Jewish Stories

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man, This is the essence of the law, all the rest is commentary".

Talmud, Shabbat 31a

Embroidery by Beit Shalom Embroidery Guild

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky:

“Rabbi Hillel’s teaching can be seen as a commentary on the classic text from Leviticus 19: Love your neighbour as yourself. Judaism is full of reminders to look beyond ourselves to reflect on how we care for others. Rabbi Hillel’s assertion that this is the essence of the law is a powerful statement on religion’s central role in our lives”

Did you know ?

Tzedakah boxes are used to collect money for charity in homes, synagogues and schools. The term is synonymous with Sadaqah - the Muslim word for charity. And they have Sadaqah boxes too!

Artist Statement - Beit Shalom Embroidery Guild

Our group came together when some Torah covers were lost and we needed to make new mantles. Under the fortuitous guidance of Jennifer Beale, we have developed our collective skill and this is our sixth major project spanning a period of close to 20 years.

This work is of the text from Hillels dictum - Hillel was an important rabbinic authority from the first century BCE.

This principle encapsulates one of the fundamental tenets of Judaism, translating to “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the law, all the rest is commentary.” (Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

The tree of life is a common symbol in our liturgy and is often reflected upon.

We have really enjoyed meeting with the other artists and learning about them. We hope this exhibition illustrates the strong commonalities of all our traditions, and that visitors enjoy the diversity of expressions of The Golden Rule.

The olive is well known for its nutritional and healing value and versatility As an oil it can light our way in a lamp, or cook the meal we share, as well as its role in anointing kings and priests.

Most significant are the olive leaves, which are the symbol of peace. The dove brought Noah an olive-leaf after the flood, to show that the waters had abated and that peace had been restored. Since then, olive leaves have symbolized the hope for peace.

Politician commemorated for generosity

Emanuel Solomon was transported to Australia for receiving stolen goods, but after he had served his seven year sentence quickly became a successful businessman. He came to Adelaide in 1837, and in 1840 he opened the Queen’s Theatre.

In 1871, Mary McKillop was excommunicated by the Vatican, and she and her fellow Sisters of St. Joseph were evicted from their convent in Adelaide. Emanuel Solomon provided them with rent-free housing until the order of excommunication was rescinded.

When Mary McKillop was canonised as a saint in 2010, descendants of Emanuel Solomon were invited to be present for the celebration in Adelaide.

Love makes a way

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky of Beit Shalom Synagogue in Adelaide believes Jews have a special responsibility to advocate on behalf of asylum seekers seeking refuge in Australia.

Remembering how Jews fleeing the Nazis were denied admission to many countries during World War II, Shoshana is trying to make sure that those fleeing persecution in their home countries can begin new lives in Australia.

On 23 June 2014, the Rabbi was part of a group of nine religious leaders who staged an illegal sit in at the office of MP Jamie Briggs in Mt. Barker asking that all children being held in indefinite detention be released. At the time there were 500 children in Australian detention facilities.

The group were arrested and charged with trespassing. At the subsequent trial, the magistrate said to them, “You are a credit to your faith.”

Public pressure put on the government did effect some change. However, despite a change of policies and a reduction in the number of people in detention, there are still children being held in appalling conditions in Nauru. Shoshana will continue to advocate for these children.

Aboriginal elders protested against the attacks on Jews

William Cooper was a Yorta Yorta man who lived and worked for much of his life on missions around Australia. It was only in the 1930s, already well into his seventies, that he found his true calling as an Aboriginal activist. In 1935, he founded the Australian Aborigines League to advocate for the rights of indigenous Australians, and he circulated a petition to King George V demanding greater civil rights. In 1938, William Cooper led a delegation of Aboriginal elders to the German consulate to protest Kristallnacht, an organised attack against Jewish homes, business and places of worship in Germany. They were turned away, but their’s was the only private protest against Kristallnacht anywhere in the world. Jewish Memorial to Aboriginal leader In 2010, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum Yad Vashem created a memorial to William Cooper in gratitude for his selfless act.

Almost seventy years later, Jewish Supreme Court Justice John Sulan, the son of Holocaust survivors, was the inaugural chair of the South Australian Indigenous Law Student Mentoring Program, a position he held for eight years. He also chaired the Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Committee for the Judiciary and the Courts Aboriginal Reference Group in South Australia while serving as a member of the National Indigenous Cultural Awareness Committee. Justice Sulan has often said that he was motivated by the injustice his own parents encountered during the Holocaust to fight against injustice for others.