Archive for the ‘From The Rabbi’ Category

From The Rabbi – Parshat Pekudei 5779

Finally, following several weeks of instructions, planning, and generous contributions, this week, we come to to the culmination of the very first Jewish community building project, the construction of the Mishkan – Tabernacle.

In the opening words of this week’s Parsha – portion, the various materials donated for the Mishkan are enumerated. The donations were given freely, according to the resources and generosity of the individual. The exception was silver used for the foundation.

The silver of the community was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels… half a shekel for each one…Half a Shekel was donated for the foundation.The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less. 

The Jewish nation is made up of individuals differing vastly in temperament and abilities, social and religious standing, talents and intelligences.

Each of us can use our unique capabilities and opportunities to be a sanctuary for Hashem’s presence in our world. That is why for all other parts of the Mishkan, everyone donated according to their individual means and desire.

But for the foundation, they gave equally. No matter our differences, at our foundation, in our bond with Hashem, we are all equal.

Moreover, the foundation was made from silver. The Hebrew word for silver, kesef, also means “yearning.” Deep within our souls, at the very foundation of our being, is an ever-present yearning to come closer to Hashem, which may express itself in various ways, but at our core, we are one!

This Shabbat, as we enter the happy month of Adar 2, and conclude the second book of the Torah, Shemot – Exodus , with the traditional declaration of Chazak, Chazak Venitchazek – ‘Be Strong, Be strong, let’s be strong’, let us resolve to bring added joy into our lives by focussing on the positive blessings in our lives and continue to nurture and build our inner Mishkan – as a dwelling for Hashem.    

We extend our heartfelt wishes to Rosemary Solomon and her children Josh and Leah and their families for long and healthy years, for the Shloshim of late Michael OAM OBM, which will be commemorated this evening at the Brisbane Synagogue prior to the Kabbalat Shabbat service at 5.15pm.     

Please see information below regarding Purim, which commences on Wednesday evening, March 20.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Vayakhel 5779

As you enter the Brisbane Synagogue, you may have noticed that the Hebrew name of the Synagogue, ‘Shaarei Emunah‘- ‘Gates of Faith’, is engraved above the entrance, prefaced by two letters ‘kuf’. 

These two letters stand for Kehillah Kaddishah – ‘Holy Community’, relating to the name of this week’s Parsha – portion, Vaykhel – and he (Moshe) gathered the Jewish people together for the first Jewish communal appeal, which was met with a resounding success, so much so that it was necessary for Moshe to ask the Jews to refrain from bringing any more items for the building of the Mishkan – Tabernacle.       

In addition to the regular Torah portion tomorrow, we will read from an additional Torah the first of a series of four special readings in the lead up to Pesach – Passover, this week being Parshat Shekalom, which discusses the commandment for all Jews to donate a half-shekel coin towards the upkeep of the Tabernacle. Similar to Synagogue membership today.

In addition to this being a reminder that all Jews are equal before G-d, the half-shekel also highlights that no Jew is ever perfectly whole without the other. In order to be complete, we must unite with each other, this is what community is all about, to be there for each other through the ups and downs of life – when things are going well, and when they are not.

How fortunate are we indeed to belong to such a wonderful Kehillah Kaddisha.

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim Adar, which blesses the incoming happy month of Adar 2 and n previous months, we will gather earlier at Shul, prior to the service at 7.30am tomorrow morning, for the recital of the book of Psalms, to which you are welcome to join.

Following the service we will enjoy a scrumptious Cholent Kiddush in honour of Shabbat Mevarchim.  

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!

Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times


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

Fri  March 1st: Light Candles 6.02pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 2nd 6.54pm

Fri  March 8th: Light Candles 5.55pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 9th 6.47pm

Fri  March 15th: Light Candles 5.47pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 16th 6.39pm

Thurs March 21st: Purim

Fri  March 22nd: Light Candles 5.40pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 23rd 6.31pm

Fri  March 29th: Light Candles 5.32pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 30th 6.23pm

Fri  April 5th: Light Candles 5.24pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 6th 6.16pm

Fri  April 12th: Light Candles 5.17pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 13th 6.08pm

Fri  April 19th: Passover Eve, First Seder: Light Candles 5.10pm
Sat 20th: Second Seder: Light candles after 6.02pm

Fri  April 26th: Light Candles 5.03pm
Shabbat/Passover ends: Sat 27th 5.56pm