TELL May-June 2020

emanuelsynagogue

TELL Magazine is is the publication of Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney.

From Pesach to Shavuot

Iyar 5780

May/June 2020

In the Name of God

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

Discovering Ritual

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

The capture

of U-505

Rev Sam Zwarenstein

After the Fires

Corinne Fernandez-Marko


CELEBRATE SHAVUOT

Shavuot Beyachad services

Please join the Emanuel clergy for our

“Beyachad" services, a chance to come

together in prayer, poetry and song,

celebrating the festival of Shavuot

Erev Shavuot:

Thursday May 28th

6:15pm followed by a programme of

learning with ARC: the Association of

Rabbis and Cantors of our region

See: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020

Shavuot first day:

Friday May 29th at 10am

See: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020

Shavuot Second night and

Shabbat Live Unplugged

Friday May 29th at 6:15pm

See: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020

Shavuot and Shabbat Beyachad with Yiskor

Also including excerpts from the Book of Ruth

Saturday May 30th at 10:00am

See: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020

Renewal Afternoon Service for Shavuot

A chance to pray, meditate, sing,

learn and hear Torah

led by Cantor Mordecai and Rabbi Dr

Orna Triguboff with guest musicians

Saturday May 30th at 4:00pm

See: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020

Masorti Tikkun Shavuot

Cultivating Resilience during a Crisis

Post Shabbat Shavuot zoom

Saturday May 30th at 7:00pm

See: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020

Dunera is a new online hub

where isolated members of

the community – and beyond

– can access live events and

participate in a range of cultural

and communal activities from

any device, at any time.

See: dunera.org.au

Register: https://tinyurl.com/tikkunsinai


YOUR QUARTERLY JOURNAL ON SPIRITUALITY, LEARNING & COMMUNITY

Emanuel Synagogue offers a home where you can live your Judaism in a contemporary

world, drawing on our ancient teachings and traditions. We are a pluralistic community

offering a choice of services, programs and activities for the Masorti, Progressive and Renewal

movements. We do this with contemporary understanding to create a dynamic and diverse

community, welcoming you and your involvement.

PROGRESSIVE

The structure of our Progressive

services allows you to choose

the type of prayer that is

most meaningful for you.

You may choose from alternate

readings in English, you may read the

Hebrew prayer, or you may choose to

take a moment of personal reflection.

Shabbat Live is held on Zoom at

6:15pm every Friday.

See: emanuel.org.au/services

The Shabbat Embrace Service begins at

10am each Saturday morning.

See: emanuel.org.au/services

Havdallah: Streaming the Light

A chance to be enfolded in the

beauty and holiness of the Shabbat

and be wrapped within its shelter for

the week ahead. Click on the link

to join us at 5:30pm on Saturday

https://us02web.zoom.

us/j/87244040936

MASORTI

Our Masorti (traditional) services

are run almost entirely in Hebrew,

honouring the tradition with

contemporary insights.

As with all services at Emanuel

Synagogue, men and women

participate equally and fully.

The Friday night Carlebach service

is a traditional Kabbalat Shabbat

service, featuring the well-known

melodies of Shlomo Carlebach.

The Welcoming Shabbat service is held

every Friday. Times vary depending on

sunset. See: emanuel.org.au/services.

https://zoom.us/j/93226537585

We also hold a Masorti Minyan at

8:00am Monday to Friday mornings

(https://zoom.us/j/702546413) and

9:00am Sundays

(https://zoom.us/j/306800789).

RENEWAL

The Renewal movement is devoted to

personal and spiritual development,

reinvigorating modern Judaism with

Kabbalistic and musical practices.

Through our Renewal activities

you will have the opportunity to

reach a new level of awareness,

stress relief, self-development,

relaxation and inner healing.

Email: orna@emanuel.org.au

Kabbalah Meditation

An opportunity to learn meditation

in a Jewish context. With

Rabbi Dr. Orna Triguboff.

Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm. See

emanuel.org.au/event/meditation

Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff Rabbi Rafi Kaiserblueth

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Cantor George Mordecai


{CEO UPDATE}

It was a letter we received during

the COVID isolation, that

prompted me to write about

the new opportunities that have

evolved, and how much we

Suzanna Helia

are here, and can do for all our

community. The letter said:

“I want to express my deep

appreciation to you all - Clergy,

Board, Staff and Community - for

doing such an amazing job keeping

us connected, inspired, stimulated,

informed, joyful and devoted during

this Covid-19 Pandemic. You

have demonstrated the breadth

of your love and compassion, the

strength of our community and our

capacity to reach out in times of

need…. May you know that your

efforts are noticed and valued.”

A while back I wrote about a story

from the book, The Black Swan by

Nassim Taleb. “Black Swan” is an

event or occurrence that is so remote

that it is completely unforeseen.

“Consider a Thanksgiving turkey

that is fed every day,” Taleb writes.

“Every single feeding will firm up

the bird’s belief that it is the general

rule of life to be fed every day by

friendly members of the human

race. On the afternoon of the

Wednesday before Thanksgiving,

something unexpected will happen

to the turkey. It will incur a revision

of this belief.” COVID 19 did

just that for the whole world.

So what does the new world order

look like? What is the new modus

operandi? As I reflect on this with

some wise ‘members of the human

race’ around me, I am assured that

we will go back to ‘the way we were’.

Others believe Covid-19 will change

us forever. There is no certainty

about when the coronavirus crisis

will slow down/end, or how we

will be impacted. But this crisis has

also afforded us the opportunity to

innovate, learn and grow. We can

then be assured that, once this is

over, we will have done our best

and tried to embrace the good.

The opportunity for Emanuel

to connect with our community

during this pandemic goes beyond

our imagination. As a kehillah

{INSIDE THIS EDITION}

TRANSFORMATIVE

LEARNING

7

IN THE NAME OF GOD

Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins

14

FROM TINY GNAT TO COVID 19

Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

INSPIRING PRAYER

6

DISCOVERING RITUAL

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

24

THE SEARCH FOR

HAMETZ CONTINUES

Cantor George Mordecai

16

THE CAPTURE OF U-505

Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Cover

The Counting of the Omer

artist D'vorah Horn


k’dosha, a sacred community, our

concern for the physical welfare

of you and all your household,

is equal to our emotional and

spiritual support for you.

There is a tremendous spike in

energy present amongst our clergy

and staff in the work we are doing.

As a leader in the community, I am

known to encourage innovation.

But what a crisis does is enable us

all to see things differently, and look

for ways in which we could do

things better or more effectively.

As our perspective changes,

opportunities in the “new world

order” become glaringly obvious.

At Emanuel Synagogue we are

united and driven by the intensely

human desire to help, to connect

with other people, and be part

of the solution. How can we be

relevant and embrace the challenge

at this time? Eighteen months

ago, we set out on the journey

to become a Synagogue and a

Cultural Community. We have

now embarked on building a new

virtual platform to complement

our traditional face to face offering.

Many of you have joined us on

this journey so far. We have

more people participate in our

morning Minyan that runs six

days a week, and last week's movie

screening had around 400 people.

This virtual platform provides

connectivity for more people

here at home and globally, with

access to our services, education

and all our cultural events.

What are we, but a reflection of

our society and our community

that we create, and with whom we

surround ourselves? As I sit at home,

I personally reflect on what really

matters in our lives - our family,

friends and our community. This

pandemic is highlighting the values

that really draw us together. I believe

at the end of this pandemic, whilst

we may be limited to using social

media and our telephones, we will

also value personal interaction,

true friendship and love.

As much as I have been describing

some of the opportunities

and positives brought about

by this crisis, it is not without

acknowledgement and appreciation

of the negative impact it is having

on the economy and people's lives.

However, I do believe that this is

an unprecedented opportunity for

all of us to all band together and

practise our love for each other.

I am truly looking forward to the

first Shabbat, or breaking of the fast

after Yom Kippur that will be made

more special for us and our loved

ones, when we reconnect and can

hold each other close once more.

I am sending you all love in this

complex time. You all are very much

on my mind and in my heart.

SUSTAINING THE

ENVIRONMENT &

HEALING THE WORLD

12

SOCIAL JUSTICE SPOTLIGHT -

PETER KEEDA

19

AFTER THE FIRES

Corinne Fernandez-Marko

CONNECTING WITH ISRAEL

& WORLD JEWRY

10

IN CONVERSATION

COMMUNITY

4

CEO UPDATE

27

BNEI MITZVAH

28

NEW MEMBERS

28

TZEDAKAH

34

MAZAL TOV

35

PUZZLE PAGE

5


{IN THE NAME OF GOD}

Rabbi Jeffrey B. Kamins OAM

What we say about God, what we do in the name of God, says far

more about ourselves than God. God permeates the stories we tell,

especially in the seven-week period between Pesach and Shavuot.

