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Yom Kippur prayers

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Prayers on Yom Kippur                                                           Wednesday 19 September 2018
Today we consider our own lives and the lives of the Jewish people in Sydney and beyond. We pray to the Almighty for His forgiveness of our many sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone. We come with humble hearts and eager desire to know and be known by Him. Because of Yeshua, this is possible.
There are prayer books and prayer shawls available. Use them during this Hour of Prayer as you feel led. There are moments of silence and times of corporate prayer where we pray the same prayers at the same time, but they are still ‘your’ prayers. We together seek God. We together want His Lordship over our lives. We together want so many things. 
Today, the Day of Atonement, we remove all the blockages and ask God to wipe our slates clean. Nothing is hidden that will not be exposed. He knows all things. 
Our prayer time will be composed of  1)Silence 2)Prayers of confession 3)Words …

God created the world; so what?

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-->God created the world. So what? By Bob Mendelsohn Given on Rosh Hashanah 5779 September 2018 Sydney Australia
To listen to this, click on this link. L’shana Tovah to you and all your family. Today marks the new year, 5779, and we in Australia are among the first in the world to celebrate this special occasion. I used to love this season of the year, and especially this holiday as it marked the end of the summer in the US where I grew up, and the start of a new sporting season for football, and school would begin where at times I was successful. At times my parents would purchase a new outfit or shirt for me to wear during this holiday season, and there was something about hearing the sound of the shofar which perked my ears to something eerie and wondrous. Maybe this is how you feel about now as well.  The rabbi would wear a white robe, the congregation and choir sang a bit more intensely, and the atmosphere was anticipatory. Something was going to happen, but we didn’t know what. I…

Farewell, Tattersall (a eulogy)

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These words were delivered at the Thanksgiving / Celebration service after the internment of my friend and another Jewish believer. Maybe the comfort intended will matter to you as well.

Given by Bob Mendelsohn
Saturday 18 August 2018

Tattersall Le’Aupepe (on the left) is not with us tonight. But we are all here tonight because of him. We are either related to him or have had a relationship with one of his relatives or with him particularly. And the testimony I’ve heard and will continue to hear, and will say myself, is that because of Tatts, we are better. Our lives are better. Our joy is fuller. Our love increased. 
He had a way of making us think of better things. He had a way of filling our lives with higher thoughts. When we would meet up, or talk on the phone, when we saw each other in person, whenever I intersected with Tatts, my life improved. I was better off for that intersection. 
Why was that? What did he know? How did he get that way? 
My mind flashes on two fishing boats ne…

Violence on the pitch

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This really has to stop. Sunday in Perth, one footballer struck another footballer in the mouth. It wasn't part of a play. It wasn't related to positioning, as the ball was over 100 metres away from the two of them. I didn't watch it live, but saw the replay last night and was shocked, but not completely. Saturday night I mentioned this to my friend Roger when we were out at the Sydney Cricket Ground watching our beloved Sydney Swans sneak by the Collingwood Magpies. What did I mention? That the roughhousing on the pitch has to stop. The pushing and shoving and swinging and hitting and .... is a mark of something, but it's not sportsmanship. I'm weary of it.

The man on the right, Andrew Gaff of the West Coast Eagles struck 19-year-old first-year player Andrew Bradshaw. Gaff broke his jaw. And several teeth are out of place. And the young abused Andrew will miss several matches. How many will Gaff miss?

What happened? What I see is not jockeying for position. What …

What did you go out to see?

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The alarm went off at 3:30. That's 0330. That's before 4 in the morning. That's early. And I didn't have work, or an appointment or anyone I had to meet. I had to go 20 kilometres away and be there by 4:15 am. I wanted to see the moon. Tonight it was full. And then the longest lunar eclipse of the century took place. I didn't see it all as the clouds barricaded the moon away from me for a time. 

Then it happened, the white moon turned blood red. They call this phenomenon the "blood moon." The moon was at its apogee (the farthest point in its orbit around Earth), so the moon actually appeared smaller in size. Unlike the Super Blue Blood Moon, where it appeared much bigger in size. 

Even so, the moon was extremely present, and dominant to the cloud-filled sky. At just the right time, the clouds rolled back and the white eclipsed moon, turned red. It was quite a sight to see. 

I had my camera and many lenses. I was ready. But really I wanted to enjoy the moment…

Random thoughts to ponder

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One-liners are often used in comedy by such greats as Henny Youngman and not-so-greats like Steven Wright. Calling us to think outside the box, and imagine things a different way. What about philosophic memes which abound on social media feeds in the last decade? They are fortune cookie commentary with accompanying artwork vying for my smile or acknowledgment of wrong.

In fact, any famous old one-liner could be nothing more than a cliché in modern vernacular. It takes two to tango. His bark's worse than his bite. Where there's smoke, there's fire. OK, you get it.

What about some of these? I encourage you to ponder... don't read quickly, but read one, and stop, pause, reflect, consider. Don't be in a hurry to repost or copy and paste or to dismiss either. And if you think you have seen one of these before, and maybe you are right, then know that I've taken these on board. I apologise for apparent forgery; there is nothing new under the sun. (There's another…

If I could speak with Ari Hershkowitz

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I had never heard of this man. Not until this year. The Times of Israel had a major article about him, and his departure from his religious roots. Anything about religion, especially the Jewish religion, often captivates me. Satmar Hasidim are a subset of ultra-Orthodox Jewish people and it was from them that this Ari Hershkowitz departed, leaving Brooklyn NY 3 years ago. The article is here.

He now calls himself a "culturally Jewish atheist." And gave up drugs and many other substances about 15 months ago. He revealed much about himself to Henry Greener from Melbourne on The Shtick. I remember Henry interviewing me there some years ago. He's a delightful man with keen insights.  (The Shtick - S53-05 Seg.3)

Ari is becoming well known in his own right, and he is one of the featured 'leavers' of Hasidic life in the movie/ Netflix documentary, "One of us." 

In an interview with three fellows online (Epistemic Ep. 18), Ari says, "For the record God hasn&#…