SHABBES, SHABBES, SHABBES, OY OY OY
The title refers to a chant Australians use at sporting events. Someone chants "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" or "Sydney, Sydney, Sydney," and the audience responds "Oy Oy Oy," Trust me, it's fun.
Australia is an amazing place--exotic and beautiful on the one hand and yet very familiar and comfortable at the same time. At times it feels like you're not even in a foreign country. Much of it is like being in California, but with way better beaches, even better weather, (though we've had some rain), and a much better health care system. Plus they do everything a day ahead, on the wrong side of the road, upside down, and backwards.
|Micah and Jonah at Bondi Beach, having actual fun not on a computer.|
|Brian Fox, the Rabbi who |
probably saved my career.
|Emanuel, the place that |
probably saved my career.
The service is not terribly different from ours, except that they do a full Torah reading, two full Amidah repititions, and Anim Z'mirot. The synagogue itself is not especially beautiful; it's the people that make it so. Two special surprises greeted us this Shabbat in Sydney. First, Rabbi Brian Fox, who was the Senior Rabbi when I was here but is now in England, was also visiting, so the feeling of reunion was amplified even more.
Secondly, there was an Aufruf, and the bride was one of the few kids from the Hebrew School that I remembered from my time here. She was 11 and is now getting married at 24. Apparently, it's quite common in the Jewish community in Australia to get married in their early twenties. Still, it was both gratifying and strange to see this little girl all grown up. When you don't see someone for 13 years, they become fixed in your mind at the age they were when you left. Almost as if in a movie, the sign flashes "13 years later," and there they are as full grown adults. I loved it, but I prefer watching the slow, natural development of our kids in Oakland. I'm still waiting to perform my first wedding for a kid I Bar/Bat Mitzvahed or even confirmed.
The Purim Spiel was phenomenal (though combined with the megila reading and evening service was more than 3 hours!). The spiel itself was an hour long comedy combining Apple technology, Fairy Tales, Elvis songs, and the Purim story. It had set design, stage lighting, stage makeup, sound, and more. Very well produced by people in the business and written by one of the rabbis here, Jackie Ninio. Lots of jokes about the Australian government, pop culture, and everything in between. My favorite was the "Oy Phone" and the "Oy Pad," spoken by a New York accented Esther. I still miss the Rock & Roll TBA Purim, but this was a lot of fun.
More on the sightseeing, the family, and the food in Australia in my next post.