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From the President


Dear Friends,


As some of you already know, our new General Manager, Lynn Niselow, commenced on 30 April last.  Lynn has been working since that time and has fitted in extremely well.  Her experience is relevant and significant.  Lynn last worked in consulting in the food and catering sector; running a business in that area.  In fact, for a time, she was involved with the Monday Morning Cookbook.  Previously (between 2011 and 2014), Lynn was the Manager at the State Zionist Council.  We look forward to cementing the excellent relationship with the congregation, the staff at all levels and the Board that she has already commenced.  Welcome aboard, Lynn!

This Shabbat morning, we celebrate David Newman’s Bar Mitzvah Anniversary and Birthday. David will leyn in celebration and has also sponsored the Kiddush.  We also celebrate Mark Symonds’ Bar Mitzvah Anniversary; and the Birthdays of Michael Gold OAM and Justin Green.

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

The WOW (Women of Worth) Weekend for 2019 is, as you should know by now, on 6 & 7 July.  It has already drawn excellent attendance.  If you are interested in attending, book online as soon as possible, or call the office with any questions.  There will be a special treat in which 12 women are celebrating their Bat Mitzvah, in all cases a little later than would usually be the case.  The event, entitled “12 Over 12”, promises to be quite meaningful.  All of the places for the Bat Mitzvah were filled very quickly. 

To all those in our community who are suffering some minor or major illness, we wish you a Refu’ah Shaleima – a complete and speedy recovery; and 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


Behar 5779

On Saturday night at Mizrachi, Emunah is holding a panel with some of the younger Rabbis in Sydney. I will be on the panel and all proceeds go to Emunah’s work in Israel, so I hope I will see some Great Synagogue faces there. Next Sunday, 2 June, the shule is hosting a concert with the Australian Piano Quartet. Concerts are always special in the unique atmosphere of the synagogue, and tickets are still available.

As we reach chapter four of the Ethics of the Fathers we find a perplexing statement from Rabbi Shimon: there are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood and the crown of royalty, and the crown of a good name surpasses them all.’

These three crowns reflect the ancient balance of power in the Jewish state. The Head of the Sanhedrin, the most scholarly Rabbi of the generation, held the crown of Torah. The High Priest, who officiated in the Temple and removed the sins of the People through the sacrificial service, wore the crown of priesthood. The king possessed the crown of royalty. These three individuals, in the ideal situation, would govern as a partnership, each with their own area of primary responsibility and each supporting and checking the other two.

But what of the last crown? Although the statement begins by telling us that there are three crowns, by the end we hear about a fourth, the ‘keter shem tov’, the crown of a good name. So are there three crowns or are there four?

The Maharal of Prague (Rabbi Judah Lowe, 1520-1609), suggests that the crown of a good name should not be considered as a separate fourth element at all, but the culmination and combination of the other three. We all have the capacity to gain the crowns of Torah, priesthood and royalty. In the Maharal’s conception, Torah represents the intellect, royalty the emotions (which can be very powerful) and priesthood the body. If all three are directed appropriately, then the result is the crown of a good name. A person’s names represents their totality, and if these three components are right, then the whole person will be right too.

This interpretation highlights how necessary all these elements are. If we go seriously astray in any of these three regards: if we do not use our body properly, if our minds start to contain misguided or dangerous ideas, or if our emotions get out of control, our whole person is undermined, and our good name suffers. But if all three aspects are developed and sustained in positive ways, then as fully integrated people we become people worthy of the crown of a good name.

Shabbat shalom!

Sun, 26 May 2019 21 Iyar 5779