Thursday, May 24, 2012

What's Wrong With Judaism?



Question of the Week:


The festival of Shavuos is to me an example of everything that's wrong with Judaism. On the one hand it is the time of the giving of the Torah - supposedly a holy and spiritual event. So how do Jews celebrate this sacred revelation? By eating cheese blintzes. Do you see why I am attracted to eastern spirituality? They don't just eat at every opportunity. ..



A great thinker once said: "Show me how you eat blintzes, and I will show you your soul." Or something like that.

Eating blintzes on Shavuos expresses the core message of Judaism. And there is no better way to celebrate a sacred moment than by eating the most indulgent and pleasurable dessert.

We learn this from a strange detail in the story of this great divine revelation. The entire Israelite nation, men, women and children, were gathered at the foot of Mt Sinai, ready to experience the greatest spiritual event of history. For the first and only time, G-d spoke directly to an entire nation and delivered His mission for the world. A thundering voice proclaimed the Ten Commandments, and the people heard and were awe-struck.

Then, once the show was over, G-d instructed the Jewish people, "Now go back to your tents."

This seems bizarre. Surely the Israelites didn't need to be told to go home. Where else would they go? So why did G-d need to say this? Can you imagine an opera singer ending a powerful performance, or a president ending an address to the nation with, "Ok, you can go home now"?

But here G-d was communicating a vital message. In a way this was the 11th commandment. You have heard my message. Now take it home. Take it into your lives.

G-d was saying, "You just received a divine revelation. You listened very attentively to the My voice. But the point of the revelation is that it should impact your daily lives. If you have heard G-d's voice, you should better be able to hear the voice of your fellow human being. If you are closer to G-d, it should be apparent in the way you go about your daily business. So go back to your tents, and let me see how you have been transformed. Let me see how you eat lunch."

Spiritual experiences are not supposed to affect our souls. They are supposed to affect our blintzes. Our souls are holy already, but our eating, our daily activities, our blintzes are in need of elevation. The test of a truly spiritual person is not in the way they pray or meditate or talk to G-d, but rather after they pray, in the way they eat and do business and talk to their cleaning lady. If you can only be holy in a house of prayer but not in your own house, you've missed the point.

So after hearing the Ten Commandments read in synagogue this Shavuos, eat a blintz or two, and see if you can make that a soulful experience. If you can't find G-d in a blintz, you need to learn some more Torah.

Good Shabbos,  

Rabbi Moss


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SHAVUOS ALL-NIGHTER AT NEFESH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Celebrate the giving of the Torah at our all night learning program. Come for part or come for the whole night, there will be plenty of coffee and cake and inspiration to keep you up....

awake all night

First night Shavuos, Saturday May 26 at Nefesh, 54 Roscoe St Bondi Beach


9pm - 9:45pm The Secrets of Numerology with R' Aaron Amzalak

10pm - 10:45pm 40 Day Radical Diet - why Moses not eating was a big deal with Rabbi Moss


11pm - 12:15pm Debate: A Chazan is a Waste of Time - let's cut out the singing in shul and get on with it! Affirmative: Chazan Isser Feiglin, Justin Rosenberg, Cassia Partane; Negative: Jack Reuben, Michelle Brenner, Daniel Doctor


12:30am - 1:15am From Sinai to Canberra - the role of religion in a democratic state, including a discussion on gay marriage legislation with Rabbi Moshe Gutnick


1:30am - 2:30am Zohar study session - a taste of real Kabbalah from the source


2:30am - 3:30am Do the Dead Hear Us? A Talmudic textual study


3:30am - 4am Ask the rabbi - you won't believe what comes up at this time of night

4am - 5am Short speeches from community members (more volunteers needed)



Saturday June 2nd at Nefesh Shul, 7.30pm for 8.00pm start


Only 20 tables available, organise your team and book via email


Table charge only $180 for up to 8 team members or book individually $25 each and we will allocate you a table on the night.


Lots of great prizes, fun raffle, muffins and barista coffee.  


Purchase a deluxe package and have drinks or sushi on your table. Enquire when booking.


Looking forward to seeing you for a fun night that also supports ongoing activities at Nefesh.


Book now -


Friday Night

Candlelighting 4:39pm

Mincha 4:50pm


Shabbos Service 6:00pm followed by Kiddush


Shabbos Day

Shiur 9am

Morning Service 10am -12:20pm followed by Kiddush sponsored by Allen Rosenberg in honour of the 1st Yahrzeit of his late wife Anita Rosenberg - Long Life.


Early Mincha straight after Kiddush approx 1pm





Saturday night

Light Candles after 5:36pm

Maariv 5:40pm


All Night Learning Program commences 9pm



Shachris 10am

Ten Commandments 11am followed by icecream party and Torah celebration for kids


Mincha 4:45pm


Maariv 5:40pm


Light Candles after 5:36pm



Shachris 10am

Yizkor 12pm


Mincha 4:45pm


Yom Tov Ends 5:36pm



Chassidus Thursday 8am-8:45am 
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nefesh | 54 roscoe st | bondi beach | NSW | 2026 | Australia

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