I was wondering about the Torah readings on Rosh Hashanah. Why do we read about our matriarch Sarah giving birth at age 90? I love that story but I don't see the direct connection to Rosh Hashanah?
We are all pregnant. Everyone of us.
Every person has within a life that is waiting to emerge. We have ideas, dreams, ambitions and yearnings within our souls. Some have been there for years and not yet come to the surface.
There are so many reasons why we haven't given birth to our dreams. We lack the confidence in ourselves, or listen too much to the discouragement of others. We tried and failed too many times, or we are scared to change the status quo.
But you can't just stay pregnant forever. You need to give birth to your potential. There comes a time when you have to look at all the obstacles, assess all the risks, face all the fears, and say YOU CAN ALL GO JUMP. I'M DOING THIS.
This is the symbolism of the different sounds of the shofar. We do a long blast called Tekiah, followed by broken wails called Shevarim-Teruah, and then finally a long solid blast called Tekiah Gedolah. The first blast represents our vision, our dream, the deep calling of our soul. The broken blasts are the obstacles stopping us from fulfilling the dream. The final long blast is when we break through and in spite of everything standing in our way, we take a leap and give birth to the dream.
Rosh Hashanah is the time for all this because Rosh Hashanah is a new beginning. Maybe I failed in the past. Maybe I never tried. It doesn't matter. Today's a new day, a new year and a new world. Today's the day for giving birth. Listen to the shofar and make it happen.
So do it. Change your lifestyle. Write the book. Pop the question. Have the baby. Our mother Sarah gave birth at age 90. It's not too late for you.
These honours can be bought for yourself or as a gift, by one person or a group. They bring huge blessings to the purchaser and honouree, and help fund our big celebrations over the festive period. FIRST COME FIRST SERVE - act now!
ONLY A FEW SEATS LEFT FOR HIGH HOLYDAYS book now HERE
Question of the Week:
Is it possible to be too good? I sometimes think that if I keep on working on myself, I will always stay single because I will be too far ahead of the guys out there. Do I need to limit my self-improvement?
I wouldn't worry about that. You can never be too good. I'd be worried about something else.
It is sometimes easy to confuse being righteous with being self-righteous. But in fact the two are worlds apart. A righteous person always sees the good in others. A self-righteous person can't get over their own goodness. I'm sure you can imagine which of the two is better company.
That's why the great Chassidic master, the Chozeh of Lublin, said, "I prefer a wicked person who knows they are wicked, to a righteous person who knows they are righteous." The first has a certain openness, because they know they have a lot to learn. The second is so self-satisfied they leave no room for others in their life.
Even self-improvement can sometimes be just another form of self-absorption. Like the self-help addict that is so busy becoming a better person they don't have time for anyone else. "I'd love to help you but I am working on my compassion right now."
Don't take yourself too seriously. Take others seriously. Notice their needs, and try to be there for them. Notice their goodness, and try to learn from them. Then you will not only be a good person, you will also be good company.
For the first time ever, we are bringing two rabbinical students (aka Bochrim) to work for our community. They arrive in Sydney this coming week.
Mendel Moses from London and Avrohom Polichenko from California will be joining the Nefesh family for a year. They are energetic, learned and talented young men who have lots of new and fresh ideas to share with us.
Avrohom (above) and Mendel (right) will devote a few hours a day to continue their rabbinical studies, and the rest of the day and night work on Nefesh projects including:
- one-on-one learning sessions
- group classes
- programs for teens and kids
- social events
- home visits
Here is where you come in. Are you interested in any of the following?
- Learning: We can set up a time for you to study Torah with one of the bochrim, either one-on-one or in a group. This is an amazing opportunity to learn topics of your choice at a time that suits you.
- Bar Mitzvah Lessons: The bochrim can teach bar mitzvah boys everything they need to prepare for their big day.
- Meals: Would you like to host the bochrim for dinner? You can take them out or get take away for them, and you get to spend some time with them. If you like they can come and learn with you or your kids before or after dinner!
- Money: We need to look after the bochrim's travel and living expenses. Please consider sponsoring:
a week's rent - $240
a week of breakfast and lunch - $180
a month's petrol - $60
Just click here:
These guys are excited to come and pump more energy into our community, so please help us welcome them.
SHABBOS SERVICES TIMES AND COMMUNITY INFO
Friday, 8 September, 2017 |17 Elul 5777
Candle Lighting.................... 5:24pm
Friday Evening Service.......... 6:00pm
Kiddush sponsored by Vitali Broyda in honour of yohrzeit of his grandmother, Chaya bas Moshe- long life
Shabbos, 9 September, 2017 | 18 Elul 5777
In depth Parsha class............... 9:00am
Children's program.................. 10:45am
Shabbos Morning Service ........ 10:00am- 12:20pm
Followed by Kiddush
Mincha with Pirkei Ovos Ch 3 & 4
followed by Seudah Shlishis ............ ...... 5:20pm
Gematria and story by Rev Amzalak.......... 5:40pm
Shiur with Rabbi Moss.......... ...................6:00pm
Shabbos ends and Maariv.................. ..... 6:20pm
The word 'sinister' is Latin for 'left-handed.' Many ancient cultures saw left-handedness as a handicap, and would try to "convert" lefties to righties. What does Judaism have to say about being left-handed?
There is clear proof from the Torah that being left-handed is not an imperfection, and on the contrary can even be an advantage.
There was a judge who served in the high court in Jerusalem for eighty years. His name was Ehud ben Gera. The Book of Judges (3:15) describes him as being left-handed. The reason this personal detail is mentioned is that it is relevant to a fascinating story told there.
The Israelites were being oppressed at the time by the Moabite nation. Ehud came up with a plan to shake off the invaders. As leader of the Jewish people, he paid a visit to Eglon, king of Moab, supposedly to bring him a tribute from the Jewish people. But Ehud had a small sword hidden beneath his cloak. Because he was left-handed, his scabbard was on his right thigh, while most people being right-handed would have the scabbard on the left. As Eglon's guards did not see a bulge on his left side, they assumed he was unarmed and allowed him a private audience with the king. Ehud drew his sword and killed Eglon, then escaped out the window, thus ending the brutal Moabite oppression of the Jewish people in one left jab.
Ehud's left-handedness came to good use. But incidentally it teaches an interesting fact. Ehud was a judge. Jewish law stipulates that a person with any defect that may diminish the respect and dignity of his position in the eyes of the community cannot be appointed a judge. The fact that a left-handed man was a judge for eighty years shows that being a lefty was in no way seen as a defect. In Ehud's case, it made him a hero.