Archive for the ‘From The Rabbi’ Category

From The Rabbi – Parshat Nitzavim 5778

Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) begins this Sunday evening and, as hectic as it is in the lead up, the opportunity for Cheshbon Hanefesh, spiritual stocktaking of our most personal inventories, is a welcome blessing for us all, allowing us to reflect on successes and shortcomings in our relationships with G-d and our fellow humans.

These Days of Awe are designed to jolt us out of the tedious treadmill of the everyday. They compel us to think about life, about ourselves, about our families and to make amends for the past and prepare for the future.

The Kotzker Rebbe, known for his sharp wit, once asked an unfamiliar worshipper, “Why have you come to Shule?” The man replied, “I came here to find G-d.” The Rebbe continued, “You came here to find G-d? You could have found Him in your own home!” The out-of-towner respectfully retorted, “So tell me Rebbe, why did I come here?” The Rebbe paused and then answered, “I will tell you why … you came here to find yourself!”

Yes, a synagogue is the perfect place to connect with G-d (and friends too!) Perhaps above all, it is the zone within which we are given the space to connect with ourselves and our intrinsic purpose.

We are grateful to the Almighty for being part of this wonderful Kehillah (community) and we have had a fairly productive year at The Brisbane Synagogue. Dvorah and I feel privileged to work alongside a dedicated team of board members and communal volunteers and we look forward to greeting each of you in Shule over Yom Tov.

This week will be Shabbat Mevarchim Tishrei – during which Hashem himself will bless us for the coming month and year ahead. We will gather at 7.30am, prior to the Shacharit service tomorrow for the recital of Psalms, as we have done in previous months.

Shabbat Shalom and כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוק
May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Ki Tavo 5778

The opening topic in this week’s Parsha (Torah reading) of Bikurim, (first fruits) being presented by the Jewish farmer of Temple times as thanks-giving for the bounty of Hashem’s blessings resonates with us as our Australian farmers are battling severe drought conditions and we are acutely reminded of our dependency on the Divine blessings of Hashem, may He send swift and abundant rainfall and prosperity to all our struggling farmers, along with those in need of special assistance.

Life itself is a gift and a blessing, and the Mitzvah of Bikurim reminds us of the importance of being pro-active in expressing gratitude for the blessings of life and sustenance, rather than merely re-actively praying for assistance when the going gets tough.

Today, hundreds of thousands of Jewish people around the world will complete the cycle of study of Rambam’s (Maimonides) monumental work on Jewish law, entitled ‘Mishneh Torah‘, with the topic of the Messianic Era and the following words:

In that Era there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition, for good things will flow in abundance and all the delights will be as freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d. The Jews will therefore be great sages and know the hidden matters, and will attain an understanding of their Creator to the [full] extent of human potential; as it is written [Isaiah 11:9], “For the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean bed.”

As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah and the first night of Selichot this Motzoey Shabbat (Saturday evening), may we be blessed to have all of our prayers received favorably upon high and may we usher in Messianic era, which Rambam describes above.

Shabbat Shalom and כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוק
May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

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.