Latest RARA News

Welcome to the Chabad of RARA News page.

Here you'll find all the latest posts from our on-the-road volunteers.

Sukkot begins tonight!


Sukkot literally means "booth" or "huts", and refers to the Sukkah - a temporary structure with a leafy covering which we eat in and spend time in over the holiday. This is reminiscent of the protection that Hashem provided to us while we travelled in the desert, thousands of years ago.

It is a joyous time, and a time to gather with family and friends.

We also shake the Lulav and Etrog - the four kinds throughout the holiday.

Have a Chag Sameach and a very happy Sukkot!

Picture: the inside of a sukkah, with a leafy palm branch covering.





Mallacoota is a sleepy town in Gippsland, Victoria. It is home to about 1,000 people and just one or two Jewish residents.

Berrigan is a country town just north of the Victorian border. It is located in the heart of a rich agricultural area, known for dairy, potatoes, and lots of other produce.

The two towns are very different. Berrigan is landlocked, while Mallacoota boasts stunning beaches and is a great whale watching spot.

This week, these two towns, some 8-hours apart from each other, were brought together. You see, in each of these places lives a Jewish woman. And in Berrigan, the Jewish resident there has been very, very lonely. Having previously lived in Sydney's eastern suburbs, Miriam longs for a community to be part of, and for the familiar Jewish cooking that she enjoyed for so many years.

Meet Sarah, who has lived in Mallacoota for the past 3 decades. She has a background in counselling, and during a recent conversation, she offered Rabbi Menachem Aron to be put in touch and to have a chat with anyone who might need someone to talk to, out in the regional areas.

Well, just yesterday, Sarah and Miriam connected. They hit off right away, and before you could blink, a half hour on the phone had gone by. Miriam was so happy to able to speak and share her story with another regional Jew. And Sarah was able to provide Miriam with some helpful advice.

The two will keep in touch, and the next best thing that Miriam is looking forward to is an in-person visit!

*names of individuals have been changed.



Sukkot is coming right up!

After an inspiring Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we are up to the most joyous of the High Holidays.

We've spent the day here at Chabad of RARA sending out Lulav and Etrog sets to families and communities that have ordered them from all over Australia.

From Melbourne to Margaret River, Jewish people will be bringing together the four kinds all of next week!

Chag Sameach!

Picture: An Etrog being examined before being packed up and shipped to a family in rural and regional Australia.


Rabbis Mendel Fogel and Meir Manssouri


And they are back on the road! Rabbis Mendel Fogel and Meir Manssouri have just headed off to Bendigo, in regional Victoria.

They will be spending the next few days visiting the locals there. If you see them around, be sure to say hello!


Yizkor prayer


Rosh Hashanah is just the beginning of a series of holidays that take place this month. The next holiday is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which begins at sunset on Sunday 24 September.

One of the sections of the Yom Kippur prayers is the Yizkor prayer, where we remember the souls of the departed. This prayer is recited on special occasions, four times throughout the year. Yizkor can also be recited at home, if you cannot make it to a synagogue.

We are pleased to be able to offer a Yizkor memorial candle and information booklet to all those that would like to remember someone Jewish that has departed. It can be for a family member, or a friend.

Please ensure that you light the candle before Yom Kippur begins, at sunset on Sunday evening, 24 September.

The Yizkor prayer is to be recited any time during the day on Monday, 25 September. 


Shana Tova


Rosh Hashanah begins this evening.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Shana Tova - a very happy and sweet new year.

May the new year be full - and overflowing - with blessings of health, happiness and good things. May we meet on good occasions, and share happy times together.

And may we all be able to fulfill our purpose, and find meaning in our life mission to make this world a better place today.

Rabbi Menachem & Shevi Aron


Holiday Gift Box

Rosh Hashana is fast approaching, beggining in less than 72 hours!

At this time of the year, we are thinking of those that live further away. It may be challenging to get to a service, but you can still celebrate this special Jewish holiday at home.

If you know someone that would appreciate a honey cake in the mail, let us know! We'll do our best to start of their year in a sweet way.

Holiday Gift Box.jpeg 

How are you preparing for Rosh Hashana this year?


This was the scene at the main Chabad Shul in Melbourne late Saturday night, at midnight.

The Shul is packed from wall to wall, and a great hum of prayer can be heard from the crowd.

It has been an age old custom to come to Synagogue deep into the night in the days leading up to Rosh Hashana, and say the Selichot (lit. Supplication) prayers.

Chabad circles, this is a serious, yet joyous, time as we are just days away from Rosh Hashana, the head of the year, and a day when we draw down great blessings and inspirarion for the coming new year.

chabad Shul in melbourne.jpeg


Looks Yiddish to you?


That's because this is. But hang tight, keep reading and you'll find an fascinating Rosh Hashana message here. It was penned by the Rebbe in 1980 and sent all over the world. It's as relevant today is the day it was written.

