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May/June 2012

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Features

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Transcending The Physical

Coconut Oil: The Healthy Fat

How could they possibly fall asleep on the exact evening that they had been so eagerly anticipating for forty-nine days?! Rabbi Reuven Woonteiler

8

Everything is relative in the world of nutrition, and the type of fat you eat makes all the difference. Sheva Balkany- Freilich, BS

THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published bimonthlyand is distributed free to the Jewish Community of Melbourne THE COMMUNITY LINKS accepts no responsibility for typographical errors or reliability of Kashrus of any advertisers. All submissions become the property of THE COMMUNITY LINKS and may be shortened and/or edited for length and clarity. Articles published in THE COMMUNITY LINKS express the views of the individual writers and may not necessarily represent the views ofTHE COMMUNITY LINKS. No artwork or any part of the magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the publisher. Published By COMMUNITY LINKS MEDIA for MELBOURNE COMMUNTIY LINKS Printed by mpd – printing the news everyday Unit E1, 46-62 Maddox Street Alexandria NSW 2015, 2011

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12

Australian Voices for Israel

We have many Jewish communal groups in Melbourne and whilst they each fulfil an important role in their particular niche, none of them focus on delivering Israel’s message to the general Australian public.

Birthwell Birthright

14

To date, Lamaze International has certified over 11,000 childbirth educators around the world – although as far as I can tell, I am the only one in Australia! Tanya Strusberg

Alan Freedman

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TRANSCENDING THE PHYSICAL TO A HIGHER REALM By Rabbi Reuven Woonteiler

T

here is a beautiful custom that Jews observe on the holiday of Shavuos: we stay up all night studying the Torah. The simple reason for staying up is because when the Torah was given, the Jews fell asleep before dawn. We make a point of staying awake the whole night in order to rectify their mistake. The Lubavitcher Rebbe asks a question about this. After fleeing Egypt, the Jewish people counted the days in anticipation for when they would receive the Torah. How could they possibly fall asleep on the exact evening that they had been so eagerly anticipating for forty-nine days?! The Rebbe answers in his unique style, based on the Midrash, that Bnei Yisrael actually went to sleep in preparation for receiving the Torah. They mistakenly believed physicality was a contradiction to spirituality. They wanted to put their physical bodies to sleep in order for their souls to be able to receive the Torah. If this is the case, what was their mistake? Their mistake was in their understanding of the nature of physicality and spirituality. HaShem gave us the Torah in order to bind together this physical world with its spiritual source. We take an animal hide and we

6 MAY/JUNE 2012

prepare it properly, placing holy words of Torah inside the hide, thereby rendering it Tefilin. The Torah scrolls themselves are made out of animal hide. Chasidus teaches that HaShem desires a dwelling place in the physical world - the physical is a vessel for the spiritual. The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chasidic movement, whose birthday and yahrzeit are both on the first day of Shavuos, explains that a Jew has an advantage over an angel. In the middle of his workday, he tears himself away from earning his livelihood in order to pray the Mincha prayer. This act demonstrates the idea of taking the mundane, material world and elevating it spiritually. When Moshiach comes, we will see the ultimate plan that HaShem has; to make a dwelling place in this low physical world. As it says in a verse in the Torah, “all flesh shall see together the word of Hashem.” May Jews everywhere celebrate the holiday of Shavuos in an inspired yom tov spirit, and may we merit to see the fulfillment of HaShem’s desire to have a dwelling place for Himself in this physical world!

