Monthly Archives: March 2008

Interesting new blog

There is an interesting new blog online which the author has kindly made me aware of:

Check it out, looks interesting. Read and enjoy 

Munkatch Simchas Bais Hashoeva

Anyone know where this tune comes from, sounds very familiar for some reason? Either way, it is a good niggun, so please enjoy! 

A lessen from a great philanthropist

I am posting a copy of a speach that was given recently  



The Art of Giving – Kevin Bermeister
 By Rabbi Benzion Milecki – Shabbat Ki Tisa, 5768
This past week, Mr Kevin Bermeister was honoured by Sydney’s Yeshiva Centre for his wide-ranging charitable work. As Kevin is a major supporter of South Head’s extensive programmes and activities, the Rabbonim, Board and Executive, as well as many members, joined in paying tribute to him.

After commending Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM and Rebbetzen Feldman for their substantial personal and financial contributions towards the Yeshiva Centre, Kevin spoke movingly on the Jewish concept of Tzeddakah.

Kevin’s words struck a deep chord in those who attended the dinner. I present a précis of his speech here in the hope that our readers too will be inspired


Thank G-d I am standing here tonight, but the truth is I don’t feel particularly worthy. I know that there are multitudes that devote their time and money without being recognized. Whether or not they believe in G-d, they go on tirelessly expanding their efforts towards the many positive causes that make our world a better place.

We see around us in this room people from all walks of life, but essentially this is about partnership. Partnership between those who are fortunate enough to be stable and secure in their lives and those that are not.

In the ancient Hebrew language, the word for charity is better defined in English as Justice. The Dictionary defines Justice as – the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.

One of the greatest miracles we witness through the advent of modern media is the increasing amount of charitable time and money dedicated by caring people from all walks of life. Although we are often too busy to notice the broader societal benefits, we are a better world because of it.

As science delves into the sub-atomic world that blends into and passes through our world, abstract theories of energies beyond the physical demonstrate that we are not independent of that which surrounds and encompasses us.

Our developing perspective provides insight to the era in front of us – an era in which deeper understanding leads us to practice even more kindness, more compassion, more tolerance and consideration. Justice – because we are one people, on one planet with nowhere else to go.

By now most of us realize man is powerless to achieve anything lasting and so we humans march on toward our collective state of being through which our global societies practice the art of selflessness, because we know no wiser alternative.

This is the greater Justice about which I speak tonight, but thoughts and words do not suffice. Actions are required by each and every one of us to increase the pace of change in our hearts and minds for better.

It is for that reason I raise before you tonight a simple ‘vessel’ – a Tzeddakah Box – a gift through which each day you can enact the giving that invokes Justice. Each gift will refine you – making you a better person and the world, a better place.

Put it somewhere you’ll notice – your home, your kitchen, your workplace or your board room – and make it your practice to start your day by donating any amount of money into it. And don’t forget to teach your kids to give too. There will be days when you look at it and choose to ignore it then there will be days you look at the money in your hand and think it is too much.

Challenge your actions in relation to this vessel every day and when it is full, give the money to a carefully considered worthy cause that will bring more Justice to the world. Your sensitive side already understands that each act of giving is vital!

However, when someone in need knocks on your door and asks, give, anything, never say no! It is unknown to any of us which act of giving will be the one that brings you and others in your life that which you hope and pray. And for those skeptics out there, it’s a punt worth taking because there is no downside risk to doing so.

Remember: the amount is not important; it’s the act of giving that is.

I want to thank, Beverley, the backbone of my life, for putting up with me for the past 30 years and my wonderful children Lisa, Adam and Nikki, my parents and parents-in-law, brothers, sisters, my greater family, business partners and partners in charity to all of you, thank you for being here and celebrating with us.

G-d bless you all.

A spark of light in the darkness

Why does it take a tragedy to see such achdus? 

Belzer Rebbe visits victoms in hospital 

Satmar Rebbe (Reb Aaron): Yeshiva Massacre, Sad Era for Klal Yisroel

* Update – Even though people will disagree with the following extract, I feel it shows a degree of compassion that until know has not been publicised and should be acknowledged." *

Neturei Karta Sends Pointed Condolences


Members of the extreme anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect wrote letters of condolences to the families of the victims.  Though the letter ends with the traditional consolation, 'May G-d comfort you among the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem,' it mainly uses the murders to justify Neturei Karta's anti-Zionist approach:

"Day and night over these past decades we have been pained and trying to prevent these terrible incidents in the camp of the Hebrews, because ever since the dispute and warring with the non-Jews began here in the Holy Land, they have been trying to avenge themselves with fury and wrath, and Jewish blood has been spilt like water all this time…  Perhaps at such a bitter time as this, the time has come to take stock and to say to the Angel of Death, 'Stop!'  Perhaps we have all been mistaken, perhaps we must recognize that our forefathers were correct during the 2,000 years of Exile in acting with the Gentiles by seeking only peace, mercy, and appeasement, and maybe we will then merit to have G-d sweeten our decree and prevent terrible calamities in the future among our brothers, the entire House of Israel.

"We well know that by our perpetual acts of seeking peace and submission to the Gentiles, we have been suspected by many among the House of Israel as having aided those who murder [us], Heaven forbid – but what can we do that we are commanded by the Torah to look ahead; in order to prevent terrible things and to save the nation, we are marching in 'the path of Exile'… We wish you from the depths of our heart [Divine consolation] and may G-d strengthen your shattered hearts and may you know no more pain."



See here for what appears to be the orginal source document)


It would not be appropriate if I did not publicly aknowledge the terrible, terrible tragedy that has just occured at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva. I really do not have anything to say, I just wish to publiclly express my profound sadness and wish solace to the families of those effected. I think we have to view this event as a wake up call and use it as a catalyst for introspection, a quest for a truer sense of priority purpose and ultimately teshuva.

And my the redeemer come onto Tzion, and let us say, amen.