We reminisce about our cruel

slavery in Egypt, the ten plagues

and the parting of the sea, and

then our standing at Sinai to

hear teachings from God. Our

ancestral memories first recorded

in the opening 20 chapters of the

Torah’s book of Exodus describe

a God who appears all powerful

and also at times vengeful.

Vengeful? So, what does the

Torah mean when it demands

later, “after Adonai your God

shall you walk” ? (Deuteronomy

13:5) Our developing spiritual

tradition imagines that we should

emulate a different kind of God.

In a well-known passage found

in the Talmud (Sotah 14a), we

learn that to walk after God

means: “that one should follow

the attributes of the Holy One,

Blessed be God. Just as God

clothes the naked – ‘And the

Lord God made for Adam and

for his wife garments of skin,

and clothed them’ (Genesis

3:21) - so too, should you clothe

the naked. Just as the Holy

One visits the sick – ‘And the

Lord appeared unto him by the

terebinths of Mamre’ (Genesis

18:1) - so too, should you visit

the sick. Just as the Holy One

consoles mourners – ‘And it

came to pass after the death of

Abraham, that God blessed Isaac

his son’ (Genesis 25:11) - so too,

should you console mourners.”

Focusing our attention on these

and other stories of a generous,

compassionate and loving God,

our spiritual tradition invites us to

walk along this path.

Thus, the statement with which I

began this article: what we write

and teach about God says more

about us than God, for we are

but manifestations of whatever It

is, and It is a projection of all our

imaginations. The prophet Isaiah

teaches of God: “I form light

and darkness, I make peace and

create evil, I the Lord do all these

things” (Isaiah 45:7). As “God’s

agents” each of us has the ability

to make peace and create evil.

We can walk after a God of power

or empowerment, one who reacts

harshly or responds lovingly. It is

in our own hands and hearts how

we navigate this life and walk

in this world, which is at times

challenging and confusing.

It is with these thoughts, that we

hosted in our last In Conversation

two fabulous women who worked

with the Royal Commission

into Institutional Responses to

Child Sexual Abuse, which found

that religious institutions had

the greatest preponderance of

offenses reported, and also failed

to respond appropriately when

allegations of abuse were made.

[You can find the report at the

Royal Commission’s webpage:

www.childabuseroyalcommission.

gov.au. Events a couple of months

ago at St Kevin’s in Melbourne,

where evidence of institutional

cover-up and protection of

perpetrators has been revealed by

victim Paris Street, demonstrates

6


the ongoing essential nature of

this conversation.

Lawyer Louise Amundsen and

public servant Gina Andrews-

Zucker spoke about the findings

of the commission and legal

reporting requirements that have

emanated from it, including the

Criminal Legislation Amendment

(Child Sexual Abuse) Act 2018

and the National Principles for

Child Safe Organisations. [Web

link to the 10 National Principles

for Child Safe Organisations:

https://pmc.gov.au/domesticpolicy/national-office-child-safety/

national-principles-child-safeorganisations]

Both Louise

and Gina spoke with incredible

sensitivity about the scourge of

child sexual abuse, and the need

for all of us to make this world

safe for our children. Louise

said to victims and survivors,

“I see you, I hear you, I believe

you.” Gina commented, “Our

obligation is to shine the brightest

of lights in the darkest of places

to protect our children.” We

recognised that holding this

conversation virtually could not

sufficiently address such a difficult

and distressing issue, and all of us

agreed to reconvene in different

forums at the Synagogue when

able. I want to acknowledge both

Louise and Gina for the work

they have done and the service

they have provided.

We recognise our mandate to

protect children and the need for

us to be responsive in any way

possible. In that light, it seems

appropriate at this time to reprint,

in part, the statement issued by

the Executive of the Union for

Progressive Judaism on 27 June

Gina Andrews Zucker

2013 concerning the issue of

allegations of child sexual abuse:

“Our Movement has a zero

tolerance with regard to such

matters and we welcome and

support any investigation into

these allegations.”

“Any person who did suffer such

abuse as a child will have carried

the emotional and psychological

burden of it throughout much of

their lives. We can only hope that

in sharing these experiences they

will be able to receive support

and assistance from the Tzedek

group and that this will enable

them to move forward with some

sense of resolution and closure.”

“It is an unfortunate fact that

no part of society is exempt

from having some people who

abuse their position of power

and influence in order to achieve

personal gain or, in such cases,

to abuse young and vulnerable

people. Without being able to

comment on these particular

incidents or the individuals

involved we can only express

the hope that a thorough

investigation will be carried out

and that if anyone is found to be

Louise Amundsen

guilty of such acts they should be

appropriately punished.”

“If any good at all can come

from such news it can only be

as a reminder to all communal

organisations that they must be

totally vigilant in their efforts

to protect those people trusted

to their care, whether it is for a

long period of time or for a few

hours. Although we know that

our member congregations and

organisations are aware of their

need to fulfill their duty of care

we will be encouraging each of

them to regularly review their

policies and procedures and to

ensure that they are rigorously

enforced.”

This time from Pesach to Shavuot

calls upon us to think of what it

means to move from the memory

of slavery and oppression in Egypt

to what it means to be individuals

and a people “who walk after

God”. We make peace and create

evil. What we say about God,

what we do in the name of God,

says far more about us than God.

Let it be said that we learned,

we grew, we cared, we loved, we

made peace, we helped make

others whole again.

7


DISCOVERING RITUAL

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio

I am fascinated by the origins of customs and traditions. I remember, for a time in the

Heritage Sanctuary, when carrying the Torah around, people took the Torah out the doors

into the foyer and then back in the other door, rather than walking along the back row.

This began when we did some

repairs and the configuration of the

pews was altered, leaving no space

to carry the Torah. Eventually, the

issue was fixed, but people had

become accustomed to carrying the

Torah outside, and so continued

to do so even when the problem

was resolved. I am not sure how we

returned to the usual route through

the back row but it could easily

have become a unique custom and

feature of Emanuel Synagogue!

Last year, just before Pesach, while

browsing Judaica shops on-line and

in person, I noticed that many were

offering a “Miriam’s Cup.” There

were beautiful designs and stunning

representations of a cup which

can be placed on the seder table

and filled with water, in honour of

Miriam, Moses’ sister. Miriam was

integral to the Pesach story. She

was the one who followed Moses’

basket down the Nile, ensuring

he was safe in the arms of the

Pharaoh’s daughter. She ensconced

her mother as Moses’ wet nurse

and some traditions even suggest

that she, along with her mother,

were the rebellious midwives who

refused to follow Pharaoh’s decree.

When the people were miraculously

redeemed from Egypt, Miriam, like

Moses, sang a song at the shores

of the sea. Also, the midrash links

her to a magical well of water

which followed the people during

their desert wanderings. It says

that the well was provided due to

8

Miriam’s merit, and in her honour.

So, given Miriam’s pivotal role in

the story, and a more recent focus

on including women and their

narratives into our rituals, it makes

sense that Miriam would be the one

connected with the Pesach seder.

Given the midrash, it's appropriate

that she would have a cup filled

with water, sitting beside the cup

of wine for Elijah. This innovative

custom has captured people’s

imagination, so much so, that it

has become almost mainstream

at Pesach and now also, beyond.

At many of the occasions where

we celebrate with wine, people are

adding a cup of water for Miriam.

But where did it begin? Who was

the first to think of placing a cup

of water for Miriam on the seder

table?

Recently, as I began preparing for

our sedarim at the synagogue, I


found a number of articles which

referred to the genesis of this ritual

and it turns out it did not begin

with the Pesach seder at all- it came

from a different source.

Penina Adelman was one of the

innovators of the ritual, and she

said it began with the prophet

Miriam and women’s rediscovery

of her and the idea of the healing

and sustaining waters of Miriam’s

Well from the midrash. She

said: “Miriam’s presence came

first-a presence that appeared and

appealed to Jewish women born in

a historical period in which Jewish

women grasped the authority to

ritualize their own experiences and

to remember Jewish women of the

past, those silenced or forgotten.”

Peninah remembers in 1978

Philadelphia, sitting in a sukkah

on “women’s night in the sukkah.”

