Which have I encountered this Month?


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Students are "on" in Rabbi Sheryls Classes!

Multiple Choice Question:

a) You ARE a Pirate Rabbi!

b) Is there a required uniform for Female Rabbis? What about the shoes?

c) This is a No Sheryl Day.

d) Rabbi, Jesus would be PROUD of you!

e) Mom, can I have more rice and soybeans?

f) All of the above

Well, I’m having way too much fun with interfaith work AND I seem to be keeping the kids reasonably healthy.  We had a pleasant Fourth Friday Shabbat Evening last weekend.  Our growing Multifaith Spirituality Exploration Group reflected a broader range of spiritual backgrounds delving into “Why Bad things Happen to Good People”. Our “Nice Jewish Boy: Jesus in 1st Century Judea” met with enthusiasm from scores of Pentecostal listener / participants as well.  NEXT UP: “Judaism Myths and Facts” in Wembely Downs this Sunday 1 July at 11:00 am.  Interested?  Contact me for details, or to schedule a similar dialogue in your community!


What A Weekend-Plus Ahead!


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Prays well with othersFrom Friday Night’s “Fourth Friday” Sabbath Celebration, to Sunday Afternoon’s Philosophical Multifaith Meet-Up to Monday Evening’s  Hot Topic: Jesus in his Jewish Context Class– we have an amazing weekend-plus ahead of us!  Join us for any or all of our celebrations and explorations.  Basic information is in our calendar, and you can always send me an e-mail to RSVP and get all the details!

Who gets the Blessing? Find out in “Bible From the Beginning” Studies!


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Seven years ago, a few of us started studying “Bible from the Beginning” and we’re still going strong and welcoming all to join us on our On-Skype, Multi-faith, Scriptural journey.  Currently

Isaiah 19

we’re learning from Isaiah– who may surprise some of us from time to time.  As we continue our search from Chapter 18 today at 2:15 pm, Western Australian Time (11: 15 pm Sunday night, in California) we’ll discover who gets Divine Blessing, according the prophet; Israel, Assyria, or perhaps Egypt…?  To be part of the discussion (along with our regular participants:  the Franciscan Monk, Art Historian, Montessori-Social Activist, New Testament Expert and friendly “Reconstrucodox” Rabbinic Facilitator) just send a message.  Let me know if you’d like to join us today or in future weeks or if you have any questions.

Perth Yiddish Alert!


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Vas Mackst a yid? A graduate student friend of mine is doing a research project into Yiddish Language Speaking and Learning in Perth Western Australia.  She is currently trying to ascertain how  many Yiddish speakers there are in Perth, and  how many Yiddish classes.  If you are, or know anyone who is, a Perth Yiddish speakers (or even kibbitzer) or you know of any current (or past) classes, please e-mail her at   bethiablond2@gmail.com.  א גרויסן דאנקא און גוט שבת A groysen dank un Gut Shabbus!

We all count, but…


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We all count, but do we each count in the same way?  Consider:  since the second night of Passover Jews world-over have been counting the Omer.  We follow the biblical guideline to literally count seven sets of seven weeks; at the completion of our 49 day count-down, we arrive at Shavuot and celebrate receiving Torah.  This counting, like a form of mindfulness, reminds us to make an accounting of each day, and to make each day count.  In my home, counting at the dinner table before dessert forces us to anticipate sweet possibilities.

Image result for star wars shabbat imageNow my son dutifully participates, but in fact, another force is at play in a

different count-down for him.    He is counting the days until International Star Wars Day – yes, May Fourth (Groan…May the “Fourth” be with you…).  So that’s my family.  We all count in overlapping, yet distinctive ways!  An how do we blend it all together?  Well, all are welcome to join us South of the River for our next JSA Shabbat Evening Celebration on May the Fourth at 6:00 pm…amongst the Jedi, it promises to be a Shabbat knight a Shabbat night to remember!  For exact location, bring & share details and supporting JSA, contacting me could be a light-saber life-saver 🙂

Homes Sweet Homes


IMG_1674Travels in Israel in the last months were simply amazing.  Micah, who became Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem, said we were in Israel two years: 2017 and 2018!  While he is technically correct, it really was the end of one year and the beginning of the next- but beginnings and endings and time all feel a bit different in Israel and with the ones we love.

Now the kids are back in school and my teaching has started again.  We’re all back in Perth and we’re all home again, but with a much keener appreciation and love for both landing back home again and for the ability to go back again and again to our homeland.  Wishing all a sweet Shabbat and welcoming all to an Havadalah Celebration tomorrow in Perth South of the River – be in touch for details!  Shabbat Shalom!

Hanukkah Happenings 2017!


