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Rabbi's Shabbat Message

It has now been one week since the murderous terrorist act in New Zealand and we are still reeling from what happened in our (usually) peaceful part of the world. The news from Israel has also been devastating, with a brave, young IDF soldier, Staff Sgt. Gal Keidan, and father-of-twelve, Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, both brutally murdered in cold blood. Our hearts are heavy. May Hashem have mercy on His people and grant strength and peace of mind for all humankind. Amen.


Here at The Central Synagogue, each of our Purim events was infused with joy. We began with our family-friendly Purim Carnival last Sunday which was just so vibrant and replete with shining, happy little faces. A sincere thank you to the entire Hineni team, Elie and Karin for your collective dedication and hard work to realise this vision!  

Purim Fest ’19 for Young Adults was a smashing success with over 300 in attendance – it was so special to connect with university-age students over this festive chag, -and our Megilla -and Lunch in the City, held at Arnold Bloch Leibler, was well attended and was a positive Purim platform – corporate-style! All in all, Purim was meaningful and such fun for Shule members of every age and stage!

This evening, we are excited to host comedian extraordinaire, Ashley Blaker at our Central Young Adult Shabbat Dinner. He has been described as “John Oliver in a Yarmulke,” – we can’t wait!

Believe it or not … Pesach is now only one month away! Chanie and I look forward to welcoming you, along with your dear families to join us in Shule and also at Central’s Second Night Seder (Save-the-date: April 20.) We have so many exciting events and initiatives planned surrounding this Festival of Freedom, we can’t wait to share them with you!


With Purim in mind this week, I was thinking: When G‑d took the Children of Israel out of Egypt, the entire population, from Giza to Gaza, marveled at the miracles performed by the G‑d of the Hebrews. When a small jug of oil burned for eight days over Chanukah, even the most skeptical Hellenist agreed it was an act of G‑d. These were overt displays … and yet, in direct contrast, Purim is unique in that the most miraculous of salvations was effectively shrouded beneath nature, luck and coincidence. G‑d was hidden and remained concealed, in fact, His name does not appear once in the entire Megillah!

Purim is a masquerade, yet one with tremendous joy and depth. In our home, even Chanie’s jam filling is barely visible amidst the triangular folds of dough of her sweet hamentaschen!
It’s powerful to celebrate overt miracles as seen on Pesach and Chanukah. Yet from Purim, we come to appreciate just how exhilarating it is to have an awareness that often things we think we see can be mere illusions, or as the French say, a trompe l’oeil, a trick of the eye. The truth is that G‑d’s hand -always flies the plane, so to speak, even if we are certain it is cruising on autopilot! Purim opens our eyes to that and so much more!

May G-d continue to look after us all in good health, both mental and physical!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Levi and Chanie Wolff