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Coconut Oil: The Healthy Fat Sheva Balkany, BS

Everything is relative in the world of nutrition, and the type of fat you eat makes all the difference. Fats are composed of a carbon chain backbone with hydrogen atoms bound to it. The length and structure of this chain is what distinguishes different types of fat. The fat in coconut oil has a shorter carbon chain, which the body can easily chop up and use for energy. Because the fat is being used for energy, it is not being stored in the body or building up plaque in the arteries. This makes coconut oil one of the best fats you can eat. Saturated fats like coconut oil are also extremely stable. Stable fats do not react with oxygen, which means they do not create free radicals (molecules that attack healthy cells, which can cause cancer). Any unstable oil that has been exposed to oxygen, heat, or light becomes rancid, which means it is chock full of free radicals. Stable oils do not go rancid, and are therefore healthier. 8 MAY/JUNE 2012

Coconut oil has therapeutic properties. It contains caprylic acid, which can help regulate the overgrowth of candida albicans, one of the root causes of yeast infections in women, thrush and earaches in babies, and athlete’s foot, among other disorders. It also moisturizes the skin, can heal acne, and helps with weight loss. And it tastes great! Use it to fry, bake, sauté, and in your smoothies. No storage instructions necessary- it will last a long time. For more about Healthy Fats “Getting the skinny on fat” Join us for an informative and interactive workshop and learn to choose the right fats and oils for a healthier life. Wednesday May 16 @ 457 Glen Eira Rd, Caulfield North 7:45-9:30 PM Light refreshments. $20 Please RSVP hevabalkany@gmail.com Sheva Balkany, BS is a dietitian based in Caulfield North. For individual and group sessions call 0478 074 866 TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031


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One Heart, Yet Many Faces at Merkos Women A home away from home, nestled among leafy trees in East St. Kilda suburbia, MerkosWomen is a unique seminary, unlike any other religious girls seminary in the world.

still keep the high going at the same time. You learn chassidus, but you're in the real world and you can take it with you and apply it to the rest of your life in a very real and balanced way."

It caters to both newly observant women, as well as those from varying religious backgrounds, at the same time. What unites the young women who study there is a genuine thirst for Torah learning.

According to Rabbi Hoch, each group of students benefits each other. For a girl from a more stronger background, they learn from the interest and internalised approach of the newly observant girls, as well as from their questions; while for those who come from a more secular background, they benefit from being exposed to a Chassidic lifestyle.

It's about everyone being a "baal teshuva" (returnee to Judaism), says Rabbi Yehudah Hoch, Dean of MerkosWomen. "For those that have made spiritual changes in their lives, this is automatic, but for the religious girls, they also have to leave the comfort of what they are brought up with and take a new journey and integrate a inner approach to Judaism into their lives," he says. MerkosWomen's open atmosphere and personalised approach, as well as their intensive learning program, attracts newly observant students looking for a authentic Jewish experience, as well as those from religious homes who want a unique Seminary Beis experience, where they can continue to learn full time yet keep engaged with the world and partake in outreach activities. Sheina Simpson* came to Merkos this year with no prior Jewish learning. She says, "as an introduction to religious Jewish life and learning, I couldn't have asked for any better. The program is tailor made for people with a real desire to learn and go beyond their capabilities, no matter what stage they're at. I learnt more than I had ever dreamed of, not only about practical Jewish life but also the spirituality and meaning behind everything. Each day at Merkos has been incredible, filled with life changing concepts. Our teachers cater to everyone's needs, strengthening where we're weak, going the extra mile to answer a question. Each individual's talents are pinpointed and enhanced, making a special seminary experience like no other." For Esther Edelkopf, who comes from a religious home in Monsey, MerkosWomen was the perfect bridge for her intensely spiritual experiences in Safed, where she studied last year and her future plans to study at university. After studying in Safed, Esther said, "I couldn't imagine going back into normal life right away and I heard about MerkosWomen, and it's actually been amazing as it's such a down to earth program but you