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Happy Hanukkah!  Here’s what’s up in Perth < Chanukkah 2017 > join us for some or all and contact me for details about our Jewish Spirituality Australia Hanukkah Happening in Fremantle for the Second Candle, Wednesday 13 December at 6:30 pm (bring & share veggie dinner with contributions from $5 to $50 as you value and can afford).  Happy Hanukkah…or is that Chappy Chanukkah or….:-).  And if you are looking for a gift for someone who has everything…you might want to give a gift of music by making a contribution to this exciting project as a gift of meaning for “someone who has everything.”   It supports a project by an Israeli Kibbutz Friend who is making a musical CD to enhance Jewish spiritual practice.  Check it our, and many you enjoy much Chanukkah De-Light!



A Shabbat of Thanksgiving and Pride


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This Shabbat, join students giving thanks for so many blessings – including SEVEN YEARS of shared Torah Study! In 2011 a small group formed to explore a chapter per week of Torah.  Monday nights became a sacred-skype-study night culminating only days ago with the final word of Deuteronomy- lovingly linked to the first letter of Genesis.  Tomorrow’s Shabbat will be a “siyum” giving thanks for our shared learning.  Contact me for details to join us in Perth for our musical, prayerful, grateful veggie bring and share Shabbat.  We’ll be north of the river and accepting support of 50 cents to 50 dollars as you value and can afford. AND…

…We’re thankful for the outcome of the Marriage JSA Gay Pride 2Equity Postal Vote.  Celebrate the outcome at this year’s Perth Pride Parade walking with the Jewish Contingent.  The Jewish Contingent will meet at 7:45 pm Saturday 25 Nov. in Northbridge on Brisbane Street (between William and Beaufort Streets- by the park).  Some Friends of Jewish Spirituality will be there as early as 7:30 pm; the parade starts at 8:00 pm.

Our Message: The More Understanding, the More Peace


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Prays well with othersYou are invited to our Multi-faith Spirituality Exploration Group (“M’SEG” – our message is ‘The More Understanding the More Peace’) as we gather on Sunday – July 23 July 4:00 to 6:00 pm in Victoria Park, Western Australia.

Each time we meet we will explore a new topic. We sit at tables with about 6-8 people per table. Two speakers explore the topic at hand from the perspectives of their traditions for about 15 minutes.  After that, all others introduce themselves to their table and then speak for about five minutes to share their perspectives on the subject, leading to conversation on the session’s topic.

Our gatherings welcome everyone’s involvement; we hope to get to know others from different traditions, as well as those who have no affiliation.  We provide a context to discover, appreciate and celebrate our differences as well as our similarities…and we DO NOT aim to convert others to our point of view.

Topic: Men, Women and Religion

Date: Sunday July 23    Time: 4.00-6.00 pm    Charge: $10

Place: For exact location in Victoria Park, please e-mail here by Friday 21 July, 4:30 pm.

Topics for future meetings might include: faith, grace, ritual, sin, sexuality, love your neighbor, asceticism – but feel free to suggest a topic to us. We also need people to speak – especially from an Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or other perspective. Non-clerics are especially welcomed to speak.



Saying Good-Bye to Our Friend



After nearly 95 years in this world and 65 years of loving marriage, a dear friend of our family and of our “Nefesh Chavuarah”  has passed.  His soul left as his body slept peacefully at home, with loved ones near.  We anticipate remembering him at an Orthodox funeral in the Ohel at the Karrakatta Cemetary on Wednesday, 12 July at 11:00 am.  An Orthodox Shivah Minyon will be held that night at the Maurice Zeffert Home at approximately 7:00 pm.  The poem below reflects a tribute we can make in our friend’s honour.  Zichrono L’vrachah – his memory be for Blessing.

By Merrit Malloy

When I die
Give what’s left of me away
To children
And old me that wait to die.

And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
Around anyone
And give them
What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something,
Something better
Than words
Or sounds.

Look for me
In the people I’ve known
Or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes
And not your mind.

You can love me most
By letting
Hands touch hands,
By letting bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
Of children
That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,
People do.
So, when all that’s left of me
Is love,
Give me away.

Then What? Perspectives of Afterlife from Many Faiths


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Prays well with othersWhat – if anything- follows life as we experience it here on earth?  Some say Heaven or Hell, some say Olam Ha’Ba– The World to Come, some say we return incarnated…or perhaps there simply is no more after this life.  This Sunday 7 May, 2017 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm our Multifaith Spirituality Exploration Group (M’SEG) will explore “Views on the Afterlife… and Beyond” at Organics Shop and Cafe, 926 Albany Hwy (opposite Willis Street) in  East Victoria Park, WA.  Donation of $10 per person (as you value and can afford) are appreciate to help us spread our M’SEG:  The More Understanding, the More Peace.”  Be in touch for more details!

