Monday, December 31, 2007

Final Chanukah Post for 5768

Menorah at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
(Photo: GETTY IMAGES/Sean Gallup) has a series of 9 photos of Chanukah around the world. Many of them feature Chabad celebrations since we tend to do Chanukah in a big way.

Bli neder, this is the last Chanukah post until next year!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Modern Tzedoka

I like this innovative idea which has been introduced in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. An "ATM" style machine which, in the words of the article on the FJC website:

...enables congregants and visitors to donate funds for charitable purposes by transferring funds from their credit or debit cards to the Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk – a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky (brother of Rabbi Mendel Kamenetzky of Melbourne) has introduced a number of innovations in his community and this one is certainly out there. I predict that it won't be too long before we see this type of machine in shuls and community centres all over the world.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Levaya in Sydney

The Levaya of the late

Mr & Mrs Zev and Rochel Simons o’bm

will take place on
Monday 15th Tevet/24th December
commencing with
the Service at 2:00pm
at the Sydney Chevrah Kadisha
172 Oxford St (cnr Wallis St) Woollahra
to be followed by the Kvurah at
Rookwood Cemetery, Rookwood
Jewish Section 18A


From the Tzemech Tzedek Community email:

Buses are being arranged to transport people from the Chevra Kadisha to and from Rookwood on Monday. If you want to go by bus, please reply directly to me by a new email to . I will need to know how many seats you want. Pls reply asap.

If you have any recollections, stories, pictures, documents etc that you would like the family to have, there are two ways that have been set up:

1. Mrs Leah Joseph is putting together a "scrapbook" to give to the family. The aim is to have it completed by the Shloshim. Any items should be forwarded to her asap, but within the next 2 weeks to give her time to arrange it all. If you prefer to keep the originals, Leah will make copies for the scrapbook. Or better still, you could have the copies made and send them to her. Contact details for Mrs Joseph are

2. For people who want to say something, either as well as, or instead of written or pictorial form, I will be digitally recording recollections, stories etc. They will be compiled and burned to disks which will be given to the family. Please get in touch with me asap to arrange a suitable time for recording your stories. Send to

Saturday, December 22, 2007


The levaya of the late

Mr & Mrs ZEV and ROCHEL SIMONS z”l

will be passing by
the Yeshivah Centre
92 Hotham St, East St Kilda
en route to the airport
at approximately 8:45am on Sunday morning

May Hashem give strength and comfort
to their family and friends.

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים


Friday, December 21, 2007

Boruch Dayan Ho'emes

I have just heard the news of the tragic passing of Zev and Rochel Simons in an accident yesterday on the Hume Highway. Emotions are raw and I can think of nothing meaningful to say. This tragedy overshadows all the meaningless annoyances in life. My heart goes out to their parents, children and siblings.

Rabbi Yosef Braun of the Tzemach Tzedek Community Centre in Sydney has expressed his feelings to the community:

Erev Shabbos Parshas Vayechi,

It’s not easy to write, but it’s even more difficult to remain quiet, even if our communication is a silent message. The enormity of yesterday's events hasn’t yet sunk in. It is impossible for our minds to digest such raw pain and suffering.

We can analyse, hypothesise, and philosophise ad infinitum, but it’s of no use. There is a time to talk and a time to be silent. The Torah describes Aharon’s reaction after the passing of his two sons: “And Aharon was silent”.

Speech indicates clarity and understanding. Silence expresses that which no words can describe. The ability to be silent expresses our awareness that Hashem is beyond human grasp and cannot be comprehended by mere mortals.

At a time like this, let us stand together and support each other. We’re all family and we need each other’s companionship and closeness.

We daven to Hashem that he give strength, comfort and succor to the children, parents, family and friends. May our community experience no more suffering – only simchos and joy forever.

May we merit to penetrate the dark golus walls immediately and commence the days of Moshiach when Hashem will dry our eyes from tears and reunite us with our loved ones again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

PS 22 Sings Reb Shlomo

This video has been making the rounds of the blogs but I thought that it was worth featuring here. The kids are quite entertaining and a cut above the average school choir. I don't get the rap at the end of the video but still enjoyed it overall. Their pronunciation is pretty good too!

