Have You Sold Your Chametz

31/03/17 10:43:30


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Dear [first_name],

The preparation for Pesach, more frenzied than that for all other festivals combined, finds its culmination as family and guests gather around the seder-table. Tranquility and calm replace the mad rush of the previous weeks. Seder (order) has been restored... or so we think. Just as we are ready to commence this much anticipated meal, a tiny squeak is heard from the direction of the youngest of the fraternity. And with the question "Why is this night different? " attention is drawn to the strange assortment of foods and relishes on the table.

"Order, is this what you people call order? What normal people eat matza, charoset and maror or do any of the other weird and wonderful things you are gearing up to do this evening?"

There is an old Yiddish folk-saying "Bei Yidden es is nishto kein seder." There is no seder (order) amongst Jews. They no sooner embark on the seder (order), and the child asks "Why is this night different?"(1)

There would seem to be more than a grain of truth in this saying. The Talmud says, "This nation is compared to the stars and compared to the dust, when they rise, they rise to the heavens; when they sink, they sink to the dust."(2) Greater than others, less than others... yes! Equal, normal, ordinary...no!

During our glorious yet tortuous history we have risen to heights unequaled by any other nation or people...but we have also been trampled underfoot by all other nations and people. We are a nation which has given the world so much, yet has suffered so much in return.

If the lofty concept of morality exists, it is due to the Jews; and if the degrading concept of holocaust exists, then that too is due to the Jews.

In his mad rantings to his friend Rauschning, Hitler, yemach shmo, put it this way:

"It is true we are barbarians. That is an honored title to us. I free humanity from the degrading suffering caused by the false vision called conscience and ethics... They are Jewish inventions. The war for domination of the world is waged only between the two of us...the Germans and the Jews..."(3)

Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher, saw Jews as the cultural force that had overthrown the natural order of might makes right, the law of the jungle. What is known as Western civilization and morality, he claimed, are in reality perversions of natural law and a violation of the ideal human order of domination of the strong for no other reason than the fact of their strength (4).

The Jew tries to raise Man from the ugly "natural order" of the survival of the fittest to a "superorderly" morality which alone can make him Human. But Man, not yet ready to be elevated, denigrates the Jew and subjects him to a "suborderly" existence. Either way, the Jew knows no order. Superorder, suborder...yes! Order...no!

And yet, in spite of all the above, in spite of millennia of historical precedent, the Jew still persists in a stubborn struggle for acceptance, for normalization, for order.

The assimilationist Jews of Germany saw the baptismal font as a carte blanche for their integration into society. It was an acceptable price to pay for "normalization", for "order" . The assimilationist Jews of Russia saw the "Jewish Problem" as a product of a bourgeois class system. Once we break down the barriers, they said, the Jews will be like everyone else...normal.

The capitalist Jews of Germany and the communist Jews of Russia each sought to solve this so-called "Jewish Problem" in their own way, the Germans through making the Jews "ordinary" Germans, the Russians through making the Jews "ordinary" people. Certainly they achieved something. People ostensibly stopped being anti-Jewish, Jewishness being associated with a religious system to which the Russian and German Jewish assimilationists no longer adhered. This was instead replaced with a hatred based on stock and race - antisemitism . And with this new label came a level of suffering and degradation which within a few years surpassed that of all of the previous three and a half millennia of Jewish suffering combined.

The German Jews and the Russian Jews had each forgotten that for Jews there is no "order".

But there have been highs as well as lows. After our extraordinary survival of two thousand years of dispersion, we were finally able to re-establish sovereignty on Jewish soil. In a miraculous string of victories, Israel, that mite amongst the nations, has proven herself superior to the might of over a hundred million Arabs. "When they rise, they rise to the heavens.(2)"

What a glorious opportunity for Jewish revival, for Jewish self-expression, for Jewish development!

Yet in spite of the extraordinary heights and depths of the last half-century, heights and depths which prove beyond all doubt that we are not an ordinary people, there are still those of our brethren clamouring for us to become a nation like all other nations (5), that Israel become a secular country where Jews happen to reside, rather than a Jewish country. People who, like Gershon Shocken, one-time editor of the well-known Israeli daily "Ha-aretz", say that for Israel to survive there must be a removal of the prohibition against intermarriage, there must be a complete integration of Jews and Gentiles. Only this, they claim, is consistent with the spirit of the New Israel.

They say this in the hope of "normalising" the Jews, of solving what to them is the "Jewish Problem". They take no heed of the fact that what was once anti-Jewishness and later replaced by anti-semitism, now goes under the guise of anti-Zionism in absolute defiance of any attempts at normalisation. When the Jew attempted to assimilate religiously and socially his escape was blocked by anti-Jewishness being replaced by anti-Semitism. When the Jew attempts to assimilate nationally, "to become a nation like all other nations", his escape is blocked by antiZionism. The pariah status of the Jew as an individual has been replaced by the pariah status of Israel as state. The Jews are simply not a normal people. Amongst Jews, there is no order!

So let us learn the lessons of history, let us forsake this quest for "normalisation, for "ordinariness", for "acceptance" amongst the nations, and let us accept instead our role as G-d's "special people(6)", as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation(7)". Let us accept our role as a special and separate people with a special and separate Torah, while at the same time continuing to impart morals and ethics to all of mankind so that Man can eventually discover his Divinely human image. It may be a role which has at times been plagued with tragedy and frustration, but it is our role, and the only (8) possible role for a Jew. It may be an extraordinary goal, but let us not forget that we are an extraordinary people.

On this festival of Pesach, this occasion of the birth of the Jews as a nation (9), I wish all of you increased sense of Jewish identity, speciality and mission.

