Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can't You Listen the First Time?

SIMCHAS TORAH CELEBRATIONS this Thursday night - see below


Question of the Week:


Why on earth do we still keep two days of Yomtov outside of Israel? I know the history: in ancient times people didn't have calendars on their phones, because the calendar was not set in advance, but rather month by month. When witnesses saw the new moon they reported it to the rabbis in the Temple, and the rabbis would declare that a new month had begun. It would take a couple of weeks for the message to reach outlying communities, so they could never be sure of the correct date to celebrate the festivals. So the diaspora communities kept two days to be on the safe side.


That made sense back then, but for heavens sake, we have calendars today! Why do we still keep two days in the diaspora for every festival that is one day in Israel?


For me, this is one of the most ridiculous laws. It's like the World Jewish Council of Rabbis can't be bothered to overturn it or discuss it. Or perhaps they fear a backlash from Jewish bakers, butchers and grocers around the world who like having more Jewish festivals with more meals....


Can't we update this one already?




I remember I had a teacher who had little patience. If a student missed out on what he said, he got furious and thundered, "Why can't you listen the first time? I will not repeat myself."


This is not fair. Not everyone can grasp an idea all at once. There are some gifted individuals who are sharp enough to get it the first time. But many of us need to hear something twice before it sinks in. a good teacher should no this.


G-d is the greatest teacher, and time itself is His classroom. Every festival in the Jewish calendar is like a lesson G-d teaches to the world. On Pesach we learn about freedom, and G-d beams a light of freedom into the world. On Sukkos we study the meaning of true happiness, and G-d sends the gift of joy into our hearts. Each festival and its observances are the way we receive the lesson, the light and wisdom of the day.


When you live in the Holy Land, its very air makes you wise, it opens you up to spiritual wisdom. Like a gifted student, you get the lesson the first time. You need only celebrate one day of each festival, and its message hits home straight away.


In the diaspora, we just don't get it so fast. We need more time for the lesson to sink in, as the air here is not as spiritually refined as Israel air. And so we are given a second day, another chance to fully absorb the power of the festival and for the message to hit home.


Our sages prophesied that one day in the future, the holiness of Israel will cover the entire earth, and then we will all get it the first time. Until then, we in the diaspora can enjoy the extended holiness of an extra day.


Make sense? If not I am happy to repeat it...


Good Yomtov,

Rabbi Moss


To subscribe CLICK HERE or email rabbimoss@nefesh.com.au
For Yizkor and Call up donations please click here 
Mazal Tov to those who have purchased the honours on Simchas Torah:

Chosson Torah - 
Shlomo Ezekiel
Chosson Bereshis - Sheli Hersch in memory of her brother Desmond Nissan Fleisch
Chosson Maftir - Jenny Kantorovich in honour of her parents Pinchus (Peter) ben Rivka v'Semeon and Slava bat Esther v' Joseph.


Chosson Kol Hanearim -  Elana Castle for her husband Grant Smuts 


Hagbaah - Jack Reuben

May this mitzvah bring you all much blessings from on high!

Simchas Torah Service Times

Wednesday 21 Tishrei / 25 September

Hoshana Rabba

7:00am Shachris (Hoshanos available in shul $5)

5:34pm Candle Lighting


5:45pm Mincha

6:30pm Shmini Atzeres evening service, followed by Kiddush and Hakofos dancing


Thursday 22 Tishrei / 26 September

Shemini Atzeres

10:00am Morning service (Yizkor approx 11:30am) followed by Kiddush in the Sukkah

5:45pm Mincha

6:30pm SIMCHAS TORAH SERVICE huge Kiddush and Hakofos dancing till late.  

Kiddush sponsored in memory of Yehoshua Ben Misooda, Tafaha bat Gergiyee, Michael Samuel Ben Habiba and Yechezkel Faraj ben Tafaha a"h.

Candle Lighting for second night must be after 6:30pm


Friday 23 Tishrei / 27 September

Simchas Torah

10:00am Morning service, Kiddush Lunch sponsored anonymously in honour of Nefesh Shul, Hakofos dancing, completing Torah and starting again

5:36pm Shabbos Candle Lighting

5:45pm Mincha followed by songs to farewell the Yomim Tovim

6:30pm Shabbos Service


Shabbos Bereishis 24 Tishrei / 28 September

10:00am Morning service followed by Kiddush

5:15pm Mincha followed by Seudah in honour of the Simchas Torah Chassanim

6:32pm Shabbos ends

This email was sent to shmuly77d@gmail.com by rabbimoss@nefesh.com.au |  
nefesh | 54 roscoe st | bondi beach | NSW | 2026 | Australia

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