The choir is made up of 5th graders from PS 22 in Staten Island, New York. They have gained some notoriety and have many videos on You Tube. See their blog with lots more videos here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chanukah in Sri Lanka

I found this story in quite fascinating. This young shaliach went out of his way to find a yid who has, seemingly, abandoned his yiddishkeit. As usual the "pintele yid" won out and the monk was pleased to reconnect with his roots. Another wonderful Chanukah story and a great achievement for the shaliach.

The story as it appeared in

Year round, the Chabad House in Sri Lanka, directed by Rabbi Mendy Crombie, works primarily with businessmen who live in the capital city of Colombo. Holidays however, he makes a point to also reach out to the hundreds of tourists who come to enjoy the magnificent sea shores of Sri Lanka.

On his last trip out to the tourist area, Rabbi Crombie was told about a certain Jew who is deeply involved in one of the local cults, and even serves as a monk there. The Rabbi spent countless hours of searching for this man. This Chanukah he was able to locate him. Equipped with a menorah and candles he set out to meet this monk. The monk was touched to meet a Rabbi at this ‘dark’ corner of the world. After twenty years of having been entirely severed from Yiddishkeit, the Jew lit a Chanukah menorah for the first time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Chanukah News

As reported a number of times here Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik has been having problems getting the menorah displayed on public property in Colorado. Despite the "controversy" he had a big turnout at his Chanukah celebration according to The Coloradoan newspaper article. I wish him much hatzlocho in all his work.

In other news Australian, David Wakil, a scientist posted to the Antarctica has lit his menorah in those icy parts. In a letter to his Rabbi, Levi Wolff of the Central Synagogue in Sydney, he says:

It is hard for me to describe the feeling of the first Jew celebrating Chanukah in Antarctica. Believe me, the light of Chanukah illuminates me and my enviroment. I write this as tears fill my eyes. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Rabbi Wolff for his caring about Judaism.
Shturem has more photos and a short video of Wakil's surrounds.

Chanukah in Caulfield Park

Another successful Chanukah in the Park sponsored by Yossel Gutnick and his Chabad House of Caulfield. This is pretty much the only thing they do all year but it is always a great success attracting many Jews who may not otherwise come to a Chanukah event. Kudos to Shlomie Gurewicz who organised the function again this year.

See more photos on COL.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

YG Chanukah Parade

The "Chanukah Parade" held last Thursday was a great success. The atmosphere was wonderful and the organisers did a great job. Thanks go to YG Shaliach Sholom B Cunin and to Rabbi Binyomin Serebryanski who organised the occassion.

Sholom Cunin sent me this publicity

"Let there be light" – Menorah Parade!

The Menorah, or chanukia, is traditionally lit by the window or door of Jewish homes, symbolising the power of light over darkness and right over might

The Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi M M Schneerson took this idea a step further, stressing that menorahs be kindled in public throughout the world, with Menorah Lighting ceremonies, to illuminate the pathways of freedom for all mankind.

To spread this important message a spectacular motorcade of over a hundred and fifty cars and vans with illuminated Menorahs on their roof, traveled along the streets of Melbourne And has brought the happiness and message of Chanukah to all, Jews and non-Jews alike.

This menorah parade was organized by Rabbi Binyomin Serebransky of Chabad, and Sholom B. Cunin together with the rabbinical students in the Yeshiva Gedolah, the students also handed out over 3000 menorahs to jews that hadn't had the chance to buy there own, thus spreading the Chanukah spirit to others, as the Rebbe teaches "every Jew is like a candle, all it needs is to be lit, and it will shine brightly".

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chanukah in 770

Rabbi Klein next to the Rebbe's desk

Part of the crowd downstairs in 770

I like these photos on COL showing the menorah lighting in 770. In the "downstairs" photos it almost looks like the old days with the Rebbe.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A White Chanukah in New York

As these photos from COL show New York has had some snowfalls. It always looks so nice and clean after the first snow and before the streets become muddy and slushy. In any case I prefer our sunny and warm Chanukah weather.