During Sukkot it is customary to

invite biblical guests (ushpizin)

inside. Given that they were

celebrating “women’s night” they

decided instead of the traditional

guests, to invite inspirational

women. All agreed to invite Miriam,

the one who had the foresight to

bring tamborines and bells out of

Egypt to celebrate deliverance and

visions. The women shared what

Miriam had brought to them and

they drank a toast with a glass of

water, to Miriam.

Following this experience, Peninah

wrote a Rosh Hodesh ritual

honouring Miriam and she included

a part of the ritual about Miriam’s

well. This linked that Rosh Hodesh

group with Miriam and she became

an inspirational figure and one with

whom they connected deeply.

In the 1980s, the Rosh Hodesh group

were being led in a meditation about

Miriam’s well and the participants

were invited to envision themselves

taking a goblet, filling it with the

healing waters of Miriam’s well and

drinking. Stephanie Loo, one of the

members of the group, was so inspired

by that image that she began to use a

crystal goblet filled with spring water

every Shabbat, to remind her of the

waters of Miriam’s Well. She called

her goblet kos Miriam, Miriam’s cup.

She wrote a ceremony using the water

and the cup and ushered in Shabbat

with the ritual each week. She shared

the ritual, and it was adopted by the

other women in the Rosh Hodesh

group. They all said that the ritual

came so easily to them, it was natural

and spontaneous, so much so, that

Peninah said: “it was as if the kos

Miriam already existed and was just

waiting to be discovered.” They felt it

had deep, ancient echoes of the past

even though it was an innovation.

Slowly, the ritual began to spread from

one Rosh Hodesh group to another

and then it became entwined with the

Pesach seder. At first, it was women’s

seders which began on the East and

West coasts of America and spread

via handmade photocopied women’s

sedarim from place to place. Once

the connection was made with the

Pesach seder, the ritual spread quickly

and moved from the feminist fringes

to the mainstream. The ritual has

now entered into sedarim all over the

world, and so much so, that Judaica

shops are selling Miriam’s Cups to be

used for this purpose.

It is incredible to see the journey from

a spontaneous glass of water in a

sukkah, to a ritual which has found its

way into sedarim across the globe. It is

a ritual which has captured the hearts

of so many and it is interesting to

9


think about why this particular ritual

has resonated so deeply. Matia Rania

Angelou writes “It seems to me that

Stephanie discovered this custom more

than she created it. It seems that Kos

Miriam had been lost in history and

just now it is being rediscovered. She

quotes P’nina Adelman: “the ritual is

“new” in the sense that such a cup had

never been used on the seder table…

or for a bat mitzvah celebration…or

during any of the other myriad uses

this particular group found for the

cup of Miriam. However the ritual

is ancient and even traditional in the

sense that …it felt so natural to start

blessing this cup full of pure spring

water from Miriam’s well, using

it at appropriate times” (Moment

Magazine, August 1997).

A number of years ago a beautiful

congregant gave me a special cup to

use as my Kos Miriam because I did

not have a particular one dedicated

to that purpose. It is a special

reminder of the women of the

Pesach story, the ability of creative

rituals to still resonate deeply, and

of the scope for innovation that we

all have for our sedarim. I hope that

this year many of us will add a cup

for Miriam, fill it with water, and

celebrate the diversity of experiences

of our ancestors as they left

Mitzrayim.

____

Vanessa L. Ochs “Setting a Cup for

Miriam” in The Women’s Passover

Companion

Peninah Adelman Moment Magazine

August 1997

Matia Rania Angelou “Discovering

the Cup of Miriam” in The Women’s

Seder Sourcebook

Parashat HaShavua -

Weekly Parasha Study

Every Wednesday from 8:15pm

- Musings on our Texts -

A contemporary look at our ancient texts. We will delve

into our weekly portion looking at difficult passages,

inspiring texts, and stories that you think you know to

cast new light on the stories essential to our identity.

https://zoom.us/j/93124176951

In Conversation

Sunday June 7

from 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

with Mark Sofer,

Ambassador for Israel

details to follow

10


Thursday evenings from 7:15pm

Join Cantor George Mordecai on

Thursday evenings to learn some very

deep Torah. Cantor Mordecai will give

over the insightful and amazing Omer

teachings imparted to him by his teacher

and mentor, Reb Miles Krassen.

Contact gmordecai@emanuel.org.au

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/205614635

Note: if you don't have access to Zoom,

you can join by phone (audio only). Call

02 8015 6011 Meeting ID: 205 614 635

Expecting

a baby?

Jewnatal is a program for those expecting a

baby in their lives, whether through birth or

adoption, and whether the 1st or 5th!

The concept is to build relationships with people

going through the same life stage that will carry

forward after the class has concluded.

Email Rabbi Kaiserblueth:

rkaiserblueth@emanuel.org.au

11


SOCIAL JUSTICE SPOTLIGHT

Peter Keeda

1. Tell us a little bit about you: your hobbies,

background, family.

My grandparents all came from schtetlach in Poland.

I was born in Sydney. My wife (Erica Mosselson,

born in Cape Town) and I made Aliyah in 1972.

In Israel we lived mainly in the south, Arad and

Omer, although we did spend three years in Hong

Kong where I represented Dead Sea Works. Our

three sons were born and raised in Israel, served in

the army and then, each in turn, came to Australia.

In 2004 we joined them here. We now have four

grandchildren in Australia and one of our sons has

returned to Israel.

Over the past fifteen years I have

returned to studies and am currently

undertaking my fourth Master’s degree.

I have also returned to playing the

classical guitar. From time to time I

renew my interest in philately with a

strong interest in Jewish themes.

2. You are the co-ordinator of the

Matthew Talbot volunteering

programme; how did you get

involved?

One of my degrees was in Community

Management which led me to want

to get involved in some social justice

activity within the Jewish Community.

Serendipitously, Rabbi Ninio was rejuvenating the

Social Justice group at the Emanuel Synagogue and

I joined the group. Since then, almost ten years ago,

I have coordinated the Matthew Talbot volunteer

group.

3. Can you describe the programme?

When we approached the Matthew Talbot Hostel

for Men, we asked them what shift was their most

difficult to fill – they indicated Sunday morning,

between 6 and 8 am, and since then we have served

at the Hostel canteen during those hours. In ten

years we have missed only three times.

4. Have there been surprises or things which you

did not expect?

Meeting the men at the Hostel has been an eyeopener

as to what homelessness looks like; after the

shift we return to our warm homes – they return to

the streets …

5. Have you always been involved in social justice

initiatives and volunteering?

I started volunteering as a child and have volunteered

in the Community ever since. From Boy Cubs, civil

guard, helping at children’s schools, participation

in various immigrant and refugee organisations etc.

Perhaps a highlight in this area was being one of

the founding members of Beer-Sova, in Beersheba

(https://www.beersova.org.il/?lang=en).

6. Can you tell us a little about your coffee group

and the micro loans?

Once a week I join a group of

old friends for breakfast. We have

known each other since youth

movement days, sixty years ago!

Each week each person donates

$2 (whether they attend or

not) and this money is ‘lent’ to

KIVA (https://www.kiva.org/)

for distribution as micro-loans.

Over eight years we have lent over

$125,000 – all for just $2/week!

7. Do you think that Judaism

has been an influence in your

social justice activities?

Judaism certainly has been a major influence in my

life and I believe that Social Justice is an integral part

of this.

Recently, with the support of the Australian Jewish

Historical Society and of the City of Sydney, I have

developed a phone app 'A Walk of Jewish Sydney'

which is available from your app store.

8. How can people get involved in the Matthew

Talbot if they would like to volunteer?

Contact Rabbi Ninio or me through Emanuel

Synagogue email: socialjustice@emanuel.org.au.

12


Women’s

Rosh Chodesh Group

FROM 8:00PM

24 May, 23 June and 23 July

Why a Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group?

There is a legend told that when the Israelites

came to create the golden calf, the men

asked the women to give them all their

jewellery and gold to be melted down for

the calf. The women refused to supply their

jewels and as a reward a special festival

was given to them: the festival of Rosh

Chodesh, the celebration of the new moon.

For more information, please call the

Emanuel Synagogue office on

9389 6444 or email info@

emanuel.org.au.

CLERGY CAFE

Speakeasy with Rabbi Kamins

Tuesday 5:00pm

Come on by with a drink of your choice for an hour of conversation.

