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From the President
JUSTICE STEPHEN ROTHMAN AM

PRESIDENT
e: admin@greatsynagogue.org.au

Dear Friends,

SHABBAT SHALOM!

This week is the Communal Shabbat Lunch, with a twist.  We are trialling a “speed acquaintance” process used so successfully at the WOW Weekend.  Come along and join in the celebrations!

It is 100 years since the knighting on the battlefield of Sir John Monash and an offering has been made by Johanna Nicholls to commemorate the anniversary.

This week we celebrate the Wedding Anniversaries of Michael & Rochelle Goot (49th), Owen & Judith Sperling (61st) and Elenore Levi & Ezra Wexler (1st); the Birthdays of Verna Rouvray (91st), Marietta Mohay (90th), Paul Kinney (70th) and Estelle Hartstein (89th); and the Bar Mitzvah Anniversary of Michael Joel.

We thank all who have made donations/offerings this week.

To all those celebrating Simchas, we extend prayers for the blessings of good health, happiness, peace and prosperity over many more years.

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

Re'eh 5778

On Shabbat we will read about many of the basics of kashrut, when the Torah gives us the signs of a kosher animal, and a list of creatures we are not allowed to eat. All land animals have to have cloven hooves and chew the cud. Of water animals, only those with fins and scales are acceptable. A whole list of birds are excluded from kosher status, especially birds of prey or those that eat carrion. An animal that died naturally, or was likely to die shortly if it hadn’t been slaughtered, cannot be eaten. Even kosher meat cannot be consumed if it is cooked with milk, and that law was extended so we cannot eat milk immediately after meat.

These interventions into our diet make a very big difference to the life of the person who keeps kosher. Our choice of restaurants is curtailed. Day trips and holidays are complicated by the need for special food preparations. If we are on the move and hungry we can’t just pick up a meat pie from a petrol station (although that may not be a bad thing!).

So why bother? In an age when intentional eating has become more popular and valued, and people spend a huge amount of time controlling the way they eat, in the name of a higher purpose, keeping kosher was ahead of its time by three thousand years. By paying attention to what we eat, we are able to perform the will of God in a way that is entirely practical and achievable. There is no need to sit in a monastery on a Tibetan mountainside meditating for forty years, you don’t even need to shop in speciality stores, you can just go along to Coles in Bondi Junction and check the labels conveniently placed on the shelves by KA.

There is some inconvenience and there is some extra effort, but they are our offerings to God, and the reward is greater closeness between ourselves and the Almighty. This Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh Elul, the start of the High Holiday season. Now is an excellent time to move to a more kosher lifestyle. If anyone needs advice on adjusting their kitchen, just let me know and I will be delighted to assist.

I hope I will see you at the (entirely kosher!) Communal Lunch this Shabbat. As well as the usual delicious menu, we also have home-made apple crumble and red wine-poached pears, which we can enjoy as we come to the end of the winter. Lauren Ryder will also be running a Speed Networking/Friend-making session. This was one of the highlights of the Women of Worth Weekend, and we are now bringing it to a wider audience.

Shabbat shalom!

Thu, 16 August 2018 5 Ellul 5778