous festival of Purim however, it is specifically during such times that we need to dig deeper to discover the inner spark and unique relationship we have with our Yiddishkeit – Judaism, and the more joy and confidence we are able to instill within ourselves and each other, the more we will witness blessings in our lives and, with the help of Hashem, the fulfilment of the age-old Jewish saying, ‘Simcha Poretz Geder’ – ‘Joy breaks limitations’, with the safe and miraculous speedy return of the remaining hostages, along with enduring peace in Israel and throughout the world.

Shabbat Shalom and Purim Sameach – happy Purim!