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94346997043

Phone: +61 2 8015 6011 Meeting ID: 943 4699 7043

Pre-Shabbat Shmooze

Friday 10:00am

Join Reverend Sam Zwarenstein for a chance to chat and catch up

over coffee, tea, wine, whiskey or green smoothie!

10:00am to 11:00am - Shmooze on Zoom.

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94590645619

Phone: +61 2 8015 6011 Meeting ID: 945 9064 5619


{FROM TINY GNAT TO COVID 19 TO

THE FESTIVAL OF RESILIENCE}

By Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cessation of most normal

activity, and constant changes in our lives, it feels like we can plan about as far

as lunchtime. This is a reminder of the limits of our power as human beings

and the fragility of life on the planet we share.” Rabbi Josh Feigelson.

Almost 2000 years ago, the

Roman military commander

– soon to become Emperor –

Titus, destroyed the Temple and

laid Jerusalem in ruin. Titus

returned to Rome triumphant,

having succeeded in finally

squelching the tenacious

Judean rebellion against the

mighty Roman Empire.

The Talmud tells the following

story, which has some

relevance to our situation

on planet earth today.

Four years after the destruction

of the Temple, Titus was out

at sea, when a typhoon hit,

his boat almost capsizing.

"This is the work of the God of

the Judeans!" Titus shouted, as

he hung on for dear life with

salt-water spraying and giant

waves almost sweeping him

overboard. "This is revenge

for destroying Jerusalem! "

At that moment, God declared:

"What a shmuck! I happen

to have at my disposal, a

gnat. A tiny creature, barely

visible to the human eye,

yet extremely powerful."

No sooner had Titus made it

safely to shore, when the gnat

entered one of his nostrils,

making its way into his brain.

This gnat pecked at his brain

for the next seven years, causing

14

Titus much annoyance and

suffering. No matter how

hard they searched, no cure

was found for this malady.

In the years to come, Titus

became Emperor yet his suffering

from the gnat continued. During

the fifth year of the gnat, while

Titus was on parade through the

streets of Rome, Titus and his

entourage passed by a blacksmith

who was hammering on metal.

To his surprise, the sound of

the hammering caused the gnat

to finally cease its pecking, and

his pain subsided instantly.

Titus promptly ordered a daily

regimen of blacksmiths to be

present in the palace at all times

Nicholas Poussin - Conquest of Jerusalem by Titus

hammering away on any sort

of metal to allay his pain.

Over time, however, the

gnat grew accustomed to the

hammering and developed an

immunity to it, and it wasted

little time in resuming its painful

pecking which it continued

to perform faithfully until the

day Titus died, barely eleven

years after the fall of Jerusalem

(Talmud Bav'li, Gittin 56a).

Rabbi Gershon Winkler of

California notes that, like the

gnat which humbled Titus

and pecked painfully away at

his sense of supremacy, the

COVID-19 virus reminds us

today, that as immutable as


we have become in the 21st

century, we have also become

as vulnerable. The greater our

progress, the more susceptible we

have become to its own undoing.

Clearly, human progress has far

outdone itself, inventing newer

and more proficient ways of

doing everything. As we have

become dizzier and dizzier

with the spin of technological

advancement, our organic

nature and its importance is

reduced. "Nature" has become

something other than ourselves,

it has become a phenomenon

we read about on the internet

or drive miles to observe…

something external to ourselves.

And we've succeeded so well at

paving over the original texture

of what was once an organic

world that it would appear as if

we'd all but replaced the world

God created with our own.

And then...suddenly one day,

while Facetiming a friend across

the globe, a "gnat" arrived - a

primeval, organic, non-GMO,

natural entity untouched by

human progress. It bore through

our complacency, pecking

away at our vulnerability, our

fears, our plans, our stocks, our

toilet paper stocks, shutting

down entire countries and

states, impeding travel and

commerce and blocking social

interaction and recreation.

One little teeny-tiny organism

has succeeded in turning our

pinnacle of civilizational progress

on its head in one fell swoop,

causing more havoc than data

hackers and power outages

and more panic than nations

with nuclear-armed missiles.

Many of us are familiar with

the saying: "You are only given

to challenges that you are

capable of enduring." Be that

as it may, or may not, there is an

additional piece to these words

of "comfort" taught to us by

the 2nd century Rabbi Shimon

bar Yo'hai: "When a matter of

difficulty confronts you, had it

occurred a moment earlier than

the moment in which you became

aware of it, you would have been

incapable of enduring it, for

the heart's readiness to endure

and tackle life's unexpected

challenges reaches its pinnacle of

empowerment the very moment

you first become aware of it, no

sooner or later. It is then that

you are empowered to overcome

it." (Zohar, Vol. 2, folio 84b).

When Titus so thoroughly

destroyed the Jewish

Commonwealth with the intent

that it would never again rise

as a nation, the Jewish people

embarked on the lengthiest exile

experienced by any one people

in all of history. They never once

letting go of hope, collectively

never assimilating into the fabric

of dominant cultures around

them. They survived as a people

for close to two thousand years

since then, always knowing that

with Creator's support, they

could and would endure and

tackle anything. In the end,

the mighty Roman Empire

ended up behind glass at our

museums, and the Jews returned

to and restored the land from

which they had been exiled.

Dear friends, each of us must

know that there is resilience

inside us, and a wellspring of

strength that we can tap into

during times we feel overwhelmed

and intimidated. We've been

told time and again that we

must have faith in God, but

the 18th-century Rabbi Tzadok

Ha'Kohayn reminded us that we

must also have faith in ourselves,

and to model that faith and

fortitude to everyone around

us, whether at the 'no-longerso-super'

supermarket or while

waiting in line to get swabbed.

We are being challenged. But

we are also being invited to

tap into a new way of being.

The Omer, is a 7 week

period between the Festivals

of Pesach and Shavuot.

The kabbalists saw it as a time

of self transformation and this

year, we could call it a time of

building a new found resilience.

Each week being connected to a

different quality: Compassion,

Strength, Humility etc.

I am sending out an inspirational

daily email for the omer and

you are invited to join anytime

(email orna@emanuel.org.au).

At this time, I wish us all

blessings to cope with change

and to be surrounded by

love and compassion.

Omer

Daily Inspirations

7 weeks into Kabalistic teachings about the

soul and how to live a meaningful life.

Receive a daily email till 28 May

You can join anytime.

email orna@emanuel.org.au to book in.

15


{THE CAPTURE OF U-505}

By Reverend Sam Zwarenstein

Have you ever done something that when you look back on it, you can

not believe that you had the strength, courage and determination to

make the decisions that you made? Let’s enjoy a history lesson.

In June 1944, the U.S. Navy

captured their first enemy

warship (U-505) on the high seas

since the War of 1812. While

others had been sunk in the

wars they engaged in since then,

this was the first time the U.S.

Navy got to take a detailed look

inside one of Germany’s deadly

enemy submarines. The Allies

had previously intercepted two

U-boats, taking possession of

their Enigma machines, but those

submarines had been scuttled

(deliberately destroyed). In spite

of some popular opinion, the

U-571 was not one of them.

The movie U-571 was loosely

based on the British capture of

another U-boat earlier in the war.

This capture would prove to

be more than just a simple

triumph for the Allies,

bringing a sense of victory

and success, while presenting

some interesting challenges.

The capture of the Enigma

machines gave the Allies access

to essential intelligence, such

as which teams of U-boats

were working together, and

their approximate location.

Off the west coast of Africa,

U-505 was cornered by

Antisubmarine Hunter-Killer

Task Group 22.3, escorted by

five U.S. Navy Destroyers. The

Task Group was commanded by

Navy Captain Daniel Gallery,

an aviator and U-boat hunter.

His experience and innovative

leadership style allowed him to

realise that he would likely only

get one chance to command

such a powerful task group.

He also had higher aspirations,

so he was more than keen

to do an impressive job.

Through tactical planning and

attacks on the submarine’s

position, the Task Group

managed to cause minor leaks

in the engine room. The crew

onboard panicked and they

thought she was sinking. The

commander then proceeded to

surface the submarine, ready her

for scuttling, and abandon ship.

Captain Daniel V. Gallery, USN, on the bridge of the

captured German submarine U-505 on 4 June 1944

Part of Dan Gallery’s contingency

planning included preparing

“boarding parties”, which they

had been practising. He also

instructed his men to fire only

“small arms” on the sub, to avoid

mortally damaging the sub, but

at the same time creating further

panic on the submarine, forcing

them to abandon the submarine

without enough time to deploy

the scuttle charges, which was

standard German procedure.

