Archive for July, 2019

From The Rabbi – Parshat Chukat 5779

Israel has been in the news quite a bit lately, as in Israel Falau, which has sparked a fascinating controversy regarding freedom of speech and religious freedom.

In our view, while everyone should be entitled to express their opinions, particularly regarding their religious beliefs, one should be discerning about the manner in which these views are expressed, and a degree of sensitivity should be exercised in this regard. 

This week we read the Torah portion of Chukat, – ‘statute’, referring to those Mitzvot which are beyond human rational. There are many such Mitzvot, such as Kashrut, Brit Milah – Circumcision etc. which, although we may not comprehend, we observe them out of our faith in the Divine decree. For many, this may represent a considerable challenge, and it is incumbent upon us, while maintaining our religious principals, to be empathetic and demonstrate sensitivity to others in this regard, and to try to find appropriate avenues through which to address various issues in a manner which respects the dignity of others.

The above concept is associated with Aaron, the brother of Moshe (Moses), about whose passing we read this week, as we are taught by the great Rabbi Hillel in the Ethics of the Fathers “Be among the students of Aaron, lovers of peace, pursuers of peace and draw creatures close to the Torah”    

Please see information below regarding our upcoming inaugural Children’s Friday Night Service and Dinner, and our Temple Tour lecture series.              

Shabbat Shalom, and we look forward to seeing you in Shul. 

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

From The Rabbi – Parshat Korach 5779

This Shabbat (the 3rd day of Tammuz) will mark twenty-five years since the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, and yet despite this significant passage of time, his presence is stronger than ever. His teachings continue to guide and inspire, and his insights remain fresh and relevant today. 

So many important themes and lessons emerge from the Rebbe’s life and leadership. Among them is the following idea. There are two ways we can look at another person depending on how we define them and ourselves. The first is to focus on that which is external and obvious like achievements, personality, career, social standing etc.

However, when the Rebbe met someone he went beyond all of that. No matter who the person was, he saw in front of him a pure soul. He saw the Divine spark at the core of his being that is pristine and powerful with infinite potential. To the Rebbe, each person, irrespective of spiritual status or level of religious observance was just another precious gem who with the right direction and encouragement could be nurtured and supported to grow and develop themselves and inspire those around them. Age, past mistakes and current spiritual level were all insignificant. What the Rebbe always focused on was the person’s soul waiting to be ignited with inspiration and growth. 

In response to a question posed to the Rebbe by a group of students who came to visit him – What does a Rebbe do?, the gist of his answer was the following:

The Jewish people are like the earth which contains nature’s treasures hidden underneath. The question is where to dig. Dr Freud dug in the human soul and found swampy waters and mire. Psychiatry often searches for ills and traumas that must be uprooted. But when a Rebbe digs he finds gold, silver and diamonds.

On this auspicious Shabbat, the above is great lesson for all of us to reflect on. When we look at ourselves or others what do we see. Are we stuck on the exterior or are we able to dig and find the precious gem within.

Please click here: https://youtu.be/-na-AFQPcrl to view a powerful message from former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, in honour of the Rebbe’s Yahrtzeit.  

It is our pleasure to welcome Rabbi Chazzan Eliyahu Gorman at the Brisbane Synagogue this Shabbat, who will lead us from the Bimah and share words of inspiration at the Cholent Kiddush tomorrow.  

Shabbat Shalom, and we look forward to seeing you in Shul. 

Rabbi Levi and Dvorah Jaffe

Thank you Rabbi Michoel Gourarie of BINA in Sydney for sharing the above message

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri Sept 27th: Light Candles 5.28pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 28th 6.21pm

Sunday Sept 29th Erev Rosh HaShana: Light Candles 5.29pm

Monday Sept 30th Rosh HaShana Day 1: Light Candles after 6.22pm

Tuesday October 1st Rosh HaShana Day 2: Yom Tov ends 6.23pm

Wednesday Oct 2nd Fast of Gedalia 4.13am-6.12pm

Fri Oct 4th (Shabbat Shuva): Light Candles 5.31pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 6.25pm

Tues Oct 8th: Erev Yom Kippur – Kol Nidrei Light Candles 5.33pm

Wed Oct 9th: Yom Kippur

Yom Tov ends 6.27pm

Fri Oct 11th: Light Candles 5.35pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 6.29pm

Sun Oct 13th: Erev Sukkot Light Candles 5.36

Mon Oct 14th: Sukkot Day 1 Light Candles after 6.30pm

Tues Oct 15th: Sukkot Day 2 Yom Tov ends 6.31pm

Fri Oct 18th: Light Candles 5.39pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 19th 6.33pm

Sunday Oct 20th: Hoshana Rabba Light Candles 5.40pm

Monday Oct 21st: Shemini Atzeret Light Candles after 6.35pm

Tuesday Oct 22nd: Simchat Torah Yom Tov ends 6.35pm

Fri Oct 25th: Shabbat Bereishit Light Candles 5.43pm

Shabbat ends: Sat 26th 6.38pm