What is Selichot?

prepare for the High Holy daysFor many Jews, the High Holiday season begins with Rosh HaShanah and the start of the new month of Tishrei. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that the preceding month of Elul is a time of soul-searching and reflection to prepare oneself for the magnitude of the Days of Awe. It is during this time that we observe Selichot (also spelled s’lichot).
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Jewish New Year in time of Covid 19

Covid 19 - Rosh Hashannah 5781The Shepparton Interfaith Network observes – on behalf of Jews everywhere, Rosh Hashannah – the Jewish New Year. Due Covid-19 restrictions, Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – will look a little different. We know it’s difficult to be apart from our communities on these important days, but staying home is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). This year has served as a reminder of our shared fate. As nations large and soul struggle to maintain life, dignity, and continuity, the truth that what we have in common outweighs that which divides us should serve as a guiding light.
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Islam and Christians

Islam and ChristianityFor most Muslims, the Grand Imam of al Azhar based in Cairo has the prestige and influence similar in many ways to that which the Pope holds for Catholics. A recent report in the French based La Croix International highlighted a statement made by the Grand Imam of al Azhar at a meeting in Cairo with the Foreign Minister from Armenia whose population is mostly Christian.
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Citizenship Test to Change

Australian Citizenship Pledge17 September (today) is Australian Citizenship Day. The Minister for Immigration has announced that new Australians will need to correctly answer questions about domestic violence, equal opportunity and freedom of speech under changes to the citizenship test. The changes to the citizenship test will include a religious values question.
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What are the lessons from COVID-19 and how can we use them to build a better future?

University of Melbourne logoThe University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health presents Prof. Brock Bastian who will speak on Building Personal and Community Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 – What are the lessons from COVID-19 and how can we use them to build a better future?, online, on Thursday, 17 September 2020, 5:30pm – 6:30pm.
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Dungala Kaiela Oration 2020: The River is Us – Carrying the Spirit and Strength of Dungala

The 2020 Dungala Kaiela Oration, The River is Us – Carrying the Spirit and Strength of Dungala, will be held online on evening of Wednesday 9 September, 2020. The oration will be delivered by Dr Lois Peeler AM.

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The Hungry Ghost Festival

The Hungry Ghost

Wednesday 2nd September 2020 is the festival day for the Hungry Ghost, an observance in certain Buddhist communities around the world. Whether or not you believe spirits leave their ghostly realm during the time of the festival, the hungry ghost can be a great reminder of how desire causes suffering, not in the afterlife but in the present moment.

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Supporting Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Awareness PostcardsHow do you support women and girls you treat who have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting? The National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Awareness can provide you with assistance with its postcards.

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#religion: social media influencers of faith

Rev. Hogsberg, Vegan Priest of the Church of Sweden.#religion. Videos with that tag have over 600 million views on Tik Tok, the popular video sharing app used mainly by teenagers. It’s clear that social media is changing how we express and explore faith. ABC Radio National interviews influences of digital religion.
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The Good Samaritan and Covid-19

serving a wounded worldThe World Council of Churches in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue have prepared a document on interreligious collaboration during the time of coronavirus. In this article, we bring you the Preamble, focussed on the story of the Good Samaritan, a profound and challenging story of human response to suffering. We include a synopsis of the world situation.

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Judaism’s Great Prayer: Hear, O Israel (Sh’ma Yisrael)

Blue Sky Clouds and the Sun

One cannot overestimate the importance Sh’ma Yisrael (Hear, O Israel ) has in Jewish heritage throughout the generations. In many cases, these were the only “Jewish words” that Jews, who lived in remote places and who heard them from their ancestors, knew. The “marranos” in Spain and Portugal passed them on from parent to child, sometimes without knowing, their actual meaning but with profound understanding of their value. Many Jews, beginning with Rabbi Akivah and up to the victims of the Holocaust recited the Sh’ma with their last breath.

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Racism information sessions: Understanding your rights and taking action

Victorian Multicultural Commssion

To educate and empower multicultural and multifaith communities in Victoria, the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) have come together to run a series of information sessions.

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Why Hindus do Circumambulation around the Deity?

pradakshina by ladiesHinduism is the oldest Civilisation and only one which is based on Science. In Hinduism whatever is practised is not only based on beliefs but there are scientific reasons behind each and every tradition. There are many images of Hindus walking around temples; this is called Circumambulation around the Deity and temple. Walking around the innermost chamber of the shrine of the temple is also called Circumambulation. Circumambulation is also done around fire, trees & plants.

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Judaism: Disney and Elul – what do they have in common?

Marvel Heroes

I am a huge fan of everything Disney – movies, Mickey, and now even Marvel. Our family has vacationed at Walt Disney World and Disneyland more times than we can count. Our daughter was married there, and we have a room in our home devoted to Disney “stuff.”

Believe it or not, some recent Disney movie releases have a distinct connection to the Days of Awe and in particular to our preparations during this month of Elul, as well as to Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

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Light in the Darkness ~ Time Out for a Suffering World

Light in the Darkness ~ Time Out for a Suffering World

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria and the Victorian Council of Churches invite you to:

Light in the Darkness ~ Time Out for a Suffering World

Date: Monday 31 August 2020 Time: 7pm
Location: In your home

On the eve of Spring, an invitation from the faith communities of Victoria to be a light in the darkness.

As the last light of the last day of winter fades, stand in your front garden and spend some time in silence, perhaps light a candle, to remember all those who have lost their lives to the Coronavirus or to violence. Then, as the first night of spring begins, look to the future with prayer and hope. Let us move from the cold and the dark into warmth and light together.


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The role of Mysticism in fostering Interfaith Dialogue and Tolerance

Dalai Lama and Lawrence FreemanIn a world in which religious sectarianism and religiously-justified violence are all too common 1, the possibility that an essential mystic truth is shared by most if not all the world’s Great Religious Traditions, nurtures and strengthens the hope, that this discrimination and violence born of sectarianism may eventually be replaced by sincere and comprehensive interfaith dialogue and cooperation based on love, compassion and wisdom.

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Review: The Survival of the Jews in France, 1940-1944

The Survival of the Jews in France, 1940-44 (Oxford Press)In his new book The Survival of the Jews in France, 1940-44 (Oxford Press), Jacques Semelin, professor emeritus of history and political science at the Paris Institute of Political Science, focuses on a frequently overlooked statistic: 240,000 of the 320,000 Jews living in France in 1940 survived the war within that nation’s borders. After the French armed forces and national government quickly collapsed when Nazi Germany invaded in May 1940, the conquerors divided France into a German-occupied area in the north and a pro-Nazi Vichy regime, the “Free Zone,” in the south. In both regions, French police and gendarmes were zealous in rounding up Jews for deportation “to the East,” a euphemism for German death camps.

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