The plan worked, and the

Germans abandoned their

16


submarine much quicker

than anticipated.

Following their surrender, the

survivors (58 out of 59 German

sailors) were transferred to the

U.S. Navy vessels. Thereafter,

a group of nine men from the

Task Group went down the

hatch of the U-505. Not only

did they manage to recover

invaluable code books and

papers, which were later used

by the Allies to help with

code-breaking, but they also

managed to salvage the U-boat.

This was, of course, not a

straight-forward task, and there

were a few instances where it

all could have gone horribly

wrong. They had no idea if

any detonators had been laid,

so they couldn’t just rush in to

any location when searching

the submarine. The rudder

and part of the stern had been

damaged. This meant that they

couldn’t effectively control the

submarine from the forward

controls, and needed to get

into the rear of the submarine

to locate the other controls.

These events gave Gallery an

opportunity to get onboard

the U-505, which he had been

itching to do. He carefully

examined the hatch and the

surroundings and decided

that it probably wasn’t wired

for detonation, or that closing

the fuse box door (which they

needed to do to open the hatch)

wouldn't set off any explosives.

Gallery decided that even though

the probability of it being rigged

was low, he wasn’t going to ask

another crew member to take

that risk. Instead, he made the

decision that he would carry out

the task himself. He did. None

of the potential areas were rigged

and the team were able to get

into the rear of the submarine

and bring it under control.

Then, through ingenuity

and calculated movements,

they managed to remove the

water that had been taken on

board when they attacked the

submarine, and get her under

tow. Though they were not out

of the woods yet, they now had

a prized capture. The crew of the

U-505 were held as prisoners on

board one of the other vessels,

and they had obtained not only

Rear Admiral Daniel Gallery

an Enigma machine and highly

valuable papers, but also had

managed to salvage the U-505.

They managed to tow the U-505

all the way to Bermuda, 2,500

nautical miles away. Bermuda

was under Allied control (being

a British outpost). The 58

prisoners were turned over to

the commandant of the naval

base. They were transferred to

an isolated camp in Louisiana

until the war ended. Absolutely

no chances were being taken

that might jeopardise the secrecy

of U-505’s capture, including

mixing the submarine’s crew

with other German prisoners.

One would think that this type

of capture, and the success

that Gallery and his team had

in this venture, would be met

with delight and praise once

it reached headquarters in

Washington. This was definitely

not the case, and the chief of

naval operations, Fleet Admiral

Ernest King (renowned for being

bad-tempered), threatened to

have Captain Gallery courtmartialled.

His fear was that the

Germans would find out that one

of their submarines was captured

by the Allies, which would result

in them immediately changing

all the Enigma codes, thereby

setting the Allied codebreakers

back several weeks or months.

Captain Gallery had already

instructed everyone connected

to the Task Group that nothing

could be told to anyone about

the venture or the events

that followed. Moreover, the

Germans would have certainly

been more concerned with what

was going on in Normandy,

with the Allies having landed

there 2 days after the capture

of U-505. War records show

that the Germans listed U-505

as having been sunk, and

protocol dictated that only

small changes in naval codes be

made in this type of situation.

In addition, several war

experts say that the capture

of the equipment and the

submarine assisted with

the efforts of the Allied

codebreakers to track U-boats.

When we look back at the

extraordinary events leading

up to, during, and following

the capture of U-505, we see

17


a series of events that could

be understood as essential to

happen, exactly as they did, for

this mission and the subsequent

outcomes to be successful.

Yes, there are key figures in this

venture that needed to be more

daring and proactive, such as

Captain Daniel Gallery. He led

the Task Group, he initiated and

planned out the attack on the

U-boat, always thinking ahead

and trying whatever he believed

was possible (and sometimes

impossible) to get the job done.

He also showed impeccable

leadership and bravery when

on board the U-505, trying to

ensure that they could salvage

the vessel. He also took on the

responsibility of accessing the rear

area of the submarine, placing

himself directly in the firing line

if the area was indeed rigged, he

did not ask, nor allow, any of his

team to do this in his place. As

leader of the Task Group, he also

had to bear the brunt from Fleet

Admiral King, who threatened

to court-martial Gallery for his

actions in salvaging the U-boat,

and through it all, Gallery fought

to allow them to keep and study

U-505, mainly to benefit the

Allies in winning the war.

The brave members of Task Group

22.3 showed not only courage

and determination in carrying

out their mission, but they did

so knowing the great risks they

were taking. At any stage, right

from the time they gathered as

a group, all the way through

the end of the war, it could have

all gone wrong. Any of them

could have been killed during

this dangerous mission, and

there were many opportunities

that could have happened.

In addition, there were others that

were involved - the commandant

and his team at the naval base

in Bermuda, the personnel that

guarded the captured Germans

in Louisiana, the many members

of the Allied forces that worked

with the materials and machines

salvaged off the submarine, to

assist the Allies in defeating the

Germans, and many others.

The whole mission, from

beginning right through to

conclusion, was a success because

the people involved understood

the importance of focusing on the

mission, no matter how difficult

things got, or how tempted they

may have been, at any stage, to

stray from the mission. It shows

that when we think and behave in

a way that is focused on success,

we not only have a better chance

of achieving that success, but

we also show others that we are

willing to lead by example and

consider the bigger picture when

we plan and act the way we do.

There are so many more stories

and facts about U-505, the Task

Group, and all of those involved.

All of them reflect the importance

of a chance encounter in the ocean

off the west coast of Africa. At the

same time, they all reflect the role

this encounter and the subsequent

events played in the war.

We all face chance encounters

in our lives, and we all have

opportunities to make the most

of those encounters, to take

risks, to be alive, and to know

that somewhere along the way,

we’ll have our 'Captain Gallery'

moments, possibly our 'Admiral

King' moments, and occasions

where we are other characters in

our stories. Most importantly,

all of these moments have a role

to play in our adventures, and

we should acknowledge that

it’s not just about one moment

in the journey, but rather it’s

about the whole journey.

As we venture through new

challenges during these uncertain

times, let’s not forget that even

the toughest and formidable

conditions can be navigated

through ingenuity, thinking

outside the box, and taking action

for the best possible outcome.

The engine room of the U-505

18


{LIFE IN THE BEGA VALLEY –

11 WEEKS AFTER THE FIRES}

By Corinne Fernandez-Marko

I have never been evacuated from anywhere before. During the 18

years I lived in Israel I never had to duck into a bomb shelter.

My family and I live in Brogo

in the Bega Valley – on 90 acres

of land which contains 40 acres

that is a conservation area. It’s

beautiful here, and precious. But

was so, so dry. This area had

only half its usual annual rainfall

last year, and the opportunity

for burn-off that existed was

restricted to a very small window.

We went to friend's home on

the night of the fires when Fires

Near Me notified us at 8pm

that a fire was 13km away from

us. We thought that we would

be safer there for the night and

would decide the following

morning what would be best

to do. No-one expected that 6

hours later we would be woken

up with the fires 6km from our

friends’ home. The three of us –

my partner Hallie and 13 year

old son Baylee and our two dogs

hopped in the car and stopped at

a neighbours to make sure they

were awake – and then on to the

Bega Evacuation Centre. Our

property is not easy to defend

and our fire plan was clear. With

the native vegetation around us,

and the dryness – our home was

near impossible to protect by us.

We did not think we would be

gone for 8 days, let alone have

to evacuate more than once.

It may sound ridiculous, but it

was the first time I ever had a

taste of what it might feel like

to be a refugee. We were in an

unknown situation. There was

smoke-filled air for many, many

weeks. Each time we left, we

had no idea if our home would

be there after the fires. We did

not know what tomorrow would

bring. We had to sign up with

the Red Cross in case family

or friends wanted to check

our whereabouts. Hundreds

of people were milling around

the Bega Evacuation Centre at

3am, where kind people were

offering tea, coffee and biscuits

and mattresses were available to

sleep on in the Showgrounds

Exhibition Hall. We were lucky

enough to have a friend in Bega

offer us a bed and floor space to

sleep in, and then as the situation

Our home in a haze of smoke during the fire period

19


Fires blazing in the surrounding mountains

intensified a few days later,

Hallie, as Business Manager of

the local Steiner School, opened

up the school for children and

staff and their families. We

spent five days there, creating a

community. Some of us worked

on protecting the school, filling

gutters with water, setting up

sprinkler systems and wetting the

ground. Others went shopping

and prepared three meals per day

for us all, and others organised

the children, with games, movies

and knitting – after all, we were

at a Steiner school. I was lucky to

have the school grounds to bring

my horses to, that apart from

riding, are used in my work in

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

I had to evacuate my horses

and relocate them four times

to make sure they were safe.

