Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Bob Dylan Brought Me Closer to Yiddishkite, by Shoshanna Silcove

“ Does Judaism believe in life after death?”

Post Rosh Hashana Musings

One of my new year's resolutions is to resume blogging. Another Rosh Hashana has come and gone and we are still in galus (exile). For some reason I feel disappointed after Rosh Hashana (and Yom Kippur) every year because I somehow expect that Moshiach should have come. I think it is because of the shofar blowing, it is so moving and stirring and feels like redemption is upon us. I close my eyes and picture all the Yidden miraculously transported to The Beis Hamikdash (the Holy Temple) and we are all united in song and joy. Then I open my eyes and feel disappointed. However, since Moshaich, it is written, will come when least expected, I shouldn't really anticipate his arrival at the holiest moments of the year, but I still do. Rabbi Zvi Hersh Telsner gave over a beautiful vort before shofar blowing. He said the commandment of shofar blowing is only mentioned in Torah once. We Yidden have been faithfully blowing shofar each and every Rosh Hashan for thousands of years in thousands of cities throughout the ages. Yet, all we ask The Master of the Universe that He give us one single shofar blowing--that of The Great Shofar, the Shofar Hagadol, thereby heralding the coming of Moshaich. He was a bit choked up when he said this and I also became tearful. It was a moving moment for me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prevention of Child Abuse Worth More than Cure, by Shoshanna Silcove

This past Shabbes a young mother in our community asked me a question that made me shudder. “Do you know if the pedophile who abused Manny Waks is still in Yeshiva College or not?” I told her I had no idea of his identity and she went on to express her great trepidation at sending her still very young children to school there.  “ I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel the mosod is doing enough to protect my kids.”

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Open letter to Zeddy Lawrence editor of the Australian Jewish News


While I agree you are most conciliatory to deal with on a personal level, the paper you edit is not very Jewish at all. Does it really represent the Jewish community? Certainly not the majority. The majority is not in favour of gay marriage as a basic human right, nor is it in favour of pandering to Muslim extremists. The Jewish News's reason for existence is not to serve Jews, Judaism, or the Jewish community, but to make a profit, even at all of our's expense, especially the frum. Unfortunately, it's like having a neurotic relative, and we are stuck with your paper as a forum to reach large numbers of Australian Jews with our messages, regardless if it represents our way of life and views or not. Do not mistake our (the silent majority's) reluctant participation in your paper as support of your editorials or perspective.

Ironic you say you  feel you were maligned in this blog when you are the editor of a paper that engages in diatribes, specifically against religious Jews, on a regular basis. Remember how the AJN besmirched Rabbi Engel from Adelaide, who by the way was found not guilty of all criminal charges. Why never any front page apology for that? Because he is Orthodox?

Your projection of the death of the Australian Jewish community should cause you to take stock of the paper's direction since the only faction of Jews in Australia that is growing and has a bright future is the Orthodox. Maybe you should stop biting the hand that can and will feed you?

As far as the coverage of Lion FM is concerned, I am happy you printed my letter but, I understand there were quite a number of other letters on my side of the fence that were not published. Still, my letter does not compensate for the biased and one sided reportage of the past year. Come one Zeddy, surely you can do better than this!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't miss Lea Goldsmith from Itamar tonight on The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show

Tonight 7 PM
on on listen live
on The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show with Shoshanna and Ilana
hear interview from Israel with Lea Goldsmith from Itamar

link of Lea and her huband the Mayor of Itamar here:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Week's The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show

Continuing each week online

This Week's 
The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show

with your hosts Shoshanna Silcove & Ilana Leeds

Thursday Evening, June 23, at 7:00 PM at

Listen on the live stream here:

An All New Segment:
One mother's struggle and triumph with her autistic son

Monday, April 4, 2011

This Week's The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show

This Week's
The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show
with your host Shoshanna Silcove this
Thursday Evening, April 7, at 7:00 PM on 96.1 FM
New Segment
fellow presenter Robin Aron from Mornings with Lion
and special guest
Yankel Wajsbort-Director of Kosher Australia
Topic: The Inside Story of Pesach and Kashrus
Listen on the live stream here:
to contact Shoshanna and offer your feedback email her:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Results from The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show!

