Reflections on Yom Kippur

Having emerged from a wonderful Aseret Yemei Teshuva and a great opportunity to refocus on those things that are truely important, I’d like to share some observations.

First of all, as many in Perth have been accustomed to for decades, the remarkable energy and strength of Rabbi Shalom Coleman is nothing short of inspirational.  Officiating at the Maurice Zeffert Home, Rabbi Coleman led Kol Nidre and Neilah with real koach.  Perth would not be what it is today without Rabbi Coleman.  We are most fortunate that he still fulfills an active role amongst us.

Secondly, the addition of new Rabbinical leaders in our Shules is also a signal of change and growth.  The Northern Suburbs Hebrew Congregation engaged Rabbi Brown for Yom Tov and we are hoping for a more permanent arrangement to emerge.  The Perth Hebrew Congregation welcomed Simon Lawrence, and Dianella Shule welcomed Rabbi Eitan Cahn.  This new and enthusiastic leadership holds great potential, particularly for the youth of our community. 

Thirdly, despite the wonderful array of tefilot and shule services that were extended to Jews in Perth over Yom Tov, our institutions are not at capacity.  There are not hundreds, but thousands of Jewish people in Perth who are disenfranchised enough not to be in a Synagogue on Yom Kippur.  There are people with Jewish heritage who have no inclination to connect to that heritage.  There are people who will acknowledge their Jewish identity but segregate themselves from religiously focussed communal connections.  There are people who are Jewish, but too ashamed of their lack of knowledge to take that first step forward.  We all have a big job to do.

Finally, on a lighter note, has anyone noticed a change in trend for Yom Kippur footware?  Back in the eighties it was all about bedroom slippers.  In the nineties it was all about sneakers.  And in this decade its is the latest in croc fashion that accompanies the Yom Tov suit.  The greater the clash of colour, the greater the need for repentance.

Wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead and Chag Succot Sameach.