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The Presence of God Amongst Us – Teruma 2014

The word Mikdash suggests something elevated, holy and aloof.  The word Mishkan implies neighbourliness and proximity.  In “The Presence of God Amongst Us” Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence examines the verse “They should build Me a Sanctuary and I shall dwell amongst them.”


 

The Business of Wellness – Mishpatim 2014

The Devil is in the details... After The Ten Commandments last week, we have 53 Mitzvot in Parshat Mishpatim, including core principles of health care.

If God is our Healer as stated in Exodus 15:26 do we have a need for Doctors? Maybe illness is our destiny? If so, how dare we interfere? On the other hand, if there is a duty to heal, can our wellness be someone else’s business?


 

Looking Beyond the Letters of the Law – Yitro 2014

There are 613 commandments in the Torah.  Ten Commandments were given at Sinai.  Much is made of them but are they more important than the rest.  What does God really want of our lives?


 

Tu BiShvat and The Tree of Life

The Jewish calendar has not one but four new years. Next week will see Tu BiShvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees. Why should the beginning of the agricultural tax year be considered a festive day? In “Tu BiShvat and the Tree of Life” Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence considers the symbolism and spirit of the season.



Va'eira - A God By Any Other Name

What You Know and Whom You Know

Judah's Appeal

Silence the Accuser





Shana Tova


A Reflection on Mirrors
The Midrash records an unusual disagreement between Moses and God over gifts to the Tabernacle.  Were the mirrors used by the Israelite women to preen themselves a welcome gift or an unacceptable tribute to vanity?  In A Reflection on Mirrors Rabbi Lawrence looks through the looking glass and into our hearts.




Zachor, the Language of Genocide:
Was King Achashverosh bad, boorish or bullied?  How Haman's solution to an ethnic problem became a decree of genocide and plunder.



The Business of Wellness
The devil is in the details... After The Ten Commandments last week, we have 53 Mitzvot in Parshat Mishpatim, including core principles of health care. If God is our Healer as stated in Exodus 15:26 do we have a need for Doctors? Is illness our destiny? If so, how dare we interfere? On the other hand, if there is a duty to heal, can our wellness be someone else's business?





The 10 Commandments
There are 613 commandments in the Torah.  Ten Commandments were given at Sinai.  Much is made of them but are they more important than the rest.  What does God really want of our lives?





Is God in our Midst?
In this dramatic parasha and despite the many miracles witnessed by the Children of Israel, they yet ask "is God in our midst?"  We cannot depend on miracles to sustain us.  Rabbi Lawrence looks at the Israelites' entreaty.  It is not a cry to God, but a call for unity.




"Fatwa against Christmas"?

An Orthodox Jewish comment on the reported "Fatwa against Christmas".  
How can adherents of one faith relate to the festivals of another?
  
While we must respect our differences, we should not overlook the common ground we share and the need to be good neighbours in God's world.




















Lost in Translation – The Tenth of Tevet 
The Fast of Tevet marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian ruler Nebbuchadnezzar. It is also associated with the writing of the Septuagint under Ptolemy. Just how should the Torah be translated? Into fine words or fine actions?
 



Spirituality & Wisdom – Parshat Mikketz 
His magicians and his wise men couldn't interpret Pharaoh's dreams of cows and ears of corn. Joseph's interpretation rang true and earned him Pharaoh's lavish praise. What was so immediately compelling about Joseph's presentation? Torah is the foundation of our knowledge and a guide in our lives. Success also requires a worldly wisdom through which we can apply and radiate our message.
 



What the Butler Saw – Parshat Vayeshev 
Joseph interprets the dreams of the Butler and the Baker. What do we learn from their visions and their fates? A Channuka message from Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence of The Great Synagogue, Sydney.



Pesach and Your Pets
Keeping a kosher Pesach isn't just about the food we eat or hide away. In this animation Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence & Rolo look at some of the halachos of feeding pets over Passover. Yes - you should look after your Paschal Puss and Pooch! Please do check with local kashrut agencies for the availability of product. Watch out for more Rabbi & Rolo animations ahead. Wishing you all a Chag Kasher veSameach.


A Pre-Pesach Thought

The Chatam Sofer explains that Hashem will listen to our needs when we are attentive to the needs of those around us. If you wish to support the charitable or Torah educational work of The Great Synagogue, Sydney, please e-mail me on rabbi@jay-el.com.