A freilichen Chanukah to all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chef in the News News has featured Dovid Trakhtman in an article on Kosher catering. Many of us know Dovid for his food and outgoing personality. If you have spoken to him you know that his passion for tasty and fresh Kosher cuisine is genuine - hence the name of his business Passionate Catering.

Good on ya Dovid. Haztlocho Rabbo.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Demonstrating Against Television!

This is "anti-semitic" but very funny. You may have to watch it a few times to get all the words but its worth it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Put on your Yamulka 'cause here comes Chanukah

From The Coloradoan - Chanukah 5765

Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik (son of Rabbi Elozor & Raizel Gorelik of FREE) is still struggling to have the menorah displayed publically in Fort Collins, Colorado. This is the third year that the menorah has to be displayed in a private business since the city feels that it is a religious symbol and should not be displayed with the town Xmas tree. In an article in The Coloradoan City Councillor Wade Troxell said:
From my point of view, we need to keep traditional Christmas displays, scrap the museum/artwork gobbledygook, and request the city staff work with Rabbi (Yerachmiel) Gorelik to find a place for the menorah with the Christmas display
From the comments on this news piece it appears that most members of the public agree that this is an unnecessary "battle" and that the menorah should be able to be displayed on public land.

I any case this has given publicity to Chanukah, as shown in this article in that paper, which lists all the venues having Chanukah celebrations in Fort Collins this year.

Fortunately in Australia we are not burdened by this obsession of separating church and state to the nth degree. We can participate in public menorah lightings openly and without a problem. There are a number major events being held by the Chabad community in particular:
  • Rabbi Chaim Herzog's annual menorah lighting in the city on Wednesday 5 December in Queens Hall at the Victorian Parliment at 6:30pm sharp. Email for your invitation.
  • Chabad of Bentleigh is holding their Chanukah party at 5:30pm on Wednesday 5 December as well. It is taking place at the Chabad House in Cecil Street, East Bentleigh.
  • Yeshivah Gedolah is organising a "Chanukah Parade of Light" on Thursday 6 December starting from Yeshivah at 7:30pm. There will be a parade of 105 cars displaying menorahs or a new Chanukah sign. For more info or to register interest call the Shluchim at 0430 391 015 or email
  • Rabbi Yossel Gutnick's annual major Chanukah celebration in Caulfield Park on Sunday 9 December from 4:30pm to 10:30pm with stalls, music and the major attraction of fireworks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tzomo Lecho Nafshi

Rav Motty Elon, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKotel, on Yud Tes Kislev

The Satmar Rebbe singing it at a tish

While present day Lubavitch is not accepted in many circles (see previous post for one of the main reasons) there are those who respect and honour previous Rebbeim - especially the Alter Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya and Shulchan Aruch - whose release from Czarist prison is commemorated on 19 Kislev. The significance of this date is that this is when "the wellsprings" of Chassidus started flowing into the world. Chabad Chassidim also call it the Rosh Hashana of Chassidus and greet each other with Good Yom Tov.

In my mind the above videos highlight the importance of this day when Yud Tes Kislev is being commemerated in both the "National Religious" camp and in Satmar.

Good Yom Tov all.

Hat tip to Chabad Mont Pneimios.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lucky Dollar Bill??!!!

Everyone's favourite websites Shturem, and Shmais have all succumbed to the disease of relegating Chabad to some sort of superstitious cult type organisation. They have quoted one sentence from an article in the Australian Jewish News about Malcolm Turnbull. The article states:
Late into the night, Turnbull suggested to Rabbi Feldman that his victory could have been be due to the lucky dollar bill, which once belonged to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, that was given to him during his campaign.
Far be it from me to take exception to the veracity of the heiliger Jewish News but that sounds like a misquote to me. What the heck is a "lucky dollar bill"? The Jewish News proves again and again that its journalists know very little about normative Jewish practices and next to nothing about Chassidic groups.

Shmais have also quoted this article as have Shturem who have admittedly toned down the hype since they got a few comments about it.

But what is really annoying is the meshichist site have reported this as Victory Due to Rebbe Dollar - how embarrassing!! This just plays into the hands of those who believe that Chabad is the closest thing to Judaism - to quote an anti-Chabad "joke".