A bit of a longer read, but well worth it. And if the whole post is a bit long for you, reading this paragraph will suffice:

cite at least one concrete example in the spirit of what has been said above: When a few Jews live in a remote small town, they must not rest content in being observant themselves, as individuals, however adequate their Torah learning, and however excellent their performance of Mitzvos. They must pool their capacities for a concerted effort to create a Kohol, set up a Kohol-Yiddishkeit, with institutions for Torah education; a Torah-leader (Rabbi), Torah kosher food service (Shochet, butcher), and, of course, Torah-true family life (Mikveh), and so on.

Want more? Here's some more of the letter:

Brooklyn, N.Y.

G‑d bless you all!

Heartfelt Shalom and Blessing:

In these days of intensified preparation for Rosh-Hashanah—

Rosh-Hashanah being not only the beginning of the new year, but also the “head” of the year that influences each and every day of the entire year, “from the beginning of the year to the end of the year”—

And bearing in mind the basic principle that “action is the important thing,” namely, the moral lesson that has to be derived and translated into action in the everyday life,

It is appropriate to elaborate on one of the points that has been mentioned only briefly in the previous letter, in connection with the new year being a year of Hakhel, recalling the comprehensive Mitzvah, in the time of the Beis Hamikdosh, of assembling all the Jews, the men, women, and childreh, as one Kohol (congregation), for the purpose of stimulating them in the observance of Mitzvos, and strengthening their faith and Yiddishkeit, etc., as discussed in the said letter.

The significance of the term one Kohol, which characterizes this assemblage, is that in addition to having the quality of an assembly of a number of distinct and different individuals who are assembled together for a certain purpose, in order to achieve a certain goal with concerted efforts, which makes it possible to accomplish a great deal more than could be accomplished by all of them acting independently—

As we see from experience that a person can lift and carry a much larger load when another person helps him lift it.—

There comes into being an essentially new entity, a “Kohol,” which can accomplish things that could not be done by the individuals, as individuals—

As can be seen from the example of the Mishkon (Sanctuary): When the time came to make a Sanctuary for the Shechinah (Divine Presence), in accordance with G‑d’s directive, “Make Me a Mikdosh (holy place), and I will dwell among them,” it called for contributions of thirteen (fifteen) items, such as gold, silver, etc., donated by men, women, and, according to our Sages, also children; which were handed over to the “wise-hearted men,” who were to make the various parts of the Mishkan under the direction of Betzalel and Oholiov; with Moshe Rabbeinu over them all. And only through all of them together was it possible to make, construct and erect a Mishkon, a fitting abode (Mikdosh) for G‑d’s Presence, which caused the extension of G‑d’s dwelling also “in them—within the heart of each of them.”

In a similar way it is with the “Small Sanctuary” (Mikdosh me’at), the synagogue. When ten Jews come together to pray, a new entity—a tzibbur (“congregation”)—is created; and only then can the Divine precept, “I shall be hallowed in the midst of the children of Israel,” through the recitation of kaddish, borchu, kedushah, etc. be fulfilled, and—it effects a change in every one congregation in that one becomes a part of a “sacred congregation.”

To cite at least one concrete example in the spirit of what has been said above: When a few Jews live in a remote small town, they must not rest content in being observant themselves, as individuals, however adequate their Torah learning, and however excellent their performance of Mitzvos. They must pool their capacities for a concerted effort to create a Kohol, set up a Kohol-Yiddishkeit, with institutions for Torah education; a Torah-leader (Rabbi), Torah kosher food service (Shochet, butcher), and, of course, Torah-true family life (Mikveh), and so on.

May G‑d grant that inasmuch as we are coming from the Torah reading this past Shabbos-Selichos: “You are standing this day, all of you” and “Hakhel the people, the men, and the women, and the children”—everyone should take along with him (her) the abovementioned points in order to implement them in actual practice each and every day of the year,

And the Almighty, “Who hears the sound of teruah (Shofar) of His people Israel in mercy,” should bless all our people, and everyone in particular, to be able to fulfill the Mitzvos of Shemittah and Hakhel not merely in their spiritual content, but in actual concrete form and detail, with the true and complete Geulo through Mashiach Tzidkeinu, with the “return of a great Kohol hither,” in the Beis Hamikdosh that will rise on its site; and may all this be very soon, in our own days, indeed, and,

While realizing even now, in the last days of the Golus: “We are Your people and flock of Your pasture, we will thank You for ever; we will tell Your praise to generation and generation.”

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/





Get in touch if you'd like to borrow a set of Machzors from the Chabad of RARA library, and you'll be able to do the High Holidays at home. 

Shana Tova Umetukah!


Jewish Discovery Weekend


20 people from Tamworth, Bundaberg, Auckland (!), Bendigo, Castlemaine, the Central Coast, Townsville, and beyond came together for 72 hours of connection, learning, and inspiration.

We visited many different places around the Jewish community, and met with all sorts of people. It was truly incredible to see the commitment to Judaism that our crowd has!

Thank you to everyone for joining, and we look forward to having you back in Melbourne very soon!












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