The Crumb of Affliction


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The Crumb of Affliction

(By Rabbi Sheryl Nosan-Lantzke, remembering the Little One)

This is the crumb of affliction

Which ate our foremothers

In the lands of affliction-

Hungry for safety

Hoping for sustenance

For selves and sweet ones.


Knowing distress

Scouring, scrubbing, slaving, sweating

Not sanitizing or sanctifying but


For something

As evasive as that last crumb

Which cannot be captured,

So must be blessed away.


So this year we celebrate

Slaves to hope

In perfect imperfection.

Next year in a higher place?


This year’s crumbs afflicted

The year’s fears pressed us to crumble


But we can


Because we do relieve

And we can re-leave

With courage–

Crumbs and all.

Passover Panic…or Possibility



“…and suddenly it seemed to get bigger than Ben Hur!” I shared my papassover panicnic with my brother.  “I thought 15 or 20 people would join us for our seders – not 40 or 50!”  “Yeah- that’s great – all those people, awesome!” he said.                  I realized he was right, after all, the Haggadah does say “let all who are Hungary come eat.”   But the authors of the Haggadah really didn’t know that in our current house the food in the back half of the oven gets burnt while the food in the front half is still nearly raw or that the cook top doesn’t actually ignite or that we don’t yet have a dishwasher in the kitchen. SO- I’m not going to panic – I’ll just turn the food around a lot and get another box of matches and get some new sponges ready.                                                    Then again, this Passover is showing us that there IS a need for progressive, inclusive, family friendly Jewish activities in Perth.  Passover is giving us the possibility of maintaining and even enhancing Jewish Spirituality Australia’s Community Programs.  Help us provide for those who are hungry for Jewish Experience by sponsoring a rack or two on a new oven (which can make matzah kugel for 20) or a couple of burners for a stove-top (to make gallons of matzah ball soup) or maybe the dishwasher cabinet (so we can have dozens and dozens of guests at Shabbat celebrations)!                                                                Contact me for more possibilities every “Prutah” (every penny) will help us offer more – I’ll just be at home waiting for your call or message and preparing for Passover!!  And yes, if you’re still looking for a seder, just let me know. 😊


A Crummy Day!


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We’re having a crummy day. Everywhere we look in this house is a mess!  The more we poke in to the cabinets and crevices – the more we findPassover Cleaning Comic we have to clear out of dark corners.   BUT…we’ll never be able to make a fresh, clean start unless we roll up our sleeves and get to work.  And – blessedly, rolling up our sleeves can help us better see our selves as Passover nears.  I’m confident that this pre-Passover “crummy” day of searching out and cleaning up the chametz of our house will give me time to start cleaning up my “inner-chametz” and approach this Passover open to a fresh, clean start!

If you’d like to join us for any Passover seders or celebrations, just let us know!

Happy Crummy Cleaning!

Join our Spiritual Seder: Journey From Darkness to Light


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It’s nearly time for Passover – and we’re getting ready for a spiritual journey from darkness to Light.  Our inclusive, family friendly Seder is rich with spiritual insights and a seat is waiting for you at  Perth’s only Progressive “Chavurah” Passover Celebration.  We’ll meet at a lovely home in Winthrop at 5:30 pm on Monday 10 April.  Our Seder will begin at 6:00 pm.   Contact me for the exact address by 3 April.

The Journey from Darkness to Light: We’ll be a wonderfully diverse group and we’ll all learn from each other on this journey.  Please consider bringing a small item which symbolizes joy or spiritual freedom for you; it may light the path or suggest a new direction for others at our table and strengthen your own resolve in taking the next step on  your journey towards freedom.

How it works:  We all pitch in to create our Seder!  We create communal benefit and blessing by contributing to Set-Up, Sort-Out, Cook-Up, Serve-Up or Clean-Up as well as bringing or sponsoring food or beverage to share and contributing to support the communal costs as we value and can afford.  Just contact me to reserve your seat at the Seder. Space is limited- so be in touch soon!

Haggadot:  We’ll use The Internet Haggadah, which we can e-mail to you as an attachment.  If you wish to print your own, you are welcome to do so.   If you wish to pre-order a booklet copy from me, please send an e-mail by 3 April at 9:00 am and send $10.00 payment (with your full name and “Haggadah” in the detail window) to Jewish Spirituality Australia at BSB  # 036031  ACT # 305-194.

Beverages:  Grape Juice for the “Four Glasses” of the Seder will be provided, however if you fancy a particular kosher wine to complement your seder meal, you are welcome to bring it.

