International UN World Peace Day was celebrated jointly by COMMON and WIN foundation on 21st.September 2013 from 6.30pm at the East Melbourne orthodox Synagogue, 488 Albert St, East Melbourne, Australia.
Rabbi Dovid then carried out a very touching end of Shabbath ceremony and declared the evening open.
Rabbi Dovid Gutnick described the closing ceremony of Shabath whereby all Jews began their weekly ‘retreat’ from dusk on Friday. No one was to work, even cook, use any modern technology (phones, television, internet, etc.) including driving cars, but spend the next 24 hours with family and talking of God or discussing passages from the Torah and other Jewish religious books and attending synagogue. He explained that this ‘retreat’ would come to an end at 6.57pm on this day with the lighting of candles.
COMMON/WIN Foundation President Jessiee Kaur Singh (in place of the dearly missed and departed president, Uncle Reg Blow) first called for a minute silence for the beloved Late Uncle Reg Blow then asked faith representatives to give the view of marriage from their faith perspective. She thanked Auntie Walda, the wife of the late Uncle Reg Blow for gracing the occasion. Acknowledged an apology from Auntie Diane Kerr (Wurundejeri Council Elder) who could not come due to illness.
She then introduced each faith representative as they spoke on the topic of marriage from their faith’s viewpoint.
Aboriginal- Rachel Shields
Buddhist- Sirini Kularatne-Samarapathi Baha’i- Elham
Christian- Brigid Walsh Humanist – Judy Peiris
Hindu- Dr Dinesh Sood Islam- Naila Beg
Sikh: Bhai Sahib Jasbir Singh Suropada.
The theme offerings seemed to suggest that all is not well with the institution of marriage.
The remedy seems to lie in revisiting our respective scriptures and awakening the spiritual aspects of uniting two persons.
For many it was the first time we were welcomed into an Orthodox Synagogue.
COMMON (Centre of Melbourne Multifaith and Others networks) stalwart Anand Shome then spoke of the lighter side of marriage from various countries. He also spoke very highly of Jamel Singh daughter of Jessiee Singh for ensuring that all Jewish requirements were met for the preparation of the food for the evening.
Jessiee then thanked Rabbi Dovid and his community for their generosity in allowing members of other faiths to be a part of their congregation for the evening and permission for other faiths to speak within his community.
The evening ended with the rendition of the Multi-chant by Rachel Shields, Dya Singh, Jamel Kaur Singh and other faith representatives.
The attendees then filed into the synagogues back room where vegetarian food, was served to all.
COMMON member Avraham Schwarz and Jessiee Kaur Singh did a sterling job of mediating between COMMON/WIN and the East Melbourne Synagogue to ensure that the evening went smoothly. A big gratitude to Jamel Kaur Singh for cooking with help of Mrs Rabbi Dovid , a lovely Kosher vegetation meal of Dal, Biryani Rice , salad and many other goodies giving an opportunity for all to mingle and socialize coming to know each other better and one big happy family.
Report by Dya Singh