Author Archive

From The Rabbi – Parshat Bamidbar 5780

Today marks the 53rd Anniversary of the Reunification of Yerushalayim – Jerusalem, which occurred during the Six Day War in 1967 (according to the Jewish calendar). How many of us still remember the stirring words of General Motta Gur, Head of the Paratroopers, “Har Habayit b’Yadeinu!” “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” and the soul-moving sound of the Shofar by Rabbi Goren z’l at the Kotel (Western Wall), which was broadcast  throughout the world.

The following are the exact words of General Uzi Narkiss, commander of the liberating forces of Jerusalem describing the moment of his arrival at the Western Wall: “In the narrow space were paratroopers, begrimed, fatigued, overburdened with weapons. They wept… tears of joy, of love, of passion, of an undreamed first reunion with our ancient wall…We clung to its stones, kissed them. Silently, I bowed my head and uttered the words Shema Yisrael…”

We will be marking this significant day during our Erev Shabbat Zoom session this afternoon at 4.15pm with a brief account from one of our very own communal members who served in the Sinai Desert during the Six-Day war and was actually in Jerusalem on the sixth and final day of the war.

This week we begin a new book of the Torah, the  book of numbers, which deals primarily with the travels of the Jewish people during their 40-year sojourn through the Sinai desert which, on a deeper more personal level, represents our journey through life. Among the many aspects of the manner in which our ancestors journeyed was the organized formation in which the 12 tribes camped and traveled, with the Mishkan (Tabernacle) always positioned at the centre. This represents the idea that, the Mishkan (presence and awareness of Hashem) must always remain at the epicenter of our journey through life, serving as our guiding light and inspiration in our daily lives..

With the festival of Shavuot less than one week away, please see information below regarding two innovative Shavuot initiatives which have been launched Australia wide to unite us all in the spirit of Shavuot.

Although some of the Covid 19 restrictions have been lifted to allow small gatherings to take place, we will not be returning to Shul services just yet, and prefer to wait until we are able to have larger numbers of people attend. Please see message from the BHC President Aaron Goldman in this regard below.

It has been gratifying and uplifting to witness the enthusiastic response to the call from board member Phillip Zavelsky, who has initiation a project to have fruit baskets delivered to the elderly members of our community for Shavuot. Kol Hakavod (good on you) and Yashar Koach (thank you) to the many kind and considerate members of our congregation and community who have generously volunteered their time and energy in this regard, and to Phillip and his family for initiating and coordinating this wonderful project, particularly during this time of social isolation and the temporary closure of our Synagogue.

Please join us for our weekly Erev Shabbat Zoom session this afternoon at 4.15pm. Please be aware that, in order to participate you need to download the Zoom app to your computer or mobile phone. All welcome!

 

Next week we will conduct  and Erev Shavuot Zoom session on Thursday afternoon at 4pm, during which 10 of our members will present a short explanation on each of the Aseret Hadibrot – 10 Commandments. All welcome!

We wish all those in need of a Refuah Shlemah – speedy recovery, much good health and long life.

We wish you and your family Shabbat Shalom .

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Behar / Bechukotai 5780

In light of the easing of Covid 19 Federal and Qld State restrictions, many of our members and friends have been requesting information regarding the re-opening of the Brisbane Synagogue for onsite services. You may be aware of the recent ruling of the Sydney Beth Din in this regard for NSW. We wish to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our congregants and community is paramount and our main priority and therefore we and the board of management take this matter very seriously. Over the next week, the Shul board will consider our specific circumstances, in consultation with local medical practitioners, and information in this regard will be distributed to you  s about this in the coming week.

What a nachas (pleasure) it was to be part of the historical Lag Ba’omer unity event this past Monday evening.  Usually our respective Lag Ba’Omer celebrations are limited by space, however this year the cyberspace venue afforded us all the amazing opportunity to unite together with virtually no limits.

The feedback from this unprecedented event in ANZ Jewish history and has been tremendous and how lovely it was to see and hear about the participation of so many of our local community members in this event.

An immediate follow-up initiative has been launched urging the Jewish communities of Australia and New Zealand to collectively commit to 18,000 acts of kindness. “We cannot allow the inspiration to dissipate without translating it into making this world a better place,” said a spokesperson for the organizing committee. “We must allow the spiritual high we’ve all felt over the past 24 hours to inspire our acts of altruism and to strengthen our Jewish traditions.”

Please consider taking upon yourself an additional Mitzvah in this regard, particularly in the lead-up to Shavuot, the festival of the Torah, and Bikurim, the Biblical Temple times tradition of presenting our first fruits to Hashem.

In this week’s Pirkei Avos, (ethics of the fathers) we read of the ten miracles in the Bet Hamikdash – ancient Temple, among them is the phenomena: Omdim tz’fufim u’mishtachavim re’vachim, “They stood crowded but had ample space in which to prostrate themselves.” According to one of the famous commentators, known as the Rashbatz (R. Shmuel Betzalel Sheftel), although this was miraculous, the concept must have already existed within nature, because “there’s nothing new under the sun.” He likens it to pouring water into a bucket of sand; the bucket seems full to capacity, but miraculously there is room for the water. Virtual reality is an even better example: A 60cm mobile phone screen can contain thousands of people from all over the world, participating together in a single event!

This week we conclude the third book of the Torah, Vayikra – Leviticus, following which we traditionally pronounce Chazak Chazak Venitchazek – ‘be strong, be strong, let’s be strong’. The English translation of the word Vayikra is ‘and He called’. As we begin to transition back into society, from of our collective physical isolation, let this whole experience serve as a calling to us all, with the help Hashem, to remain healthy and emerge stronger and wiser than the manner in which we entered Covid 19 towards the end of the book of Exodus, and be inspired by a new sense of Covod – respect towards Hashem and to each other.

Please join us for our weekly Erev Shabbat Zoom session this afternoon at 4.15pm.  Please be aware that, in order to participate you need to download the Zoom app to your computer or mobile phone. All welcome!

We wish all those in need of a Refuah Shlemah – speedy recovery, much good health and long life.

We wish you and your family Shabbat Shalom .

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times

 

Fri May 1st: Light Candles 4.58pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 5.51pm

Fri May 8th: Light Candles 4.53pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 5.47pm

Fri May 15th: Light Candles 4.49pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 5.43pm

Fri May 22nd: Light Candles 4.46pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 5.40pm

Thurs May 28th: Erev Shavuot Light Candles 4.44pm

Fri May 29th: Shavuot 1 Light Candles after 4.44pm

Sat May 30th: Shavuot 2 ends 5.39pm

Fri June 5th: Light Candles 4.43pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 6th 5.38pm

Fri June 12th: Light Candles 4.43pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 13th 5.38pm

Fri June 19th: Light Candles 4.43pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 20th 5.39pm

Fri June 26th: Light Candles 4.45pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 27th 5.41pm