Rabbi Bondar just told me a couple showed up at his shule in Frankston cause they heard my radio show about the new Jewish community there. They are going to the Bondar's this Fri night. They are new here in Australia from Colombia. I am so happy!

Blaming BT's for Mesirah

                Regarding blaming BT’s for being the more likely ones to do mesirah (here): I find that ludicrous because my experience has been that most BT’s are the biggest cult followers of the establishment. For various psychological reasons, most of the BT’s want so much to fit in that they will do everything they can to ingratiate themselves to the establishment. Most of the BT’s I have known want very much to believe their fantasies and dreams that these FFB ‘leaders’ are holy people, extensions of the Rebbe who can do no wrong, and will follow them unquestionably. It has always been a bewildering phenomena to watch people who in their previous lives were some of the most fervernt iconoclastic rebels now transformed into the staunchest conformists. It is as if they have lost all their critical thinking faculties. And I am saying this as a BT.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Golden Rule is Basic Halacha

A Quick Thought:
Chabad is full of wonderful emesdike people who reflect the Rebbe’s teachings. Nonetheless, when certain Chabadniks hold blatant double standards and are starkly hypocritical, it makes people become disillusioned with Chabad in general. I left the secular world because I was running away from sheker and wanted emes. It is disheartening when the communal ‘pillars’ display an insensitivity for basic honesty and decency, the golden rule that my secular parents raised me with. Is this the moral education we want to emulate for our children? Is our legacy to the next generation one that teaches that halacha is used selectively to push one’s agenda? No wonder so many of our youth are going off the derech! G-d help!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I need your help!

I need your help!
Can you help me or find someone to help me with the following;
I need to put my radio shows on podcasts online.
how do I do this or get someone to do this please?

Monday, March 21, 2011

This Thursday night's Radio Broadcast on LionFM

The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show
with your host Shoshanna Silcove this
Thursday Evening, March 24, at 7:00 PM on 96.1 FM
This segment's special guests are
Rifkah Bondar and Adina Chelom
A Spotlight on the New Jewish Community in Frankston
Listen on the live stream here:
to contact Shoshanna and offer your feedback email her:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Reply to the Misinformation Spread about LionFM on my answers in red

Jackie Rozenfled comments are in black, mine are in red.
Jackie wrote: Silver Becher, I have nothing to hide and thus am able to write as ONE person in MY OWN name as MY OWN gender, in this forum. You too have the option to do this though sadly have chosen to write using a faux and second identity in galus.
Jackie, you should re-read your last post where you clearly speak for a group of unknown people. Don't try to deny it

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show This coming Sunday, Dec. 19

The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show
This coming Sunday, Dec. 19
at 11:00 AM
Jewish Women's Spotlight with
Dr. Debbie Herbst
Special Guest
Denise Cameron of Pro-Life Victoria
Topic: 'Choose Life"

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Melbourne Jewish Women's show
Live interview with Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch

Popular Family Therapist and Author
speaking live from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY

"Our Kids at Risk"

This coming Sunday, Nov. 14 at 11:00AM on LionFM 96.1 on your dial.

    With host Shoshanna Silcove


Monday, October 4, 2010

Off The Derech in Crown Heights

Watch this film by clicking here: Off-A Glimpse at Hasidic Rebels
This short film is painful for me to watch. 
It's confronting, it's jarring, but it's a reality of life in Crown Heights today, certainly in Melbourne, and in Lubavitch around the world today.  We must not look away! 

