Archive for June, 2018

From The Rabbi – Parshat Korach 5778

Among the great teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Chassidic movement, is the notion that, all that we see or hear serves a lesson in the service of Hashem. This concept is even more pertinent, when it relates to an event which is witnessed by millions of people. This past week, the world has been witness to the historical meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Although the pundits are divided and many skeptical of the enduring nature of the practical outcomes of their discussions, the meeting itself demonstrates the incredible power of the human being to make the right moral choices, regardless of past experiences, moving towards peaceful co-existence between individuals and nations.

This is a huge step towards the modern-day fulfillment of the great prophesy of Yeshayahu (Isaia) “ they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”

It is no coincidence that this event on the world stage took place during the week when we read the story of Korach and the tragic result of Machloket (dissent) among people, particularly among leaders, and in the lead-up this Shabbat, Gimmel Tamuz (Tammuz 3), the day on which we connect to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and re-commit ourselves to spreading the Rebbe’s vital message to the world of, Higiah Zman Geulatchem – the time for your redemption has arrived, as this historic meeting has incredible ramifications in the process of the imminent revelation of Moshiach, amen kein yehi ratzon, Amen so may it be!

On a local level, we here in Brisbane have been privileged this week to welcome the Israel Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mark Sofer and his wife Sarah, at Parliament House, in celebration of the modern State of Israel’s 70th Anniversary. This unique historical event was proudly hosted by the the Queensland Parliament, together with the Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, and it was attended by many local, state, and federal politicians, from both sides of politics, and many Jewish and non-Jewish communal and faith leaders.

We are indeed fortunate and blessed to live in this great country and city and may we enjoy continued peace and harmony.

Shabbat Shalom and may we continue to share good news,

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Shelach 5778

One of the benefits of a city Synagogue is the variety of visitors it attracts, from all walks of life and so many geographic locations. Practically every week we have the pleasure of welcoming visitors at the Brisbane Synagogue Shabbat services.

Of interest, is the amount of times visitors have commented about how the specific design of our beautiful Synagogue resembles theirs. East Melbourne Synagogue is the most common comparison in Australia, though, others have cited Zhitomir in the Ukraine and another in South Africa.

Several years ago, Alan Rose, one of our board members, came up with the wonderful idea of keeping a guest book on hand, for visitors to inscribe and sign when attending weekday morning services. It is my pleasure to share with you some of the lovely comments our visitors have inscribed over the past several years.

“A great and wonderful experience in Judaism” – Henry Shavitz OBM, N Carolina USA, 10/3/2011

“So far from home, Jerusalem, but so close to a ‘Hamish‘ feeling – Arie Rubinger – 1/04/2012

“What a fantastic and wonderful group of ‘Menchen’. I really appreciate the way you helped me honour my father OBM. Thank you, words cannot completely express my gratitude – Alan Goldberg, Sydney, Aus 2/7/2013

” Had a great Shabbos here with extraordinary hospitality and nice people – Annette and Howard Ganz – Orig from Oslo – Copenhagen, now NY, 21/3/2014

“Thanks so much to the Brisbane Kehillah, it is a beautiful community and I am grateful to connect to Am Yisrael here in Brisbane” – Clemy Srour, Ottawa,Canada, 26/01/2017

‘A gastoif a veil zet oif a mile’, goes the old Yiddish phrase meaning, that a guest for a short while sees far.

Interestingly, this week, we read of a group of individuals, who had been sent on a mission to explore the land of Canaan (later to become Israel), and they returned with a disparaging report. Even then, the land of Israel was known to be a most wonderful and coveted land, and yet the spies returned with such a negative report, leading to a most tragic outcome for the Jewish nation, as they spent the next forty years wandering around in the desert. How did this happen?

We are currently concluding a most profound and life-changing JLI course, entitled ‘What Is?’, which challenges us to re-think the way we perceive the world, G-d, negativity, each other, and ourselves. Among the concepts we explored in the course is the notion that we view the world through the lens of our personal perception of reality, which is not always objective and correct. Among the explanations for the negative response of the spies, was that they projected their own self-perception onto their view of the Land.

As this Shabbat is Mevarchim (blessing) the incoming month of Tammuz, we will gather early at Shul tomorrow morning at 7.30am for the recital of Tehillim (psalms). All welcome!

Shabbat Shalom, and Chodesh Tov  

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Shabbat and Festival Times


Fri Jan 3rd: Light Candles 6.29pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 4th 7.27pm

Fri Jan 10th: Light Candles 6.30pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 11th 7.27pm

Fri Jan 17th: Light Candles 6.29pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 18th 7.26pm

Fri Jan 24th: Light Candles 6.28pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 25th 7.23pm

Fri Jan 31st: Light Candles 6.25pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 1st 7.20pm