Seder Contribution Opportunity: Without financial support, Seders, Services, and Holiday Celebrations would not be possable.  Contributions for the seder help offset expenses and may be made by direct deposit to Jewish Spirituality Australia at BSB  # 036031  ACT # 305-194 (please include your full name and “Seder” in the detail window).  Alternativley you might bring cash payment in an envelope with your name on it, a box will be available at the door to collect envelopes.  We contribute as we value and can afford; waged adults generally offer $25-$50 each and $10-$15 per child enables us continue offering seders, holiday celebrations and special programs.

Please be in touch if you have any questions!  Chag kasher v’ sameach!

Pausing in Preparation for Passover


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A year ago we decided it was time to Pass…Over…to the other sides of Perth.  We’d been “South of the River” in Perth for four years, and as the kids were growing and moving into High School years, being closer to the Jewish Community felt important.  We began planning a move across the  river, to the “Jewish Corridor” (aka “ghetto”) of Perth. When I started packing my non-Passover dishes last March, I packed them for a full move, not a full week.


Let all who are hungry come and eat!

Passing-over is only the start to a journey…

A year later, we are in our new home– but plenty of those dishes packed a year ago are still boxed.  I’d forgotten that passing -over is only the start to a journey. We have a long way to travel – and a lot to fix -up in our new fix-er-upper house – before we are really out of the wilderness. While the plagues I face are really fabulous first-world problems, they are still burdensome.  Still, as I begin to re-pack for our transition to Passover, I unpack a keener sense of both leaving-behind and looking-ahead.  I appreciate again how our holidays can help us create Holy Days in the midst of what may be mundane.  Happy Pre-Passover cleaning – and let us know if you’d like a seat at the table for Passover in Perth this year!

Turning it Around Between Here and There


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These 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -called “Yamai T’Shuvah”  (Days of Turning ~Returning) are rich and deep with potential.  Trying to turn over the lasts year and years in our memories and our lives, we can turn again to those who surround us to re-align, refine and renew our connections.  Daring to dive into our hearts, hurts and  hopes, we might begin to smooth off some rough edges and turn on more of our potential.  I’m aiming to keep it simple as Yom Kippur nears –  I’m just practicing to bolster my Yetzer-Tov (Goodness) to pilot my Yetzer-Raah (Not-So-Goodness).  I’m confident this t’shuvah practice will be a turn for the better for my soul.       ****    TODAH RABBAH- Thanks to all those who made our New Year Celebrations at the Fremantle Shuel unforgettable! Well over twice our anticipated numbers celebrated Erev Rosh Hashanah in the Old Synagogue – please G-d, we’ll share many more joyous celebrations there!  By the way, if you have any pictures from the evening, please share!  Chatimah Tovah and Tzom Tov!

The Rabbi in the Woman’s Section


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This has been a tremendous year – not the least of which for reflection.  May your reflection and soul-searching through this Rosh Hashanah bring growth, sweetness and blessing in the New Year.   NCJWA (the National Council of Jewish Women, Australia) provided an unexpected catalist for my reflection inviting me to write an article for their Rosh Hashanah Magazine. Have you ever wondered “Why would a female rabbi sit in the Woman’s section of an Orthodox Synagogue?” Well, here’s my article, with one rabbi’s perspective… I look forward both to leading services in the Old Freo Shuel on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and to sitting with my daughter and our friends in the Woman’s Section of Chabbad WA on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.  Shanah Tovah – may this be a year of peace for all and may we be partners in bringing Wholeness on High ! שנה טובה

Dancing~Davening ~Moving Meditations


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israel-zmirkudiya-may-4-2014-yrnji6-clipartDANCING IN THE NEW YEAR: <Lifted by the lyrics // Floating with the phrases// Carried by the currents of the dance.> <Swaying with the circle// Flowing with the feelings // Gliding with the gentle guiding hands.>  <Ancient hopes and sudden hops// Turns,  returns, and starts and stops.><With pulse – so deep //our work- worn feet// spin cloud-light prayers joyous and sweet.>     Dear Friends – I’ve been having such fun with my favorite Israeli Dance Instructor Friend (M.G., of course) as we plan the evening of Israeli Dance for the Second Night of Rosh Hashanah – Monday 3 October 6:30 pm.  Please let us know if you will join us in the Old Freo Shuel History for Candles, Kiddish, and an evening of prayer-through-dance for the New Year.  Our dance selections reflect Rosh Hashanah themes such as gratitude, joy, memory, hope and yearning for peace of every sort.  Be sure to Book for your entry and also bring along a bottle of grape-juice or wine, some veggie nibbles/finger-food to share (perhaps made with apples or honey!) and a prayer in your heart for sweet renewal and blessing for one and all in the New Year!