Author Archive

From The Rabbi – Parshat Shelach 5781

Peer pressure has always played a significant role in influencing our lives and, perhaps more so than ever in our current world of social media and instant communication. It takes strength of character and integrity to stand up for what is just and right in the face of adversity and popular public opinion.

This week, we read of the tragic tale of twelve upstanding leaders of the Jewish nation, who has been assigned the important mission of scouting the land of Israel, and to report back with their findings. Rather than merely reporting on the land, they proceeded to instill fear into the hearts of their fellow Jews, drawing their own negative conclusion that it would be impossible to conquer the land.

The rest of the Jewish people were influenced by these leaders and, as a result, the nation were punished with forty years of wandering in the desert.

These so-called leaders demonstrated an insufficient sense of self-belief. And that’s where they failed: a lack of confidence.

“We are unable to go up against the people, for they are stronger than us…We appeared like grasshoppers in our eyes, and that’s how we were in their eyes.” (Numbers 13:31-33).

It required tremendous strength of character on the part of two of these leaders, namely Yehoshuah (Joshuah) and Calev (Caleb), who stood up in objection to the strong influence and majority opinion of the other ten spies.

When we remain strong, with an expectation of success, others tend to be awed by our aura, and victory is inevitable. Conversely, when we walk small, conscious of our (perceived or real) immaturity and incompetence, then other’s opinions automatically accord with our expectations.

True self-belief is self-referential. An absolute certainty and faith that I’m doing the right thing and I will persevere with conviction until the job is done. It might take courage to head off on such a journey, sometimes requiring one to swim against the tide of public opinion, but such an approach is the only way to ensure your safe arrival into the Promised Land.

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Behalotecha 5781

Last night we witnessed the magnificent eclipse of the full moon, which momentarily cast a shadow over earth.

Our sages compare the Jewish nation to the moon, which waxes and wanes, indicating that although we may experience times of challenge, ultimately we will bounce back and shine again.

The past few weeks have not been pleasant for Israel and the Jewish people and we may be left wondering, is the world really improving, perhaps we are going backwards?

Many of us find ourselves searching the internet or social media for voices of support and words of encouragement to counteract the disproportionate media bias and distortion of the truth.

As Jews, we always look to the Torah and its guiding light, particularly in times of crises and concern.

This Shabbat we read Parshat Behalotcha, which opens with the topic of lighting the Menorah, and the Haftarah too, contains the subject of illuminating the world with the spirit of light and goodness, which will certainly prevail over evil and darkness, concluding with the famous words of the prophet Zechariah, “Lo Bechayil Velo Bekoach, ki im beruchi, amar Hashem“, “Not through armies and not through physical might, but through my spirit, says Hashem

Our sages remind us that light ultimately prevails over darkness, and the goodness and positive energy that we generate will certainly overcome the darkness of the world and usher in an era of true and lasting light and peace.

Let us strengthen our spirit, our connection to Hashem and to each other, which will lead us to the ultimate triumph of light over darkness, ushering in the era of true and lasting peace in Israel and throughout the world.

Shabbat Shalom and may we share good news.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Candle Lighting Times Brisbane

Fri Oct 1st: Light Candles 5.30pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 6.23pm

Fri Oct 8th : Light Candles 5.34pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.27pm

Fri Oct 15th: Light Candles 5.38pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.32pm

Fri Oct 22nd: Light Candles 5.42pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.36pm

Fri Oct 29th: Light Candles 5.46pm
Shabbat ends: Sat  6.41pm