Archive for August, 2017

From The Rabbi – Parshat Shoftim 5777

As is the custom during the month of Elul we began to blow the Shofar, a few days ago, in preparation for Rosh Hashahah. If you have ever tried to blow a Shofar you will find that it is not an easy exercise, especially on Rosh Hashanah when we produce a few hundred sounds. Notwithstanding the adage; ‘Practice Makes Perfect’, unless you become a ‘professional’ Shofar blower by practicing for long hours over many years, it remains an exhausting task.

Among the fascinating aspects of the Hebrew language, is the common etymology of various words which relate to each other. An example of this is the word for ‘breath’; ‘Neshima‘ and the word for soul, which is; ‘Neshama‘ – almost identical. Our soul and our breath are interconnected, the breath carries our soul throughout our body and our vitality lies in our breath. Hence activities using our breath could drain our energy and be utterly exhausting.

When Hashem put the first soul in a body (Adam) he “Blew It” into Adam expressing that the soul is a deeply rooted within Hashem. In a similar sense the air blown into the Shofar carries our deepest energy, but at the same time it produces a simple tone, not sophisticated and not intelligent, because on the High Holidays we don’t need to be sophisticated or shrewd to reconnect. We just need our voice to be heard which says; Hashem, I’m present, I want to feel Jewish, I don’t always know how, but I try, and keep on trying.

When we express ourselves in this manner we may be assured that Hashem will respond favorably, as a loving father who is positively ‘obsessed’ with the well-being of his children.

Let us keep on blowing that simple but authentic sound, and Hashem will certainly bless us all with a Shana Tova umetuka. 

Please look out for information regarding High Holiday services and events over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Shabbat Shalom and כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוקה

May you to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet new year.

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

PS Thank you Rabbi Chaim Koncepolski of the Cremorne Hebrew Congregation for sharing the above idea

From The Rabbi – Parshat Re’eh 5777

This past week we have witnessed the insanity of our world reaching new heights! Who would have imagined that the Ku Klux Klan and their cohorts could ever mount a revival in this day and age? noch in the USA! In 2017?! and the outrageous comments from Donald Trump, in the aftermath of this despicable act of senseless hate. Then this morning we received the news of yet another tragic and brutal terror attack on the streets of Barcelona.

A dear esteemed communal member said to me yesterday “Rabbi, do you have some good news to share?” There is plenty of goodness happening all around us all, yes in challenging times such as these, we often find ourselves grappling to find something positive and reassuring to retain our perspective and belief in the innate goodness of humanity and the world.

Judaism emphasizes that the world is Hashem’s garden, with infinite potential for growth, beauty and pleasure and our response to evil and darkness is through increased acts of kindness, positive energy and light, as “a small light dispels much darkness”. Let’s not allow the negative forces of the world to dull the bright seeds of goodness and kindness, which we will continue to sow and to reap, ultimately prevailing and blossoming into the beautiful and luscious garden intended by its Creator.

This week is Shabbat Mevarchim Elul, (Shabbat of blessing for the month of Elul), and in the spirit of enhancing our connection to Hashem during this time of Divine grace, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, we invite you to join us this Shabbat morning at 7.30am in the Synagogue for the recital of the book of Tehillim (psams), as is customary among many on Shabbat Mevarchim.

Shabbat Shalom and כתיבה וחתימה טובה, לשנה טובה ומתוקה

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.