The Rebbe gave out dollar bills in order to achieve two main things as far as I know. One was in order to increase in the giving of Tzedokah - when one received a dollar from the Rebbe the intention was to give that dollar - and preferably more - to charity. Obviously one would want to keep the dollar that the Rebbe actually gave them as a keepsake and substitute that dollar for one of their own to give away. While Chabad does not emphasise the concept of Shirayim (where Chassidim are eager to obtain food that the Rebbe has tasted etc) it is just human nature to want to keep an object from someone who you admire greatly - especially when that person is the Tzadik HaDor.

The other reason for "dollars" was so that the Rebbe could have personal contact with his Chassidim. As he told the woman who asked how he could stand for hours greeting people and giving out dollars: "Every soul is a diamond. Can one grow tired of counting diamonds?".

The Rebbe did not give out these dollars as lucky charms to be used like some magical potion. As far as I know in Chabad we do not go in for this type of Yiddishkeit. Chabad is supposed to emphasise that intellect rules over emotion but it seems that the meshichist element has reinvented this as well as other normative Jewish and Chassidic practices.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kevin 07, 08, 09...

Graphic from The Age

Mazal Tov to Kevin Rudd and the Labour Party on convincingly winning this election. While I believe that the Howard Government has done a fairly good job it was certainly time for a change. The more I see of Kevin Rudd the more he strikes me as having the potential to be a good, strong leader. At the beginning of his acceptance speech he payed tribute to John Howard in a most statesmanlike and gentlemanly way. This mentchlichkeit impresses me and I feel bodes well for the future.

I was pleased to see that Michael Danby retained his seat. He has worked tirelessly for the Jewish Community for all these years and always seems to make a strong stand on any issue which touches on Israel or Jewish people.

Malcolm Turnbull's is another pleasing result. His opponent tried to use the tactic of saying "vote for me I'm Jewish" which, in anyone's language, is no reason to elect a politician. Turnbull has also been an extremely strong supporter of Israel and deserved to win his seat.

I for one am ready and looking forward to this new regime..

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shabbos Robot? Not This Year!

Shabbos Goyim of the future?

COL has presented as fact that a new robot has been developed that will be able to do "forbidden" jobs on Shabbos. They have taken this from an article in Hamishpacha magazine as reported by Ma'ariv newspaper. According to Ma'ariv: This is the latest temptation that has driven the Haredi world mad: the robot that will replace the Shabbos Goy.

The report in Ma'ariv says:
The company’s representative in Israel, Amos Goren, a former GSS bodyguard, explains that the company already has a robot that is capable of carrying out a number of functions. All that needs to be done is to install a unique program that will specify the Sabbath Halacha. He said that scientists from the company have been consulting with Halachic experts and that the new “Shabbos robot” might be put on the market within a number of months.
The robot, which is fitted with a GPS system, will be familiar with the Jewish home. It will turn out the lights late at night, turn on the air conditioner if necessary and will even clear the table after the Sabbath feast is over.
Even the common problem of someone inadvertently turning off the light in the bathroom will be solved. From time to time the robot will make its way to the bathroom to make sure that the light is on. The robot is expected to cost approximately USD 4,000.

According to my brief research there is no such robot in existence as yet. According to the White Box Robotics website - who it is said will make the robot - they do not have anything similar but are developing different types of high functioning robots.

But despite that it seems to me that the way that technology is progressing today it is only a matter of time before such robots are developed. Whether or not you could halachically have a robot perform things on Shabbos that we are forbidden to do is another matter. Is a robot considered the same as a farm animal which also has to rest on Shabbos? Greater minds than mine will have to answer that question.

In any case it is an interesting fantasy but nothing that we should get too excited about.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Musical Aussie in the News

Chanoch Rosenfeld is pictured above at the Annual Dinner for Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim Brunoy in France where he is currently learning. The dinner was held on Rosh Chodesh Kislev according to the article in Chanoch is the son of Yisroel and Sarah Rosenfeld and his musical talents and that of his siblings are well known in Melbourne.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Jews Report

This short video is by Yisrael Campbell who is connected with the Jewlarious web site. It is funny but not as good as his jPhone sendup. Enjoy!