More than 56 per cent of the land

mass of the Bega Valley has been

burnt. Our family personally

know at least 15 people who

have lost their homes entirely,

and many, many others who

lost 1000’s of acres of fencing,

hundreds of sheds, equipment

and tools, and vehicles. It cannot

be understated the loss of so

20

many animals (cows, horses,

sheep, pets and wildlife) and so

much flora. We had three deaths

here too – three people who were

a very strong and vibrant part of

the community. The blackened

earth with burnt out trees was

widespread against the landscape.

Some areas in the Valley –

Tinpot, Wandella, Yowrie,

Kiah, Wyndham – places you

may not have heard of – don’t

have any grass growing back.

The heat was so elevated – the

scorching so deep - we barely

see return of animals, and the

community is going out and

leaving food for native animals

who may otherwise starve.

BlazeAid and Rubicon have

been helping farmers with

fencing and knocking down

burnt trees that would otherwise

fall with any wind that comes.

One friend lost 1400 acres of

fencing, and 22 sheds. No-one

here insures their fencing – it's

just too exorbitant. He raced

back to defend his home and

his stock. He saved his home –

but had no sewerage, electricity

or water for the following seven

weeks. And then, if one saved

their home – but had lost other

things – insurance was not quite

so forthcoming with payouts.

I heard a 70 year old friend of

mine on the phone with her

insurance agent (she saved her

home but the fire damaged

carpets and an electricity pole

fell on the corner of her house

leaving a gaping hole), and

needed perhaps 30 square

metres of new carpet – having to

argue about having this carpet

replaced. She explained that

the company would have been

putting out a lot more money

if she hadn’t been defending

her home. Most of the people

that stayed to defend said they

would never do so again. They

did not expect flames 150 feet

in the air, or to find themselves

barricaded in the darkened

(no electricity) Quaama Rural

Fire Shed with 30 other people

while the fireballs surrounded

them. They were defended by

13 members of the local Brogo

Fire Brigade – with the average

age of firefighter in their mid

50’s who saved their lives.

The trauma of such a fire event is

akin to a war. The trauma to the

firefighters, those who stayed to

defend, those who were trapped,

those that lost animals and the

flora and fauna surrounding

their often very simple homes.

Trauma can exist from the grief

we all feel for the loss of habitat

surrounding us. I went to visit

my friends who lost all their

fencing 7 weeks after the fires

and the soil there was still hot.

And now we have the Corona

Virus – and many of those

volunteering down here with

a variety of organisations, will

head home as living in tents

together and eating together is


My friend Farren Terlich surrounded by his blackened land

explains how the fire came from all three sides

soon not going to be possible as

we all have to self-isolate. But

my community will continue

to need help and support. The

news cycles may move fast –

but the rebuilding of 100’s

of 1000’s of acres of burned

land and structures will take

years to recover. You may not

know that the daughter of

one of the founding members

of Emanuel Synagogue,

Susan Bear, lost her home in

Cobargo on New Year’s Eve.

I would encourage people to

realise that there are many

Jewish families that live “out

bush” – who still connect to

city synagogues and these

communities still need your

help. Nearly every year, our

family hosts Seder at Pesach and

we have up to 30 people here.

So, I want to ask, if you are able,

after the Coronavirus outbreak,

come down on a weekend –

or a week, and help a family

with fencing – or clearing, or

anything they may need help

with. Or just come and talk

to people. All these fire struck

communities need to know they

are not forgotten. If you are a

psychologist, perhaps you can

organise a group session here for

people. If you are a musician,

perhaps you could gather and

help by donating instruments to

families. And please, continue

to donate money. This is not

a “once off I’ve donated and

done my bit”. The damage and

rebuilding is ongoing. Hallie and

I would be happy to host you

in our home. We were lucky.

Our home was still here.

Scenes of devastation after the fires

21


Shabbat Embrace

Be embraced by the Shabbat and be

embraced by community as we connect

for Shabbat prayer, song and reflection.

Join Cantor George Mordecai and

Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio for a spiritual

and musical experience embracing the

essence of Shabbat. Click on the link

below to join us at 10am on Saturday.

See: emanuel.org.au/services

Shabbat Embrace will also be

available on Facebook Live.

Emanuel Synagogue and Plus61J Media present a free online performance

My Jewish Musical Inspirations

Sunday May 24

from 7:30 to 8:30pm

The music of

Leonard Cohen,

Neil Diamond,

Bob Dylan plus

Simon &

Garfunkel

Register now:

emanuel.org.au/event/jewish-inspiration

22


Kabbalah Meditation

Tuesday nights 7pm in June

Authentic Ancient Jewish Meditation

Breath, Sound and Higher Inspiration

13th Century Spain, Rabbi Avraham Abulafia taught a unique form

of breath meditation combined with sound and Gems of Wisdom.

Presented by Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff, this combination makes for a

practical experience of kabbalah with authentic text study.

FREE. It will happen online and will be recorded.

Book: emanuel.org.au/event/meditation

Conversations

about Israel

Every Monday, join Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

or guest speakers to examine the complex

issues facing contemporary Israel.

Monday mornings from 10:00-11:30

https://zoom.us/j/631843337

23


by Cantor George Mordecai

{THE SEARCH FOR HAMETZ CONTINUES}

Over the past year, on the third Shabbat morning of each month, a group has gathered in

Emanuel’s Neuweg Sanctuary to co-author a spiritual ritual known as Shabbat in the Circle.

We sing, meditate and wrestle

with questions of Jewish theology,

theodicy, history, mysticism and

our own personal relationships

with our tradition. Everyone in

the group brings something very

special to the Circle. Now, due to

COVID-19, the Circle takes place

on Zoom, on Thursday evenings.

Despite its challenges, the virtual

reach-out has not diminished

the intensity and quality of the

engagement. Just before Pesach

we had an especially powerful

discussion of the inner meaning

of bediqat hametz, the ritual that

takes place the day before Pesach,

wherein we search our homes for

the last fragments of hametz.

Our mystical tradition is very

interested in taking a close look

at hametz and reimagining its

meaning. The mystics juxtaposed

matzah and hametz. Since matzah

consists of the same ingredients

as bread, how are they different?

The only difference between

matzah and bread is that matzah

is allowed to bake in the oven

for a maximum of 18 minutes.

Unlike bread, it therefore does

not rise—matzah is unleavened.

The Gematria (ancient Hebrew

numerological system) of 18

in Hebrew is hai, life. Matzah

is said to represent life and the

hiyut—the Divine life-force

which flows from the Sourceof-All-Life

to all Creation.

The process—leavening—by

which a food becomes hametz

is seen as a metaphor for pride,

arrogance and distance from

the Divine Source-of-All-Life.

Therefore, the essential meaning

of bediqat hametz—the search

for hametz on the evening before

Pesach—is to look deeply into

our being and to locate all the

places where we need to see

improvement. Are we still too

arrogant in our interactions with

others? Are we seeing ourselves the

way we really are, as opposed to

how we imagine ourselves to be?

There is a delightful story from

the Sufi tradition that shines

light on this process of searching

out our internal hametz:

A man was walking home one night

when he saw the Mulla Nasrudin

on his hands and knees on the road.

The Mulla was searching frantically

24


under a street-lamp, so the passerby

asked, “Mulla, what have you

lost?” “I am searching for my key,”

replied Nasrudin, sounding very

anxious. Soon both men were down

on their knees under the streetlamp,

searching for the key. After

a while the man asked Nasrudin:

“Tell me, Mulla, do you remember

exactly where you dropped the key?’’

Nasrudin replied, “In my house.”

Shocked and exasperated the

passerby jumped up and shouted,

“Then why are you searching for

the key out here in the street?”

The Mulla replied, “Because

there is more light here

than inside my house!”

Searching out all the places within

that hold us back in life requires

radical honesty—the courage and

fortitude really to look inside.

The Hebrew word metzar means

‘narrow place’. Mitzrayim is the

name for the land of Egypt, so the

deeper meaning of mitzrayim is ‘a

very narrow place’. Therefore, to

be in mitzrayim is to be in a place

of constriction, despair, darkness.

