Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Roosters and the Frogs

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER bookings close, Pesach times, sell chometz - see below


Question of the Week:    


When it comes to the Pesach Seder, I always get stuck in the ten plagues that were visited on the Egyptians. The Nile River turns to blood, the land is covered in frogs, the people riddled with lice. It all sounds a bit weird. Why would the Almighty G-d afflict a people with these particular plagues? He could have just zapped them, and yet He sends them....frogs?!




I too have been baffled by the plagues, especially the frogs. It is a bit incongruous, like calling a football team "The Roosters." It just doesn't sound so menacing.


You can only understand the plagues if you listen to how G-d Himself described them. He told Moses, "I will smite the Egyptians and bring justice to their gods." G-d was not only punishing the Egyptian people for enslaving the Israelites, He was also smashing the Egyptian value system, their false gods.


People rarely do evil thinking that it is evil. Most villains believe they are doing good, because their value system is so twisted as to view darkness as light, justify evil as good, and explain wickedness as righteousness.


So G-d wanted to not only afflict the Egyptians, but to strike the source of their immorality. Each plague was an attack on the core beliefs of Egypt, the beliefs that led them to drown Israelite babies and become the most immoral society of the day. Let's look at the three examples you mentioned, the river turning to blood, the frogs and the lice.


The Egyptians worshipped the Nile as a god, for the Nile was their source of irrigation, livelihood and wealth. Thus the Nile represents materialism to the extreme, making a god out of money. That's why it was afflicted first. Where money is god, blood will flow.


The frog was another Egyptian deity. It was the god of fertility. Having children is a noble goal, but for the Egyptians, children were no more than a power base, and being fruitful like a frog meant expanding your clan and extending your influence. When children are seen as frogs, then humans have lost their humanity.


But it was the third plague, the plague of lice, that forced the Egyptians to recognize that the finger of G-d was at play. The Egyptian sorcerers were able to replicate the first two plagues through black magic, and so they weren't convinced that they were being divinely punished. But when lice swarmed over every Egyptian, they lifted their hands up in defeat. This is because as powerful as Egyptian sorcery was, it could not impact something as small as a louse. Egyptian spirituality dealt with big things, major issues, not minute details. They didn't give importance to the small things. They couldn't affect a louse.


We left Egypt and its ugly beliefs behind, to embrace a value system that was its polar opposite. Money is not a god, merely a means to do good. Our children are not trophies, but rather souls entrusted to us by G-d to care for and pass on our values. And the little things do matter. Most of our life is made up not of dramatic choices and big events, but of small details and subtle choices, and they all make a difference. 


So on Pesach we go through the ten plagues, and reflect on the values that made Egypt into oppressors, the values we left behind, and the values that have kept us coming to Seder for three thousand years.


Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss


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Why Matzah? Likkutei Torah on Pesach
Why Matzah? 
Likkutei Torah on Pesach

An in depth, four part series that looks at the different divine energies of Shabbos and Yomtov, the kabbalistic meaning of Matzah, and why Pesach is called Passover




Relax and let Nefesh do the cooking on the last Friday night before Pesach.


A three course catered dinner after the shul service, Friday night 22 March.


Adults: $25 Nefesh members

Adults: $35 Non members

Family: $80 (Nefesh members only)

Children (3-12 yrs): $15




Bookings close Tuesday 19 March or when fully booked.




In order to avoid owning any products that aren't Kosher for Pesach, we sell our non-Pesach food for the duration of the festival.  

To arrange this, please fill in your name (signature not required) and all addresses (work/holiday home included) on the form below and email to by Sunday March 24.

I, the undersigned, fully empower and permit Rabbi Moss to act in my place and stead, and on my behalf to sell all Chometz possessed by me, knowingly or unknowingly as defined by the Torah and Rabbinic Law (e.g. Chometz, possible Chometz, and all kinds of Chometz mixtures). Also Chometz that tends to harden and adhere to the inside surfaces of pans, pots, or cooking utensils, the utensils themselves, and all kinds of live animals and pets that have been eating Chometz and mixtures thereof. This includes all above mentioned Chometz that will come into my possession from now until Erev Pesach. He is also empowered to lease all places wherein Chometz owned by me may be found, particularly at the address/es listed below and elsewhere.

Rabbi Moss has full right to appoint any agent or substitute in his stead and said substitute shall have full right to sell and lease as provided herein. He also has the full power and right to act as he deems fit and proper in accordance with all the details of the Bill of Sale used in the transaction to sell all my Chometz, Chometz mixtures, etc., as provided herein. This power is in conformity with all Torah, Rabbinic and Civil laws.



SERVICES AT NEFESH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Friday Night Candlelighting 6:57pm (not before 5:57pm)

Mincha 6:15pm

Shabbos Service - 6:30pm followed by Kiddush sponsored by Robert and Lana Goldshaft in honour of Robert's birthday-Mazal Tov!


Shabbos Day

Class - The Spiritual Parsha 9am

Morning Service 10am -12:30pm followed by Kiddush sponsored by Ron & Libby Moss in honour of The Moss family anniversaries- Mazal Tov! and Lior Segre in honour of his birthday- Mazal Tov! and Justin and Nicola Rosenberg in honour of Graham Hesselberg and John Edmond's visit to Sydney.


Mincha 6:50pm followed by Seudah Shlishis

Shabbos ends 7:51pm


Weekday Shachris

Mon- Fri 7am


Chassidus Shiur

Mon and Thurs 8:00-8:45am


Latest Shema 9:59am



Monday March 25 Erev Pesach

Shachris 7am followed by Siyum for Fast of the First Born

Eat chometz until 11:01am. Burn and sell before 12:01pm

Candlelighting 6:42pm

Mincha 6:45pm

Pesach Evening Service 7:00pm - 7:30pm


Tuesday March 26 First day Yomtov

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm

Mincha 6:45pm followed by words of Torah

Evening Service 7:20pm - 7:50pm, begin counting the Omer

Candlelighting not before 7:37pm


Wednesday March 27 Second day Yomtov

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm

Mincha 6:45pm followed by words of Torah

Evening Service 7:30pm

Yomtov ends 7:35pm


Thursday, Friday, Sunday Chol Hamoed

Shachris 8am


Sunday March 31 Yomtov Shvii Shel Pesach

Candlelighting 6:35pm

Mincha 6:45pm

Evening Service 7:20pm


Monday April 1 Yomtov Shvii Shel Pesach

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm

Candlelighting not before 7:29pm

Mincha 6:45pm followed by words of Torah

Evening Service 7:20pm


Tuesday April 2 Yomtov Acharon Shel Pesach

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm 

Yizkor approx. 11:30am

Mincha 5:45pm followed by Seudas Moshiach for men in shul to end the Yomtov

Seudas Moshiach for women 5:45pm at 128 Wellington St Bondi 

Yomtov ends 7:27pm

Please allow half an hour before eating chometz that was sold


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