Thanks again to SS.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where is security when you need them?!

I enjoyed this video of the shluchim to Yeshivah Gedolah arriving at Melbourne airport last week. The chayos is great!

Thanks to SS for sending me this.

Kinnus Time (3)

Rabbis Mordechai & Moshe Gutnick

Rabbi Moshe New (L)

Reb Arel Serbryanski

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kinnus Time (2)

Rabbis Sholom & Yossi Blesofsky on the left and Chaim Herzog & ? Feldman on the right

Rabbi Arel Serebryanski

Rabbi Y Lieder (2nd row on the right)

More photos of Aussies spotted at the Kinnus.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kinnus Time

Rabbis Yossi Gordon & Yanki Glasman

R Yitzchok Moully in blue shirt

R Levi Tennenbaum (R)

Rabbi Kantor (Thailand)

Is that R Benyomin Serebryanski on the left?

R Chaim Herzog at back

It is Rosh Chodesh Kislev and the International Kinnus HaShluchim has started in New York. These photos were of Aussies that I spotted on Shmais and COL. Please let me know if I have missed any shluchim.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"What will become of all the memories?"

A poignant video. The singers are Mordechai Ben David and Avrohom Fried.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Support for Israeli Backpackers

According to a report in the Ma'ariv newspaper ten percent of Israeli youth traveling abroad after their army service come to Australia. In Melbourne these travelers are catered to by Rabbi Dudu and Sara Lieder from their Chabad House on Carslile Street. Many young people who have never experienced a Shabbos or Yom Tov, lit Shabbos candles or put on tefillin are having their first taste of yiddishkeit not in the Holy Land but in the Land Down Under.

A few months ago Mrs Riva Cohen found out that while the Lieders provided Shabbos meals for dozens of Israelis each week their budget could not meet the expense of providing meat or chicken for these meals. She promptly formed Ohel Sara where she invited women in our community to contribute towards ensuring that a full Shabbos meal could be provided. This is not just about a free meal for some young people travelling around Australia but, by proving a complete Shabbos meal, this encourages them to spend more time at the Shabbos table with the Lieders. This provides them with a genuine, warm Shabbos experience which they often have never been part of before.

Every dollar raised goes exclusively toward these meals. In order to contribute to this worthy cause you can write a check to Solomon Kosher Butcher, purchase a Solomon voucher or leave cash in an envelope and slip it under Mrs Cohen's door. Alternatively you can email me at and I will advise you how to make a contribution.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Principal At Last!

Rabbi Berger (on the left) at Yeshivah Ateres Menachem in Ottowa

After many years of searching a new principal for Yeshivah College has finally been found. Don Wolf yesterday announced through the Yeshivah Centre website that Rabbi Mordechai Berger of Canada has been appointed principal to take over from Rabbi Glick next year.

When he visited in September Rabbi Berger made a good impression on the community and hopefully this appointment will mark a change in the way Yeshivah College is run.

Rabbi Berger was described by Don Wolf before his visit in these terms:
Rabbi Mordechai Berger, from Ottowa, Canada, is Founder & Principal of Yeshivas Ateres Menachem of Ottawa, a combined program of Yeshivah Studies with vocational and technology courses. He is an innovative educator, renowned for developing and implementing systems to maximise the educational performance of students.
I wish him well in his new position and wish him hatzlocho in dealing with the parents, other teachers and especially the administration.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Points of Interest in Paris

Shturem has published a link to Google maps of places in Paris which may have interest to Chabadniks. The map appears here and was compiled by Jewish Educational Media to coincide with the release of the DVD The Early Years Volume III, which focuses on the Rebbe and Rebbetzin’s life in Paris in 1938-1940.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

View the Unexpected

I enjoyed watching this interesting video and learnt something about a group of people who I didn't know existed. The Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation is a "Hebrew Israelite" group in Chicago. According to their website (see it here) there are 150,000 people in the United States who follow similar teachings. They consider themselves most similar to Modern Orthodox Jews while admitting that they do not observe halacha - for example they do not eat pork or shellfish but do mix meat and dairy.

