I am shocked by the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the world. When Jew-hatred comes from backward extremists and street mobs, it isn't so surprising. But when university educated, well-read westerners, who know history and have access to the facts, are able to demonize Israel and the Jewish people, something is wrong. Has the world gone mad?
The academics who single out Israel for contempt are guilty of ignoring the facts. But those who are shocked by it are also guilty of ignoring the facts.
History has shown that being educated has nothing to do with being moral. Some of the most cultured people have also been the most evil.
The Holocaust was committed by men who appreciated classical music and read the works of great philosophers. From the very cradle of modern culture and enlightenment came the most barbarous attack against humanity the world has ever seen. The notion that evil stems from the ignorant masses, and the enlightened class are paragons of goodness is a simple myth.
Ideas have consequences. An education that teaches moral relativism, that there is no right and wrong, that there is no absolute truth and there is no G-d, is teaching moral confusion. And in a moral vacuum it is easy for the lowest of human impulses to take root. Civilized hatred is hatred nonetheless.
It is worth bearing this in mind when choosing an education for our children. Academics alone will not a mensch make. I want an institution that will not just sharpen my child's mind by teaching them to read and write, but will sharpen their moral character by teaching wrong from right.
Kiddush sponsored by Mark Van De Vyver in honour of Lior's birthday- Mazal Tov!
Shabbos, 25 February, 2017 |29 Shevat 5777
Class: Parsha in-depth..............................9:00 am
Children's program & Kids Kiddush sponsored Mark Van De Vyver in honour of Lior's birthday- Special birthday treats sponsored by the Gold family in honour of Amiell's 3rd birthday- Mazal Tov!...11:00am
Shabbos Morning Service ................10:00 am-12:20 pm
Followed by Kiddush in honour of the call up and wedding of Doron Pozniak and Jessica Lowy- Mazal Tov!
Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishis .... 7:15 pm
Shabbos ends and Maariv.................... 8:15 pm
Followed by Havdalah
WEEKDAY SHACHARIS SERVICES
Sunday ........................ 8:00 am
Mon- Fri......................... 7:00 am
Latest Shema this week.... 9:51 am
Monday Chassidus.......... 8:00-8:45am
NEW MOON | MOLAD | SUNDAY 26 FEB | 6:20:9AM
ROSH CHODESH ADAR SUN-MON 26-27 FEB
MAZAL TOV TO
Michael Lenn & Linda Sim on their recent wedding
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
Aliya Eichenblatt.............. 30 Shvat/ Sunday 26 February
Alexa Lavecky.................... 2 Adar/ Tuesday 28 February
Lior Freedman.................. 2 Adar / Tuesday 28 February
LONG LIFE TO
The Barukh family on the 6th yorztheit of Ewaz Barukh A"H... 29 Shevat
Abie Greengarten for his late father Moshe Nachum Uri ben Yisroel Yoel...30 Shevat/ 26 February
Nefesh Shul, 54 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026 Australia
The Talmud has a passage that discusses the mating habits of various animals and fish. Why that is important to the Talmud, we can discuss another time.
One marine species is mentioned that reproduces the same way as humans, and the Talmud refers to this species by its Latin name. The rabbis of the Talmud described this species as "sea people."
This mysterious reference to sea people has sparked the imagination of many students of the Talmud. In fact, the great medieval scholar Rashi defined them as being half human, half fish, and translated them into his native French as sirene, meaning mermaids.
But perhaps we would translate it differently. Because the original Latin name quoted in the Talmud uses for these humanlike sea creatures is Dolphinin.
Indeed dolphins resemble humans in some of their mating behaviours. The Talmud was correct to say that they reproduce like humans. But Rashi's text of the Talmud read differently. It said that they reproduce from humans, not like humans. In Hebrew the difference between 'like humans' and 'from humans' is but one letter:מבני אדםorכבני אדם. They appear very similar, but their meanings are far apart.
If this is indeed a misprint, it would explain why Rashi understood that the Talmud is here confirming the existence of mermaids - a perfectly plausible belief in medieval France - while in fact the Talmud is acknowledging the unique affinity between dolphins and humans.
But don't be too disappointed. Even if we don't believe in mermaids, we do believe that people are sometimes half animal. Our life challenge is to elevate our lower half to serve the upper half.
My grandmother no longer drives, so I use her car. It has a disabled parking permit, which allows me to park without paying anywhere I want. I feel a little guilty about it and thought maybe I should give it up. On the other hand, am I doing anything wrong just leaving it there?
Thinking this one through, I can come up with several arguments in favour of keeping the permit, but only one argument in favour of giving it up.
Let's look at the arguments in favour of keeping the permit:
-You already pay taxes, so why pay for parking?
-You never claimed to be disabled. If the parking cops get the wrong idea, that's their problem.
-Parking costs are highway robbery. It's a way for councils to get rich.
-You often do errands for your grandmother with her car, so she is the one benefiting.
-People use disabled parking permits that don't belong to them all the time. The council knows this and allows for it in their budgeting.
-The car still belongs to your grandmother, who rightfully had the disabled permit. So why get rid of it? Do you need to purge the car of any trace of her? What if her music is still in the CD player, must you throw that away too?
But after all those arguments for keeping it, I can only think of one single argument in favour of giving it up:
-It is dishonest.
The human mind has an amazing talent. We take something that is clearly wrong, and come up with creative explanations as to why it is right. We call this talent justification. We all have a dishonest and cheeky side to ourselves, an inner voice that attempts to whitewash wrongdoing and justify immorality.
But we have another side to us that is honest and upright, our voice of integrity that wants to do what's right. After all the justifications, we know the truth.
There is a simple way to know which side of you is arguing which way. There are always many arguments to justify the wrong thing. There is usually only one argument to do the right thing. It's just right. So when you find yourself listing all the many reasons why some dubious venture is totally legit, you know where that is coming from.
And you know what you need to do. Give up the permit. And thank G-d that you don't need it.
Followed by Kiddush sponsored by Vitali Broyda in honour of his grandmother's yortzheit- Long Life.
Shabbos, 11 February, 2017 |18 Shevat 5777
Chassidus Class........................ 9:00 am
Shabbos Morning Service........ 10:00 am-12:20 pm
Children's program.................. 11:00am
Followed by Kiddush in honour of the Aufruf of Michael Lenn and his upcoming marriage to Linda Sim; and the Aufruf of Ezriel Lerba and his upcoming marriage to Lizeth Diaz Ibarra- Mazal Tov to you all and your extended families!
Mincha followed by Seudah Shlishis ............... 7:30 pm
Gematria and story by Rev Amzalak................. 7:50 pm
Shabbos ends and Maariv................................. 8:31 pm
Followed by Havdalah
WEEKDAY SHACHARIS SERVICES
Sunday ................................... 8:00 am
Mon- Fri.................................... 7:00 am