Thursday, May 31, 2007

Antisemitism in Melbourne

I heard on ABC radio this evening that a young man, Danny Pollak, was attacked and bashed on a train the other evening supposedly for wearing a yamulka. The report on the ABC news site appears here:

Police investigate train attack on Jewish man

Police are investigating after a Jewish man was attacked and abused over his religion on a Melbourne train.
Danny Pollak, 27, was travelling from North Melbourne to Flinders Street station on Tuesday night when he was approached by a group of men.
Mr Pollak was wearing his yarmulke at the time and was hit on the head. "Unfortunately I'm used to people insulting me because I'm Jewish or because I'm wearing my yarmulke," he said. "But it's really the first time that I've actually been physically assaulted so I was really a bit shocked and shaken up by it."

Manny Waks from the Jewish Anti-Defamation Commission says such attacks are of great concern. "I think this is a worrying trend," he said. "We certainly don't want to sound alarmist because Jews in Australia do have it very good compared to some of our counterparts in Europe and the US, not to mention the Middle East, [but] this is a serious issue."
It concerns me that this young man feels that he is generally discriminated against because he wears a yamulka. My peers don't speak of being insulted because they appear obviously Jewish. But maybe things are a bit rougher out in the world these days for young people who attend Uni etc.

Whatever the case I hope the police act quickly and decisively to apprehend these thugs. In or easygoing Australian society no one should feel like a second class citizen in any way - and especially because of their religion and mode of dress.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Paranoia rears its ugly head...

It appears that the people running the new Yeshivah website are playing their usual paranoid games. What I am referring to is that when clicking on the link to that website on the previous post you are directed back to the Aussie Echo site. I heard on the grapevine that there have been some people registering false names, addresses etc on the new website. At least one or two of them have used the link from my blog. The paranoid ones have therefore decided that anyone who tries to access the new website from my blog is redirected back to Aussie Echo.

In reality I care little for their games. It has taken almost two years for this site to get "up and running" and meanwhile Emmanuel Althaus has been providing a free, valuable email service for the community. It will be interesting to see how long this new service lasts - maybe until Yeshivah stops paying the invoices.

Friday, May 25, 2007

New Yeshivah Centre Website

The new Yeshivah Community website has just been launched. The site is here and looks quite modern and inviting. One is able to register in order to receive notices ranging from school information to mazal tovs etc and general community information. There are also links on the site to pages with Personal Announcements, Community Announcements and the Shul timetable.

I don't know who is responsible for updating the information but it will need to remain fairly current in order to become and stay popular. At the present time I am still happy to rely on Emmanuel's emails.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Still Advertising!

Yeshivah is still advertising for a principal to replace Rabbi Glick. I like the wording of this ad a little better than some past advertisments. Hopefully someone good will be found soon.

The advert from (click on the ad for a larger view)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

and Forty Years of Mivtza Tefillin

I was remiss in not mentioning that this year also marks 40 years since the Rebbe initiated Mivtza Tefillin just before the Six Day War. As usual has some interesting and informative pages about the Tefillin Campaign in general and the 40th anniversary in particular.

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar, director of Aleph Institute,
dons tefillin with an inmate (approx 1981)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Forty Years of an Undivided Jerusalem

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren at the Kotel - 28 Iyar 5727

28 Iyar this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Liberation of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967 - commonly known as Yom Yerushalayim. When the Israeli troops finally captured the Kotel and the Old City of Jerusalem it was the first time in over 1900 years that the Old City was in Jewish hands.

I was pointed to a web site which seems to cover all aspects of the Six Day War called, believe it or not, This site covers the history of the period including the background to the war and also personal reminiscences. The site has a quote from Moshe Dayan, the famous general who was the face of this conflict at the time, regarding the liberation of Yerushalayim:
This morning, the Israel Defense Forces liberated Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to part from it again.