If you are interested I would suggest watching the video first and then checking out their website. One thing that struck me was their passion which is certainly more exciting than in most shuls.

Thanks to Jake.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Motzoei Simchas Torah 5738 (1977)

This is a short excerpt of the Rebbe's sicha after his heart attack on Shmini Atzeres in 1977. I think that the Rebbe spoke for 15 or 20 minutes from his "hospital room" in his office. You can hear the weakness in his voice which is sad - but it must have been reassuring for the chassidim to hear him after the shock of his illness.

The video is from JEM.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rabbi Mordy Katz again

The famous Rabbi Katz has produced another video. Some of the jokes have been heard before but all are funny. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

More Hakafot Shniyot

Shvut Ami - a new settlement B"H

Tel Aviv


Ramot Alef - the unique simcha of the misnagdim!

These are some more videos that I found from "Second Hakafos" in Israel this year. They are a sample of some very different communities which, to me, is part of the beauty of yiddishkeit.

VeYa'akov Holach Ledarko

Motzoei Simchat Tora in Kfar Chabad

Another set of Tishrei Yomim Tovim have passed and hopefully we all got something out of this holiday season.

The video above is of "Hakafot Shniyot" in Kfar Chabad this year. Israeli's seem to be jealous that we in Chutz La'aretz have a separate day for Simchas Torah. Throughout Israel Hakafot Shniyot are held on Motzoei Shmini Atsers/Simchas Torah in town squares, halls etc. I suppose it is a nice way to continue the spirit.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hoshanna Rabbo with the Rebbe

Although we are a few days away I wanted to post this video from Hoshanna Rabbo 5748 (1987). It shows the Rebbe during Shacharis, giving out lekach to those that didn't receive it on erev Yom Kippur and a few seconds of 770 being prepared for Hakafos. Note the many different types of yidden who came to the Rebbe.

Quite poignant memories.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Timely "How To"

Making lulav rings using two leaves

Making lulav rings using one leaf

These two videos were featured on and show how to make the rings for the lulav. I like practical stuff!

Good Yom Tov.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Getting Ready for Sukkos

Well, I am getting ready for Sukkos and have taken a break to look at You Tube videos. I found this wonderful one from Chabad of UCSB (Uni of California - S Barbara). This young bochur is lots of fun and, IMHO, a great ambassador for Chabad on campus. Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mazal Tov Rabbis

The latest crop of bochurim completing their rabbinical studies in Melbourne graduated this week from Machon Chaim LeSmicha. An article and photos appear in COL. Featuring in the group are some "home grown" boys which is always nice to see.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kapporos Time

I love the look on this boy's face! (from

It's that time of year when we perform the "interesting" ritual of Kapporos. While many frum yidden today use money etc for this ritual we chassidim stay true to our roots and insist on using live chickens. As long as the chickens are treated humanely I have no problem with this but, unfortunately, there have been (and no doubt still are) places where the animals are not stored in an appropriate manner. I know that this does not happen in Melbourne but tzar ba'alei chaim is certainly something we should keep in mind especially at this time of year when we are asking Hashem to look after our welfare.

Photos of Kapporos in Crown Heights can be found on Shmais and If you like photos, as I do, some quality photos of 770 during this Tishrei can be seen on Shturem.

Gmar Chasima Tova to everyone. Have an easy fast.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kesivah VeChasimah Tovah

This video has been posted on the Chabad sites over the last few weeks but I feel that it is especially appropriate for today.

May the Rebbe's brochos be fulfilled for all of us in the coming year.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Five Thousand Seven Hundred & Sixty Eight

The recipe for this delicious looking challah can be found on Maya's Blog

As Rosh Hashana 5768 approaches
I would like to wish everyone

כתיבה וחתימה טובה
לשנה טובה ומתוקה

a healthy, fulfilling and pleasant year ahead
with true peace throughout the world
and especially in Eretz Yisroel
with the coming of Moshiach


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Yeshivah Gedolah 5767

Click on photo for larger picture

Finally, after three tries, I think I have got this right!