When we are in mitzrayim we

might feel there is no way out

of the darkness. Our tradition

points to the light at the end of

the tunnel, though: Beginning

with bediqat hametz—the search

for hametz before Pesach—we are

undertaking the journey of our

ancestors, from Mitzrayim through

to Mount Sinai, the moment

of Divine revelation (Pesach to

Shavuot). This is the journey from

the constricted places that we all

struggle with to the place not of

perfection but of equanimity.

What do we need to be focusing

on at this sacred time in our

calendar? Could we be more

patient, more aware of our

surroundings? Are we too busy to

be present to the needs of a loved

one or too caught up in our own

dramas to see or acknowledge

a person standing right in front

of us, begging to be seen, crying

to be heard? Are we too deep in

cynicism to see the beauty that

is revealed to us every morning

or to notice the humble flower

at the potted shrub in the mall?

In the book of Proverbs it is stated:

“Ner Adonai Nishmat Adam.” A

person’s soul is a divine light. Just

as we search for hametz in our

homes with a candle and feather

the night before Pesach, we take

the light in our hearts and search

for hametz in the constricted

places of our being. This spiritual

work is unique for each and

every one of us, since we all have

different strengths and weaknesses.

However, we are all called at this

time of the year to begin this work.

The search for our own hametz

continues beyond Pesach. Our

mystical teachers understood

that the effort to locate our

constricted places and to open

them is an ongoing project. It is

for that reason that we may see

our festivals as signposts. To be a

truly observant Jew and indeed

human being is not only about

observing the laws of kashrut and

of Shabbat but it is also about

observing the way we behave

and regulating our conduct in

the world. When we observe our

actions and try to improve the

way we are with others as well as

ourselves we are slowly liberating

ourselves from the clutches of

mitzrayim and we edge closer to

Sinai and the revelatory moment.

The process and journey is

different for each and every one

of us but it is incumbent upon us

to take the first steps. As Rabbi

Hillel said: “Bechol dor va dor

hayav Adam lirot et atzmo ke ilu

hu yatza mimitzrayim”—It is

incumbent upon every person to

see themselves as having come out

of mitzrayim. I have intentionally

not translated Mitzrayim here,

because I believe that what

Rav Hillel is pointing to is not

the physical location but that

mitzrayim—narrow place—in all

of us. It is incumbent upon each

and every one of us to search for

all those places that hold us back

from realising our true selves

and our true purpose in life.

It is not good enough to search

in places that might look easier—

like Mulla Nasrudin, under a

street-lamp, when the key has

been lost indoors! The Sufi story

25


shows us the way, as does our

tradition: We need to take the

Ner Adonai, the Divine light in

our souls, and honestly search

inside, in our own beings, for the

hametz that is hiding in plain

sight in each and every one of us.

Perhaps it has never been more

important to do this sacred work

than at this present moment.

COVID-19 is constricting our

movements and our interactions

and is truly the meta mitzrayim.

However, it has been so

heartwarming to see the Emanuel

community’s response. We have

strengthened our bonds with each

other through virtual meet-ups,

phone calls and regular checkins

with one another. I am so

proud to be on the clergy team

of such a caring congregation.

As we deal with mitzrayim

moments by strengthening our

connections with one another in

a truly authentic way, may we be

strengthened and comforted by

our awareness of the outcome of

bediqat hametz, the calming search

for our own constricted places, not

just the night before Pesach but in

each and every day of our lives.

26


{BNEI MITZVAH}

Introducing some of our members who have recently become Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

KAILA NABARRO

School: Emanuel School

Hobbies: Karate, netball, anime.

Pets: Three cats; Bogey,

Jette and Minti

Likes: Anime, animals.

Dislikes: Bananas and avocado

About me: Hi, I'm Kaila. I enjoy

reading, netball, anime and

drawing. One of my nicknames

is Deky meaning you can do it.

When I am older I would like to

do something with animals.

Social Justice (tzedakah) projects:

I have done things through My Big

Kitchen and JewishCare, for example,

baking cookies for the firemen and

handing out packs for Yom Tov.

What will you remember most

about your Bar Mitzvah?

I will remember my bati teacher

and my torah portion.

JACK MYERS

School: Reddam House

Hobbies: Sailing, reading

Pets: 2 dogs - Simba and Lucy

Likes: I enjoy sailing and

most water sports.

Dislikes: I don't like tests or waking

up too early in the morning.

About me: My favourite school

subjects are Maths, Science and

History. I have a firm interest

in space and the exploration of

space and one day I hope to be

an aeronautical engineer.

Social Justice: Last year I was on the

charity committee of my school and

we organised charity events like bake

sales and a school dance. I would

like to spend more time helping

people who are living in poverty

and less fortunate than ourselves.

What will you remember most

about your Bar Mitzvah?

I especially enjoyed practising the

prayers for bringing in the Shabbat

with my family on Friday nights.

SHABBAT LIVE

Join us in our virtual sanctuary as we welcome the

Shabbat with the spiritual, meaningful, music, prayers

and stories of Shabbat Live.

Join us online on Zoom from 6:15pm.

Shabbat Live will also be available on Facebook Live!

See: emanuel.org.au/services

27


Mr Michael & Mrs Dianna Levy

Mr Anatoly Kirievsky

Mr Benjamin Mirkin & Ms Lana Fester

Mr Antony Buchen & Mrs Julia Kosky

Mr Emil Shteinberg & Ms Megan Harr

Mr Itay Feldman

Dr Robert Blank &

Dr Susan Coppersmith

Ms Eve Altman

Mr Raphael Sebban

Dr Stephen & Mrs Debbie Scholem

Ms Denise Wilson

Miss Sophie Wenderoth

Mr Peter Sussman

{NEW MEMBERS}

To welcome the stranger

Dr Bettina Cass

Mr Naftal & Mrs Hanna Sieff

Mr Matthew & Mrs Hannah Klimenko

Mr Daniel Musat & Miss

Samantha Wygoda

Ms Nerida Cole

Noam Keeda & Ms Daniella

Zimerman Duarte

Mr Mark Fletcher &

Mrs Melissa Huggard

Mr Michael & Mrs Amanda Rembach

Dr Carol Langley

Mr Andrew Silvers

Mr Philip & Mrs Dalia Spiers

Ms Lauren Reinhardt

Ms Karnie Roden

Mr Ilan & Mrs Michelle Lowbeer

Leonid & Valentina Soyfer

Mr William Clegg &

Ms Charlotte Krass

Mr Jack Ridal

Mr Ronen Benatar & Miss Jana Segal

Mr Anton Aronstan

Mr Alon Diner & Dr Tamara Kezelman

Mr Cameron Wasilewsky

Miss Caitlin Lawrence

Mr Benjamin Celermajer

{TZEDAKAH}

Greater is tzedakah than all the sacrifices

$10,000 or more

Mr Ari & Mrs Lisa Droga

Mr Lawrence & Mrs Sylvia Myers

Mr Matthew & Mrs Hannah Klimenko

Mr Steven & Mrs Ruth Stux

Mrs Phyllis Glasser

Susan & Isaac Wakil Foundation

TE Property Fund

The Boyarsky Family Trust

$5,000 or more

Mrs Rosie Block

Barbara Karet

$1,000 or more

Dr David AC & Mrs Naomi Block

Dr Michael & Mrs Cyndi Freiman

Dr Ofer & Mrs Melanie Mintz

Mr Adrian & Hannah Gold

Mr Daniel & Mrs Yvonne Wise

Mr Daniel Goldberg &

Dr Alina Zeldovich

Mr David & Mrs Karen Gordon

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Mr Kevin & Mrs Dina Coppel

Mr Matthew Stubbs &

Ms Anna Goulston

Mr Michael Silvers

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Ms Sophie Inwald

$500 or more

David Nabarro & Karen Zoellner

Dr Drew Heffernan & Dr Karen Arnold

Ellis & Lynette Rosen

Kevin Smaller

Mr Aaron & Mrs Margaret Ezekiel

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Mr Brian AM & Dr Gene Sherman AM

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Mrs Eugina LangleyJudith Brandl