10 MAY/JUNE 2012

The Program & Dormitory The ethos of MerkosWomen are that women are just as capable as men as learning from the text. It's not just about a watered down, "cordial" Jewish experience, but rather it's about empowering women through education. It's about learning how to learn; going to the sources and making steady and gradual progress so that the foundations are strong. Merkos Women offers a variety of textual based core subjects, such as; Chassidus (the inner dimension of the Torah), Halacha (Jewish Law) and Chumash (Bible Studies) as well as extra curricular courses in personal development, including; education, counselling & home management classes. There is the option to learn full time, as well as part time and casually, for those who live outside the dormitory. MerksoWomen affords every Jewish woman, whether they have university or work commitments, the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic Jewish study, in a warm and supportive atmosphere. The dormitory is mainly there for those wishing to live the Jewish experience for an extended time, or for those who come from overseas. The dormitory is run by two madrichot (dorm counsellors) who dedicate themselves to looking after the girls needs spiritually and physically. The madrichot encourage all the students. If a student is struggling in a certain class, the madricha will tutor that particular girl until she is ready to join the mainstream class again. They also learn with any student who wants to cover a particular topic or sefer (book), not being taught in the regular program. For further information you can visit the MerkosWomen website at www.merkoswomen.com.au or email info@merkoswomen.com.au *Sheina Simpson is a pseudo name. TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031


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Australian Voices for Israel

By Allan Freedman There is a widely accepted narrative amongst much the general Australian public who know little of historical facts that holds that in the years after WW2, the Jews barged into someone else’s country, threw the local inhabitants out of their houses and stole their land. This untrue and unfair perception of Israel and the Israel-Palestine conflict unfortunately pervades much of the general public thanks to a predominantly leftist and often un-informed media which, apart from a few exceptions, has a tendency to report the conflict from the Palestinian perspective of ‘victimhood’. It seems that the Palestinians are the world’s favourite victims and it’s cool to support them. The most recent major incident was the Flotilla incident of May 2010 where many Australian people called radio stations to denounce Israel’s actions without knowing the true facts. This lack of awareness is simply unacceptable and requires urgent action. We have many Jewish communal groups in Melbourne and whilst they each fulfil an important role in their particular niche, none of them focus on delivering Israel’s message to the general Australian public. 12 MAY/JUNE 2012

For example, the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) does outstanding work but is primarily a lobby group whose aim is to influence politicians and senior media people in Israel’s favour. And whilst its material is of relevance to the wider public, it appears to present itself as a type of nongovernmental organisation rather than a community group. The Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) also does an excellent job but seems to speak mainly to the local Jewish community, predominantly on cultural issues but also incorporating some politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict. So where do average Australians get their information on Israel from? Unfortunately, it is usually from (1) the media, both print and electronic, that is often hostile to Israel, (2) groups like Australians for Palestine that present factually-distorted slurs, and (3) from a number of vocal Jewish defamers (and their groups) who take delight in supporting Israel’s enemies because their left-wing view of the world overrides any bond with the Jewish community and its connection with the land of Israel. Furthermore, letters written to the newspapers in support of Israel are simply not being published as much as they once were. TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031


What can be done? We believe it is time to step into the arena and begin to counter the de-legitimisation of Israel, and to offer some balance to the distorted information that many are currently receiving. A new organisation, Australian Voices for Israel (av4i) has been formed with the aim of promoting Israel’s cause directly to the Australian public, and whilst it will take a centre-right position with regard to Israeli politics, we intend to deal with issues in a bipartisan way with which both Liberal voters and Labor voters should feel comfortable. Like any liberal democracy, Israel makes mistakes and should not be immune to valid criticism when deserved, and av4i does not intend to whitewash all Israeli actions. However, the reality is that most criticism is based on distorted facts, bias, and even antiSemitism. We aim to present the truth with accurate, factual information about Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. We launched the organisation in September last year and were delighted to have Christopher Pyne, MP deliver the inaugural address. Christopher is one of the original members of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel and described the processes involved for politicians to express their support for a range of causes. Australian Voices for Israel is looking for the involvement of interested people from four overlapping sectors of the Australian community: • People experienced in Israel advocacy , written and/or verbal, or interested in becoming active; • People experienced in running communal organ-