From LEFT to right (starting third from left):
Executive Director: R. Avraham Procel.
Magidei Shiurim: Rabbi Shmuel Lesches, Rabbi Mordechai Szmerling.
Mashgiach: Rabbi Sholom Ber Engel.
Rosh Yeshiva: Rabbi Binyamin Cohen.
Mashpia: Rabbi Yaakov Winner.
Member of Hanhola: R. Yechezkel (aka Henry) Herzog.
President: R. Yosef Yitzchok Gutnick.

Members of Hanhola: R. Mendel Serebryanski, R. Reuven Tartarka.

Crown had this year's photo of the YG bochrim and hanholo.

Thanks to "Insider".


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dinner for JCOM

The Jewish Centre of Ormond McKinnon held a fundraising dinner last week at Kimberley Gardens. A report of the event appears in Shmais with the same report but more photos on From the accounts I heard from those who attended it was a very enjoyable evening.

Rabbi Levi and Channie Kurinsky have only been in the McKinnon area for two years but already they have made a big impact. This young, dynamic and hard-working couple have established ties with that community and are attracting people both young and old to their events.

Why, I hear you ask, is their centre not called a Chabad House? There are many different hypotheses and I am reluctant to write too much about this. It just seems strange and very wrong that people who are doing positive things in the community and making a Kiddush Hashem and a Kiddush Lubavitch cannot call their organisation a Chabad House.

Mazal Tov Rabbi Levi and Channie on your achievements so far. Haztlocho Rabbo for the future. May you go from strength to strength.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Have Joined the Now Generation

Yes. I have actually joined Facebook and created a group called Aussie Echo. I invite all those interested to join the group and to join Facebook if you haven't already done so.

Facebook is the latest "social engineering" phenomenan which is linking people all over the world. It does help one keep in touch with friends and family and share photos etc. I am not sure what else it offers - but it does seem to keep millions of people occupied. I look forward to "seeing" you there.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Zealand Ignorance - An Oxymoron?

A New Zealand pizza parlor is using the image of Hitler to advertise their product. Articles appear in and the Jerusalem Post.

I am not surprised about this as these sort of publicity stunts appear every so often in backward countries but what is astounding is the defence of the poster by the advertising company. "He's almost the poster boy for the Jewish people. Don't forget – but don't look when we invade Palestine," Kirk MacGibbon said. An ignorant and stupid statement. I have rachmones on the Jewish Community in NZ in having to deal with people like this.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dvar Torah for Motzoei Shabbos

Proof positive that Moshe Rabbeinu was a Satmar Choosid.

By the way, the hat he is talking about looks like the one below and is also known as a "frizbee":

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Does Anyone Really Care

The Gutnick- wedding made it to COL probably because of all the "dignitaries" who came for the occassion. The main reason for posting this was the photo above. It is good to see Rabbi Pinchas Feldman attending a family simcha, Michael Danby taking a low profile and, from this photo, that apparently there was an appropriate separation between men and women.

If you want to see lots more photos just click here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rabbi Groner has Visitors

COL has photos of a visit to Rabbi Groner by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, Chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad and head of Tzach in Israel, who is currently visiting Australia. He was accompanied by Levi Edrei and Yisroel Naparstek (of Melbourne).

Please keep saying tehillim for the Refuah Shleima of HaRav Yitzchok Dovid ben Menucha Rochel.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Antisemitic Attack on Carslile Street

From The Age

The papers this morning have reported on the assult of two young men on Saturday night at Glicks on Carslile Street. The violent, antisemitic attack occured after Ephraim Manshari finished his shift at Mister Glicks. Another young man, Alon "Tam", was also physically attacked while walking past the shop. Thankfully, from the photos, it appears that he did not suffer serious injuries. But whatever injuries Alon, Ephraim or anyone else suffered we wish them a Refuah Shleima.

Hopefully police will be able to catch these violent thugs as it initially appears that they escaped without being caught. This was despite being chased by some members of the Community Security Group who were eating nearby. I don't know what the solution to this sort of violence is but, as Alon is quoted as saying, all antisemitic incidents, no matter how seemingly minor, should be reported to the police and to the Jewish authorities. We have a right to walk the streets of Australia peacefully just like any other person.

News reports can be seen in the Jewish News, The Age, NineMSN, The Australian and which has the most detailed description of events.