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From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayeitzei 5779

The past week has not been an easy one. With sad news coming from Israel, rockets attached from Gaza, the bush fires in California USA and, of course, the tragic attack on the streets of Melbourne last Friday.

Let’s pray for a week of peace, protection and true Shalom for Am Yisroel, Eretz Yisrael and the world over!

This week we read  the story of Jacob’s dream and the famous ladder with its feet on the ground and head in the heavens. “And behold the angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it.”

Some ask…do angels really need a ladder? We all know angels have wings, not feet. So why would they need a ladder?

There is a beautiful message hidden in this quote from the Torah.

In climbing heavenward, one does not necessarily need wings, fancy leaps and bounds. There is a ladder, a spiritual route clearly mapped out for us to be traversed step-by-step, one rung at a time. The pathway to Heaven is gradual, methodical and eminently manageable.

Many people are discouraged from even beginning a spiritual journey because they believe it needs that huge leap of faith. They cannot see themselves reaching a degree of religious commitment, which to them, seems otherworldly. And yet, with the gradual step-by-step approach, one finds that the journey can be embarked upon and the destination aspired to is not in outer space.

A teacher once asked the following question: “If two people are on a ladder, one at the top and one on the bottom, who is higher?” The class considered this question rather silly — until the wise teacher explained that we are not really capable of judging who was higher or lower until we first ascertained in which direction each was headed.

If the person on top was going down and the person on the bottom was going up, then conceptually, the one on the bottom was actually higher.

This message is simple, yet profound. It doesn’t really matter what your starting point is or where you are on the ladder of spiritual life. As long as you are moving in the right direction, as long as you are going up, you will, please G-d, succeed in climbing the heavenly heights.

Shabbat Shalom and we look forward to see you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Toldot 5779

Having just returned from the annual ‘Kinus Hashluchim’ – international conference of Chabad emissaries, which was an uplifting, invigorating and humbling experience, allow me to share with you a couple of personally inspiring and powerful messages that I was able to draw from the Kinus.

Aside from the opportunity that the Kinus afforded me to catch up with many of my old Yeshivah friends, many of whom now serve as Rabbis and emissaries around the world, as I sat in awe , absorbing the electrifying atmosphere which pervaded the massive banquet hall at the conclusion of the Kinus, among more than 5000 Rabbis and Lay-leaders, representing communities across the entire Jewish World, it was a poignant reminder for me of the great privilege and honour it is for me to be a part of this incredible force, transforming the landscape of world Jewry and preparing for the ultimate Geulah (redemption)

In the wake of the horrific tragedy of the eleven ‘kedoshim’ (holy souls) who were brutally murdered  just under two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, much of the Kinus was dedicated to transforming the darkness of this tragedy into increased efforts to bring additional light into the world.

This is the power of the Jewish response to darkness. While we mourn, grieve, acknowledge and continue to remember and be vigilant taking the necessary steps to improve our safety and security. But we never let such events define who we are. On the contrary – we fight darkness with light, despair with resolve and destruction with increased building.

Another personally moving moment for me was a tribute to veteran Rabbi Lazar who serves the community in Milan Italy, and was introduced by his young grandchildren who live in Moscow and Hungary, respectively. Rabbi Lazar is a holocaust survivor who, as a young child witnessed Hitler Y”S (may his name be erased) marching through his hometown, explained that his most significant revenge against Hitler is the fact that his children and grandchildren continue to build Judaism in the very countries that persecuted and oppressed his family.

Today marks ten years, since the tragic Mumbai attack, in which Rabbi Gabi and Rivkah Hotzberg and others were brutally murdered in their Chabad House and, as we commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, let us be more resolute than ever to make firm and practical resolutions to transform the darkness by increased Jewish pride and additional Mitzvot, kind deeds, and Jewish learning, illuminating our world and strengthening the eternity of our people.

Please see information below regarding Remembrance Day Services at the Brisbane Synagogue and Lutwyche Cemetery over this weekend.

Shabbat Shalom and we look forward to see you at Shul.

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

The above message is adapted from an article by Rabbi Michael Gourarie   

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri  Nov 2nd: Light Candles 5.49pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 3rd 6.45pm

Fri  Nov 9th: Light Candles 5.54pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 10th 6.50pm

Fri  Nov 16th: Light Candles 5.59pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 17th 6.56pm

Fri  Nov 23rd: Light Candles 6.05pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 24th 7.02pm

Fri  Nov 30th: Light Candles 6.10pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 1st 7.08pm

Sun 2nd Chanukah 1st night: Light candles after nightfall (6.58pm)

Fri  Dec 7th: Light Candles 6.16pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 8th 7.14pm

Sun 9th Chanukah last night: Light candles after nightfall (6.58pm)

Fri  Dec 14th: Light Candles 6.20pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 15th 7.19pm

Fri  Dec 21st: Light Candles 6.24pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 22nd 7.23pm

Fri  Dec 28th: Light Candles 6.27pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 29th 7.25pm

Fri  Jan 4th: Light Candles 6.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 7.27pm

Fri  Jan 11th: Light Candles 6.30pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 7.27pm

Fri  Jan 18th: Light Candles 6.29pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 19th 7.26pm

Fri  Jan 25th: Light Candles 6.28pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 26th 7.23pm

Fri  Feb 1st: Light Candles 6.24pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 7.19pm

Fri  Feb 8th: Light Candles 6.20pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 7.14pm

Fri  Feb 15th: Light Candles 6.15pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 7.08pm

Fri  Feb 22nd: Light Candles 6.09pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 7.02pm