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isations (including fundraising); • Academics and professionals, many who have had their voices stifled in trying to support Israel; • University students and young people who are interested in developing their interest in this area. Australian Voices for Israel is an initiative of Alan Freedman and some colleagues who have been active in Israel advocacy for many years. As individuals, many of the people in this group have been prolific writers of letters to the Australian mainstream media and participants in talk-back radio, as well as protesting to the various media outlets (such as the ABC, Fairfax) when a bias against Israel has been blatantly displayed— and unfortunately this happens all too often! The Israel advocacy work of these people is all done on a voluntary basis who frequently share information and liaise with each other, mainly via the internet, and who have the support of various official communal organisations in Melbourne and elsewhere. We need the support of the community in a variety of ways to ensure the success of this project: physical, financial, and particularly if you have any particular skills that could be utilised to spread the truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict. We are building a data base of interested people, and periodically email information and articles of interest to our mailing list – anybody wanting a registration form can contact Australian Voices for Israel at info@av4i.org.au or Alan can be reached at 0412 952229.

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By Tanya Strusberg Almost three years ago, when I was expecting my first child in Israel, one of the first things I did was find out where I could do a prenatal course in English. While my Hebrew was good, I definitely didn’t want any “lost in translation” moments when it came to learning about something as important as the birth of my first baby! My husband and I attended an amazing Lamaze course taught by leading childbirth educator, Rachelle Oseran in Jerusalem. We learned so much from attending her course and made some incredibly special friendships with the other couples who attended as well. Like most women, I found my first birth challenging, but thanks to taking the course, I also felt emotionally prepared for this most lifechanging of experiences. One year later and I found myself back in the delivery unit, this time with baby number two! Once again, all the amazing things I had learned with Rachelle helped me through the labour and we were blessed with a beautiful little girl and a sister for our son. While I was at home with my two young children, I found myself re-assessing everything. Did I want to be a stay-at-home mum or did I want to return to work? Well, I wanted the best of both worlds to be honest! I wanted to be there for my children at all their important milestones, but I also wanted to have a job that made me feel like I was doing something really important and meaningful and that would allow me to have a positive impact on other people’s lives. And that’s when Rachelle entered my life again. She sent me an email to see if might be interested in training to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. After almost three decades teaching Lamaze in Israel and being the only Lamaze teacher in the country, Rachelle felt that it was critical that new educators be trained. I jumped at the opportunity and soon found myself studying in the same room where not so long ago, I had been sitting as a heavily pregnant and utterly bewildered woman! Being part of the first group of a new generation 14 MAY/JUNE 2012

of Lamaze Childbirth Educators was so exciting. Our group was as diverse as the modern State of Israel, but what we all shared in common was our passion to promote a natural, healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. While Lamaze education might be new to most Australians, Lamaze has in fact been around for over 40 years. Lamaze practices are based on the best, most current medical evidence available and can help reduce the use of unnecessary interventions and improve overall outcomes for mothers and babies. Millions of pregnant women have achieved their desired childbirth outcomes using Lamaze practices. People often ask me what the difference is between a hospital childbirth education course and what I offer with a Lamaze course. Hospital classes, while very useful and informative, tend to be very large and quite impersonal. The information they present is also generally quite one-sided and they leave very little, if any time for discussion, questions and practicing a wide variety of comfort techniques which can make an enormous difference to you during your labour. Having my children in Israel was very special and I remember feeling so excited seeing all the other Jewish couples in our Lamaze class. While we might have all come from very different backgrounds, we also had a lot in common and that made it all the more comforting. When we moved back to Australia a few months ago, I felt very strongly that I wanted to offer a Lamaze course for the Jewish community so that couples here could enjoy the experience I had, knowing there is a shared sense of community spirit and support. Ultimately, I would love to develop it even further and work with some of our community’s religious leaders who could add a spiritual depth and dimension to the program, making it a truly unique offering for the Melbourne Jewish community. Educator (LCCE) and member of the National Association of Childbirth Educators (NACE). She recently returned to Melbourne after living in Israel for a number of years. She and her husband Doron have two beautiful children, Liev and Amalia. A new Lamaze course is starting in June. To learn more about birthwell birthright or to book in for a course, please contact Tanya on 0422 067 985 or email tanya.strusberg@gmail.com You can also visit www.birthwellbirthright.com TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031


