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From the President
JUSTICE STEPHEN ROTHMAN AM

PRESIDENT
e: admin@greatsynagogue.org.au

Dear Friends,

SHABBAT SHALOM and CHAG PURIM SAME’ACH!

All of you would have received the news that we have appointed an Assistant Rabbi, Rabbi Philip Kaplan, who will be commencing on 22 July.  Most of you have met him and some of you have met his bride to be, Abra.  He is looking forward to returning and I expect all of us will welcome him and her back with the usual warmth and friendship.  They are starting life together here in Australia, at The Great, and I know they will make many friends here.

While we’re in the welcoming mood, we’d like to welcome Daniel Green, son of Darryl and Simone, who is visiting this Shabbat.

This week we celebrate the Wedding Anniversaries of Stephen & Sharon Green and Alex & Natasha Abulafia; Birthdays of Naomi Block, Michael Goot and Benjamin Selinger; and the Bar Mitzvah Anniversaries of David Block AC and Benjamin Selinger.

We wish Mazal Tov to them and all those celebrating Simchas, and we pray that they will be blessed with good health, happiness, peace and prosperity over many more years.

 

We thank all who have made donations/offerings this week for the mentioned celebrations and for other reasons. 

 

To all those commemorating a Yahrzeit, or who have recently suffered a loss, we wish you a long and good life, full of Simchas.

 

Warmest Regards,

Justice Stephen Rothman AM


 

From the Rabbi
RABBI DR BENJAMIN ELTON

e: rabbi@greatsynagogue.org.au

Tzav 5779

We were all shocked and horrified by the murderous attack in Christchurch last Friday. Many of us have links to New Zealand, and the terrorist is an Australian, which also brings the atrocity close to home.

When any faith group is targeted at prayer, all faith groups are under threat, and when any group is attacked, then all people should understand the challenge and determine to overcome it. This attack on a mosque is no different to the assault on our fellow Jews in Pittsburgh and we have to share in the pain. I have been very impressed by the financial appeal launched by the Board of Deputies, and I hope that the community will support it generously.

Hatred, bigotry, intolerance and violence have no place in our society and everyone of goodwill must combine their efforts to defeat them. That is why I have attended two interfaith services to commemorate the victims with leaders of many other communities, and why I mentioned the massacre after the memorial prayer last Shabbat.

In these challenging times, we look into our tradition for guidance. On Shabbat we will continue reading about the sacrificial service. Unlike a regular Jewish day, which begins in the evening, the daily routine in the Temple started in the morning. The first service of each day was the removal of the ashes on the altar. It is striking that this wasn’t considered just a necessary piece of tidying up, like mopping the floor or hoovering the carpets, but a sacred service in itself. I think that one idea we are supposed to learn is that no day is ever entirely new and no morning is ever totally fresh. We are always cleaning up the legacy of the past.

Some elements of the past are positive and to be celebrated, but there are also the unpleasant parts which it is our responsibility to clean up. Why us? Because we are the people who are here now and the responsibility exists in each and every generation until a problem is fixed.

We are dealing with a legacy of prejudice, racism, Islamophobia and incitement, of which last week’s shooting was just one terrible expression. That has been aided and abetted by some national leaders who seemed to excuse the killer or blame the victims and their community; that was despicable and only compounds the problem. We will not prevent further tragedies happening until these underlying issues are resolved.

We have to start the clean up immediately and not stop until it is complete. Only then can we claim to have fulfilled our duty to the next generations to rectify past mistakes and leave them a better world.

Shabbat shalom

Sun, 24 March 2019 17 Adar II 5779