Ian Brodie

Anna Challis

Helen Coolican

Thomas Cromer

George Davis

Marianne Derofe

Dr Anthony & Mrs Helen Epstein

Dr Ilan & Mrs Shira Sebban

Up to $499

Assoc Professor Bob Kummerfeld

& Professor Judy Kay

Assoc Professor Peter & Michelle Gonski

Assoc. Prof. Andrew & Mrs

Lesley Rosenberg

Barry & Mrs Doreen Isenberg

Bob & Mrs Gabriella Trijbetz

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28


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29


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30

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31


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32

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Mrs Tessa Boucher

Mrs Trudy Weil

Mrs Ursula Moddel

Mrs Valda Kahn

Mrs Valerie Coppel

Mrs Valerie Hosek

Mrs Valerie Newstead

Mrs Vera Jacoby

Mrs Viola Wertheim

Mrs Vivienne Olian

Mrs Vivienne Sharpe

Mrs Wendy Cohen

Mrs Zara Yellin

Mrs Zinaida Fettmann

Mrs Zinaida Gorelick-Weiss

Ms Agnes Seemann

Ms Alicia Vidler & Mr Shai Zarivatch

Ms Amanda Levine &

Ms Danielle Batha

Ms Anita Grinberg

Ms Anna Fried

Ms Anne Erber

Ms Annette Reed

Ms Arabella Rayner

Ms Avigail Herman

Ms Beverley Warren

Ms Caz Lederman

Ms Claire Sexton

Ms Dagmar Caminer

Ms Daisy Kolt

Ms Danielle Schlanger


Ms Deborah Leser

Ms Deborah Saunders

Ms Deborah Singerman

Ms Donna Jacobs Sife

Ms Doris Cope-Krygier

Ms Eleonora Fleischmann

Ms Ella Faigen

Ms Evelyn Marczak

Ms Gemma Hilton

Ms Georgia Kam

Ms Gesell Benchoam

Ms Helena Ameisen

Ms Ilanit Richter

Ms Irena Nebenzahl

Ms Isabella Williams

Ms Iska Coutts

Ms Jacqi Slade

Ms Jacqueline Lindeman

Ms Jacqueline Stricker-Phelps OAM

& Professor Kerryn Phelps AM

Ms Jeannie Newman

Ms Jennifer Littman

Ms Jenny Van Proctor

Ms Jill Zukerman

Ms Joleen Silbert

Ms Judit Somogy

Ms Judith Barouch

Ms Judy Fischer

Ms Judy Menczel

Ms Judy Pincus

Ms Julie Ellitt

Ms Julie Saunders

Ms Karen Wolf

Ms Karina Veal

Ms Kaylene Emery

Ms Kerri Sackville

Ms Lana Neumann

Ms Laura Friezer

Ms Laura Kennedy

Ms Leah Bangma

Ms Leisha Parker

Ms Lesley-Ann Hellig

Ms Linda Henry

Ms Lindsay Broughton

Ms Lindsay Thorpe

Ms Linie Albert

Ms Lyndall Katz

Ms Madeleine Faigen

Ms Merril Shead

Ms Miri Senecky

Ms Miriam Lewin

Ms Myrna Lewis

Ms Nicole Jacobs

Ms Olivia Sholler

Ms Pamela Clements

Ms Primrose Moss

Ms Rachael Weiss

Ms Rebecca Epstein

Ms Rena Shein

Ms Renee Koonin

Ms Rita Opit

Ms Rochelle Oshlack

Ms Ruth & Milenka Osen

Ms Sally Bierman

Ms Sandra Hotz

Ms Sara Pantzer

Ms Sophie Landa

Ms Steph Whitmont

Ms Susan Benjamin

Ms Susan Carleton

Ms Tala Bennett

Ms Tamara Wells

Ms Tessa Surany

Ms Thea Riesel

Ms Therese Kutis

Ms Toni Whitmont

Ms Valda Glass

Ms Victoria Reich

Ms Yael Celermajer

Ms Yittah Lawrence

Ms Yvonne Korn

Paul & Mrs Gloria Shillan

Peter & Mrs Judith Bonta

Prof Ivan & Mrs Vera Goldberg

Prof Phillip Stricker AO &

Mrs Jennifer Stricker

Prof. Alan Rosen & Ms Vivienne Miller

Professor Gary Sholler &

Mrs Kristine Anderson

Professor Graham Newstead AM

& Ms Michele Newman

Professor Gregory Kolt &

Ms Emma Fredman

Professor Konrad & Mrs Jane Kwiet

Professor Steven & Mrs Andrea Kalowski

Rabbi Ira Schiffer

Rafi & Louise Glaser

Rhonna and Brian Rogol

Robert Hoole & Ms Ruth Lewis

Rochelle Hersch & Dr Jayne Bye

Roger & Mrs Cecily Parris

Ronald & Mrs Pamela Sackville

Stanford & Mrs Abirah Lifschitz

Steven Moskowitz

The Hon Walter Secord &

Ms Julia McRae-Levitina

The Hon. Justice Marcus QC

& Anne Einfeld

Thomas & Vivien Neumann

Wayne & Mrs Rosalind Ihaka

Havdallah: Streaming the Light

Together, we will make the transition from the Shabbat to the new

week with music and prayer. A chance to be enfolded in the beauty

and holiness of the Shabbat and be wrapped within its shelter for

the week ahead.

Join us on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87244040936

33


{BIRTHS}

Welcome to

Isaac Mintz

Olivia Kretzig

Leonardo Matsumoto

Cohn

Zoe Rout

Alfred Rozycki

Adele Kaplan

Ben Ami Price

Seth Silberman

Asher Winch

Gavriella Lifshitz

Isobel Brandon Smith

Theodore Kennedy

Francesca Fischer

Jack Isaacs

Gemma Riva Goltsman

Noah James Davis

Sage Levitt

Leo Glikman

Allegra Knoll

Jacob Salamon

Benjamin Gilbert

Mikah Lowenstein

Charlie Kerlander

Joel Droga

Tim Simon

Mark Lobel &

Abigail Negapatan

Ilana Blum &

Desmond Kohn

Genia Gottlieb

Graham de Vahl Davis

Ibolya Salamon

Rabbi Brian Fox

Michael Owen

Clifford Einstein

Mattie Tarragano

{B’NEI MITZVAH}

Mazal Tov to

Ben Simon

Joel Allen

Daniel Shields

Marcus Grammat

Eliora Glass

Harry Steigrad

Bethany Hawker

Kleiman

Kaila Nabarro

Matt Radvin

Caitlin Ben-Mayor

Jesse Barel

Ashleigh Gold

{MARRIAGE}

To rejoice with the happy couple

Candice Wallman

& Robert Woolf

Miriam Wallach &

Daniel Parsons

Albert Salinas

Lisl Ziegler

Janice Schwarz

Helen Freed

David Barnett

Jacques Bouskila

Liliane Cahn

Lucka Beram &

Michael Shor

Claudia Woolf &

Gilad Shabad

Jon & Sue Green

{DECEASED}

To comfort the bereaved

Brian Liebmann

Gabrielle Zabel

Jean Drummond

Claire Oppenheim

Amanda Kamsler

Jeannine Revi

Donn Jowell

Gabriel Stiassny

Saul McGuinness

Luca Karsay

Michael Goldberg

Lizzie De Paoli &

Daniel Folb

Tamara Kezelman

& Alon Diner

Warren Gordon

Teela Menasseh

Betty Benjamin

Deborah Felman

Shirley Rotenstein

Hilda Boyko

34


Puzzle Page

by Anne Wolfson

35


{SERVICE TIMES}

All service times are subject to change. Please check

emanuel.org.au for any amendments to our regular services.

Morning Minyan

Morning Minyan is on Monday to Friday at 8:00am

(Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/702546413) and

and Sunday at 9:00am

(Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/306800789).

SHABBAT SERVICES

Erev Shabbat

• 4:30pm - Welcoming Shabbat Masorti Service followed by

candle lighting (time varies) Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/93226537585

• 6:15pm - Shabbat Live (New Sanctuary)

See: emanuel.org.au/services

Shabbat Morning

• 10:00am - Embracing Shabbat service

See: emanuel.org.au/services

Saturday Evening

• 5:30pm Havdallah: Streaming the Light

(Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87244040936)

Details of Shavuot services on page 2 and

see: emanuel.org.au/shavuot-2020.

{CONTACT US}

All services and other programs are currently held online.

7 Ocean Street, Woollahra NSW 2025

There are many ways to get in touch — we would love to hear from you!

Call: (02) 9389 6444

Email: info@emanuel.org.au

Visit: emanuel.org.au

Like: facebook.com/emanuel.synagogue

Follow us! We’re on Twitter @emanuelshule and Instagram @emanuelsynagogue

Office hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–5pm

Friday: 9am–2pm

_______

If you would like to contribute to the next edition of Tell, or to

enquire about advertising, please email tell@emanuel.org.au.

If you are interested in volunteering, email volunteer@emanuel.org.au.

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