To our Arab neighbors we extend, also at this hour - and with added emphasis at this hour - our hand in peace. And to our Christian and Muslim fellow citizens, we solemnly promise full religious freedom and rights. We did not come to Jerusalem for the sake of other peoples' holy places, and not to interfere with the adherents of other faiths, but in order to safeguard its entirety, and to live there together with others, in unity.
It seems incongruous that a general - especially at wartime - would talk so strongly about peace with the enemy. It demonstrates Israel's strong desire for a secure and peaceful existence which, history seems to show, will only come about through Moshiach. May he come soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Would You Eat the Apple?

I just saw this video of an Australian comedy show which "features" Yossi Feldman in Sydney. The clip is sort of humourous. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Meshichisten Invade Lebanon

I got a good laugh from this story on COL:

Hezbollah Gratified by Conquest - of Lag Baomer Balloons
Balloons released by kids participating the lag Baomer parade organized by the Chabad House of Kiryat Shmona, landed on Hezbollah grounds in the nearby Lebanon. The balloons inscribed with the words, "We Want Moshiach Now", were given to children participating the parade organized by the shliach, Rabbi Yigal Tzippori. The television station of the Hezbollah proudly displayed members of the Hezbollah with the captured 'booty', trying to decipher the words written on the balloons, which they had, at first thought, were valuable IDF equipment.

Jake from Jerusalem (formerly Melbourne) reported this the other day in a comment on Mentalblog:
I haven't seen any 'net news reports, but on Israeli TV there was a brief mention of a cluster of yellow Moshiach balloons holding a sign, where the whole thing drifted off into south Lebanon. The Hezbollah insisted that it was part of an Israeli spy-attack plan, but the rest of us are having a good laugh. Curiously, both Hezbollah and Mashichistim claim the same yellow color...

A Request from Me

There have been a lot of comments on this blog over the last few days and I would like to ask those commenting to adhere to some basic rules. When you are posting comments it helps the flow of the discussion to keep the name you use the same every time. This makes it much easier to have a proper discussion about a subject as everyone knows who they are talking to. Of course, if people just want to use this to maliciously denigrate others then you can use as many aliases as you like - just be warned that I can tell who is posting using different names and will "out" them if I see fit. It's fun having control!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lag BaOmer Photos

Alex's Moshiach Car

COL has lots more photos from the parade in Melbourne yesterday. See them here.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lag Baomer Sameach!

This is a video advertising the parade and carnival in Crown Heights. They had some issues with the police granting a permit for their parade but that seems to be resolved now.

For more info about Lag BaOmer there is a great site setup by which has articles and audio about this day. Even Aussies get a look in - there is an article by Elisha Greenbaum and an audio lecture by Moshe New.

We should all daven that the (much needed) rain will hold off on Sunday for our parade and carnival.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rabbi Telsner News

Photo: Peter Haskin

Our new Rabbi Dayan, Zvi Telsner, is featured in this week's Australian Jewish News here.

His official induction is next Motzoei Shabbos, May 12th - click on the invitation above for a larger view.

Despite the typically heavy-handed way that Rabbi Telsner was appointed I believe that the community should give him a chance to prove himself. While he has only been here for a short time, in my opinion Rabbi Telsner has started out on a good note. He is involving himself in the day-to-day activities of the community and appears to be genuinely interested in making a difference to Chabad and Yiddishkeit in Melbourne.

Word is that his brief does not allow him to have any say in the running of the schools. To me this seems counterproductive as both Yeshivah and Beth Rivkah need the influence and example of a frum, chassidisher Rov. Hopefully I am mistaken and his advice and input will be taken by those that currently run those institutions.

Lag BaOmer 5767

This is a nice video retrospective of past Lag Baomer parades in Melbourne.

This Sunday, May 6th, Chabad Youth will be holding another Lag BaOmer parade starting outside Yeshivah at 11:00am. The fair will be held from 12:00 until 4:00pm in Princess Park (off Hawthorn Road at Maple Street).