With best wishes for a good Shabbos on behalf of the Rebbetzin and all of us at South Head,

Rabbi Benzion Milecki OAM 

Extended Family
Rabbi Dr. Israel Drazin

So I put on my uniform and went there. During the farbrengen, one of the chasidim came over and said that the Rebbe wanted me to join him on the dais. When I came up, the Rebbe spoke to me in a mixture of English and Yiddish, which I understood. He blessed me to be “a chaplain in God’s army” and then he said something startling:Read More

Parasha Sheet
Parashat Vayikra

Q: When we look at the word ‘Vayikra’, the very first word in Parashat Vayikra, we can see that the last letter of the word, the Alef, is unusually small and not the same size as the rest of the letters in the word Vayikra. Why is this so?

A: Moshe knew that he was a special person. He was the leader of the Jewish people. He was the only person who was able to speak to Hashem ‘face to face’. Yet Moshe felt very humble. In fact, he felt more humble than any other person. Moshe remained humble in his own eyes, in the presence of Hashem and in the presence of the Jewish people. Moshe would say, ‘Hashem has given me a special gift. If Hashem had given these gifts to another person than he would be a much better leader than me’.Read More

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This Week
Erev Shabbos, March 31 (Nisan 4)
6:45a Shacharis
10:03a Latest Shema
5:42p Earliest Candle Lighting
6:15p Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat
6:35p Candle Lighting

Shabbos, April 1: Vayikra (Nisan 5)
9:00a Shacharis
6:35p Mincha
7:28p Havdalah

Sunday, April 2 (Nisan 6)
8:00a Shacharis
9:03a Latest Shema
6:15p Earliest Shema

Monday, April 3 (Nisan 7)
6:30a Shacharis
9:03a Latest Shema
5:55p Mincha
6:14p Earliest Shema

Tuesday, April 4 (Nisan 8)
6:45a Shacharis
9:04a Latest Shema
5:55p Mincha
6:12p Earliest Shema

Wednesday, April 5 (Nisan 9)
6:45a Shacharis
9:04a Latest Shema
5:55p Mincha
6:11p Earliest Shema

Thursday, April 6 (Nisan 10)
6:30a Shacharis
9:04a Latest Shema
5:55p Mincha
6:10p Earliest Shema

Erev Shabbos, April 7 (Nisan 11)
6:45a Shacharis
9:04a Latest Shema
5:25p Candle Lighting
5:45p Mincha

Mazal Tov to Laurence Schwartz & Lara Nurick on their engagement; to parents Raymond & Janine Schwartz and Matthew & Averil Nurick; to grandmothers Clarice Schwartz, Hazel Crown, Shirley Nurick and Edna Zolin

Mazal Tov to Deborah Lurie & Brandon Rieders on their recent marriage; to parents Eddie & Shamara Lurie and Brad & Amy Rieders; to grandparents Selwyn & Moyra Blumberg and Ethne Lurie


Mazal Tov to Anna Guth & Ryan Hoffman on their recent marriage; to parents Sue Guth and Mark & Lee Hoffman; to grandparents Ruth Finkelstein and Julien Karney.

The consecration of the late Michael Joshua Emanuel ע׳ה will take place on Sunday, April 9 at 11.00am at Rookwood Cemetery
Happy Jewish Birthday to...
Danny Cohen
Gerald Camberg
Leslie Cohen
Stephanie Friedlander

Asher Levin
Bruce Kluk
Lilian Deitz
Myriam Sebban
Natalie Borstein
Nikki Ehrlich
Rachel Joffe
Robert Wayne
Shannon Mayer
Steven Langman
Yehuda Daniel Kleiner
Yehuda Maynard
Yossi Sebban
Zac Jacobson

Barbara Mann
Galya Greenwald
Matthew Meyerson
Natanya Eskin Gross
Tal Levin

Liat Friedgut
Michael Butnaro
Selwyn Sack
Susan Chonowitz

Dudley Jacobs
Gregory Brown
Maxum Ellerine
Rachel Klein

Barry Meskin
Ronnete Maryanka
Solly Abkin

Benedict Bard
Hazel Stein
Joshua Becker
Merrylin Goodman
Sherel Levy
We wish "long life" to...
Irma Levett for mother Frieda Eltis
Lara Garfinkel for great uncle Eli Kellner

Beatrice Jacobs for mother Nellie Leibovitz
Daphne Simon for father Abe Bloom
Helen Meyer for mother Lusha Goldberg
Jodi Kofsky for mother Gwen Heiman
Lorraine Bader for mother Nellie Leibovitz
Sydney Ryan for son David Ryan
Terry Diamond for father Solomon Diamond

Gerald Camberg for grandmother Millie Camberg
Jonathan Anstey for mother Esther Crowley
Judy Maynard for grandmother Margaret Rev
Roland Nagel for uncle Maurice Weiss

Anthony Jankelow for father Sidney Jankelow
Audrey Simmons for mother Dora Treisman
Julie Wechsler for mother Clara Berk
Mervyn Cohen for mother Sonia Miriam Cohen
Norman Santer for father Charles Santer
Peter Grossman for father Leslie Grossman

Henya Milecki for grandfather Elchonon Dov Ber Morozov
Joe Gluck for mother Rosalia Gluck
Katherine Miller for mother Iris Schuck
Keith Masnick for family Ethel Benson
Nolan Goldstein for grandfather Maurice David Goldstein
Shmuel Abrahams for mother Ethel Abrahams
Susie Wise for father Joseph Kaufmann

Bruce Kluk for mother Lorna Celia Kluk
Jack Fisher OAM for Brother Sam Fisher AM
Nissa Niasoff for father Aron Kestecher

Mark Ray for father Bela Ray
Saul Samra for friend Ethel Newnham
South Head Sandra Bransky Library & Youth Synagogue

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