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`téxÄ gÉä4

Miriam’s Recipe Corner

Engagements Sarah Rubin to Adam Khudoznyk Gila Parkes to Matan Gold. Shlomi Revah (former Hesder Bachur) to Rivkah Kashini. Chaya Batya Lev to Mark Baranov Tal Marom to Alisha Azoulay

Baby Boy Dovid and Devory Yelen Moran and Nathan Bird Josh and Avigail Wonder

Baby Girl Rabbi Shlomo & Yael Sprung Rabbi Ami and Zisa Meyers

Melbourne, Australia

Send us your mazel tovs to info@communitylinks.com.au

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012 Light Candles at: 4:59 pm ••• FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012 Light Candles at: 4:54 pm ••• SATERDAY, MAY 26, 2012 Light Candles after: 5:54 pm ••• SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2012 Light Candles after: 5:54 pm ••• FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2012 Light Candles at: 4:51 pm ••• FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2012 Light Candles at: 4:50 pm ••• FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012 Light Candles at: 4:49 pm ••• FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012 Light Candles at: 4:50 pm

Coriander and Cheese Flatbreads Why not try something new this Shavuos? These flat breads are salty from the halloumi cheese and are best eaten with a little unsalted butter, mixed with chopped raw garlic, or with a bowl of yogurt sprinkled with garlic, and with spring onion, cos or romaine lettuce and cucumber slices

Ingredients Makes 10 4 1/2 cups flour 2 x 7g packets easy blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast 1 tsp sugar 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped 4-6 tsp chopped fresh coriander 3-5 tbsp dried onion flakes 1 cup water (7 fl oz) 4 tbsp natural (plain) yogurt 3 tbsp olive oil 250 g/ 9 oz halloumi cheese, finely diced Directions 1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, chives, coriander and onion flakes in a bowl, mixer or food processor. Add the water, yogurt, and oil and mix to form a dough. 2. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth. Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in it, cover with a clean dishtowel and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size 3. Turn the dough on to a slightly floured surface and punch down with your fists. Knead in the cheese, then knead for a further 3-4 minutes 4. Preheat the over to 220c/425f. Divide the dough into 10 pieces (please note: there is no need to separate bread, like we do with Challah baking because the flour is not more than 1230 grams the amount needed to separate dough and make a blessing). Shape each piece into a flat round about 1cm/1/2 inch thick. Place the dough rounds on non-stick baking sheets and leave to rise for about 10 minutes, or until doubled in size. 5 Bake the flat bread for about 15 minutes until they are risen and golden brown. Enjoy!

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Do you have a gemach/ community service that you would like to advertise in Community Links?Please email them to chanie@communitylinks.com.au and we will print it in the next issue of Community Links Whether it's Yom Tov, Shabbos, school, work or at home - get ready with Junees New York. Great Modest Fashion @ Unbeatable Prices. Call Tanya 0405269966 COMMUNITY LINKS

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1. The car license plate has flipped over. 2. A Jerusalem flag has been changed to an Israeli flag. 3. A crosswalk sign is missing. 4. The white stripe on the curb is longer. 5. The trees in the background are now one large tree. 6. The street lane stripes are missing. 7. The cars hubcap has changed to one solid piece. 8. A man’s has one sleeve longer than the other. 89. A street sign is missing. 10. One of the Israeli flags is missing.

qq qq qq qq qq CHANGES KEEP SCORE

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Send it to us at Double take your picture.

Israelis stand for a moment of silence on Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance day in Jerusalem.

Can you spot the differences in these two pictures?

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Melbourne Community Links -Shavuos 2012  

Melbourne Community Links -Shavuos 2012

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