Author Archive

From The Rabbi – Parshat Ha’azinu and Sukkot 5779

Our Yom Kippur services at the Brisbane Synagogue were uplifting and memorable, and what a nachas it always is to experience the lovely convivial atmosphere of so many of our members and their family and friends, along with many visitors from all over the world, uniting together on this holy and awesome day of all days.

We extend our deep thanks and sincere appreciation to Rabbi Levik Simon, who came down from the Sunshine Coast to assist us in leading the services, to Phillip Zavelsky for his ongoing help during the services and to Dr Michael Briner, Dr Gillian Shar, and David Paratz for running the children’s program.

Once again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every CSG Security member for their dedication and commitment, thanks to whom we all have the mental space to feel at ease and present our prayers upon high.

We spoke in Shul over Yom Kippur about the importance of friendship and maintaining healthy relationships, and making sure that our souls, in addition to our bodies, receive the correct nutrients. I am pleased to report that since Yom Kippur, several congregants and communal members have approached me stating that they wish to treat their SDS (Spiritual Deficiency Syndrome) by attending the upcoming JLI course ‘Wrestling with Faith’. Please see information below in this regard.

For Sukkot, which commences this coming Sunday evening, we are delighted to welcome back Rabbi Levi (yes another Levi) and his wife Dina Rosenbaum from Melbourne, who will assist in leading the services.

Please see information below regarding Sukkot services, and please make a special effort to attend, as we will be struggling with the numbers, particularly on Monday and Tuesday morning.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayelech 5779

As usual, the Brisbane Synagogue was abuzz with activity over Rosh Hashanah, which was ushered in with a healthy attendance of members and visitors, including many who joined us in the Memorial Hall following the service for a delicious Rosh Hashanah dinner, which was graciously prepared by Chef Aron Kahn. We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Aron for his great help and we extend our condolences to him for the defeat of the Broncos in the grand final!

We extend our deep thanks and sincere appreciation to Phillip Zavelsky for his great help during the services and to Rebbetzen Dvorah, Shternie Jaffe, and Natanya Meyers for conducting the children’s program. A special thank you to all our dedicated volunteers from CSG (human Mezuzot), who stand outside on Security duty.

A fitting story comes to mind of an innocent Jew thrown into prison with a life sentence at the hands of a heartless feudal baron. Inexplicably, the baron decided to show the incarcerated man a modicum of mercy. He said, “You are my prisoner for life, but hear this: I will grant you one day of freedom annually. You can decide what day that will be and how you spend it.”

The Jewish captive was perplexed, what’s the ideal time? Should he choose Rosh Hashanah to hear the Shofar? Or Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar? Passover? His wedding anniversary?

Unable to decide, he sought advice from one of the great halachic scholars of that era, known as the Radbaz. And this was his concise reply, “The day you should choose is the very first day available. Whatever it is, grab it now, don’t wait!”

It’s a wise reply and it speaks to us too. Most of us are prisoners of bad habits from which we wish to break free. But we say to ourselves, “Not just yet. I will change tomorrow.”

And yet, what do we do to create that change? Usually nothing. We are stuck in the inertia of our status quo, the comfort zone of our conventions and routines.

The rule is: Nothing changes if nothing changes.

The only way to break free from the prison of the past is to consciously, bravely decide to change here and now! Today!

Please see information below regarding Yom Kippur services next week, including our legendary Yom Kippur kids program, to be conducted by Dr Michael Briner, Dr Gillian Shar, and David Paratz’s traditional interactive story of Jonah.

Shabbat Shalom and חתימה טובה גמר  you be sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri  Sept 7th: Light Candles 5.19pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 8 6.12pm

Sun  Sept 9th: Erev Rosh Hashanah Light Candles 5.20pm
Mon 10th: Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Light Candles after 6.13pm
Tues 11th: Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Ends 6.14pm
Wed 12th: Fast of Gedaliah  4.37am – 6.03pm

Fri  Sept 14th: Light Candles 5.22pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 15 6.15pm

Tues 18th: Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidrei night) Light Candles 5.24pm
Wed 19th: Yom Kippur Ends 6.17pm

Fri  Sept 21st: Light Candles 5.25pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 22 6.18pm

Sun  Sept 23rd: Erev Sukkot Light Candles 5.26pm
Mon Sept 24th: Sukkot Day 1 Light Candles after 6.19pm        Tues Sept 25th: Sukkot Day 2 Ends 6.20pm

Fri  Sept 28th: Light Candles 5.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat Sept 29 6.22pm

Sun Sept 30th: Hoshana Rabba Light Candles 5.30pm

Mon Oct 1st: Shemini Atzeret

Tues Oct 2nd: Simchat Torah.