Message to the Community Regarding LionFM-the First Jewish Radio Station in Australia

There are a handful of individuals who are ringing up people

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Other Side of the Story at LionFM, by Shoshanna Silcove


There is an article here that is filled with so many half-truths and distortions that I really am at a bit of a loss as to where to begin. At this point since I am pressed for time, so I will simply address some general points.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love Yom Tov, by Shoshanna Silcove

Making Yom Tov requires a Jewish woman to be a frugal shopper, an adequate cook, an event planner, an astute student of Jewish law, and a gracious hostess. She needs to be all this while still being a wife, a mother, or often a career woman too. In short, making Yom Tov is an endeavor that requires a Project Manager. Being the balaboostah is not a simple task, as she must oversee all aspects of the project from start to finish.  Over 20 odd years of running my own kosher kitchen  in our Torah observant household, I have learned through repeated failures and successes  how to stop complaining and love Yom Tov.  Here are ten of my tips:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jews Who Want to Ban Kapores are Hypocrites, by Shoshanna Silcove

Sometimes people on the left, or those who criticize Torah practices, hold amazingly contradictory views that make me question their morality and their true motives. For instance, most of the same people who are animal activists who are upset over kapores, are also pro-abortion. They will get all upset and morally indignant about Jews swinging a chicken that is going to be slaughtered and eaten anyway, but are silent and even supportive while human babies are being slaughtered by the thousands on a daily basis. Seems that they care more about animals than people. Seems they put a higher value on animal life than human life.
I am also intrigued how certain critics of the practices of Torah Judaism invoke halachic arguments when it buttresses their point of view but, completely discard halacha in most other situations and, do not consider it to be binding upon them as Jewish people in their daily lives. And then they have the chutzpah to call frum people hypocrites! It is as if they see halacha as a smorgasbord that they have a right to pick and choose from. Either a Jew accepts halacha as obligatory or he/she doesn’t. One cannot use halachic arguments only when it suits their personal emotional purposes or when it provides a convenient axe to grind against ‘the Orthodox’. It is intellectually dishonest and reveals a lack of core principles

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Probably not much different in Australia

Monday, September 6, 2010

Learning Facebook Etiquette--Humorous!

So, you think Facebook is a new modern invention? Not true! Check out the original Facebook here:

The Electric Message Generator

Friday, September 3, 2010

LionFM can now be heard online at LionFM 96.1 Website.!!! Listen to The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show online!! This coming Sunday Sept. 5 at 11:00 AM
 "The Power of Niggunim: Live Musical Performance with violinist Naomi Rafael" with your host Shoshanna Silcove

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show wil be re-played the following times:

Due to Popular Demand

The Melbourne Jewish Women 's Show with your host Shoshanna Silcove, will be replayed the following times on 96.1 FM on your dial:

30/8/10 - 12:00 pm with Special Guest Chana Meira Lerner: Elul, A Time for Giving and Returning

31/8/10 - 12:00pm - Niggunim, Special Jewish tunes in the studio with vilonist Naomi Rafael
1/9/10 - 8:00am - Special Guest Chana Meira Lerner: Elul, A Time for Giving and Returning
5/9/10 - 11:00am - Niggunim, Special Jewish Tunes in the studio with vilonist Naomi Rafael

6/9/10 - 12:00pm - Niggunim, Special Jewish Tunes  in the studio with vilonist Naomi Rafael

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Loved the Australian Lubavitch Women's Convention, by Shoshanna Silcove

As women arrived at the Jambaroo Valley Lodge, nestled in the beautiful mountains outside Sydney, for the 16th annual Australian Nshei Chabad Convention, one of the Rebbetzins told me, " Isn't the Rebbe an amazing genius? What other Rebbe in the world would tell the women to leave their homes, their kids, their husbands, to just drop everything and go away, together with other women, for two whole days." The Rebbe knew we really need these two day reprieves, to reconnect with other women, to recharge our batteries, both physically and spiritually, I thought. She went on to say," And what do we women focus on for the entire convention? Not material things, but spirituality, how to be better Jewish women, how to help others, how to bring Moshiach." So true.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This was too cute so I had to post it

I'm off to the Australian Lubavitch Women's Convention tomorrow

To all my Fellow Repentants,

Tomorrow, Friday Australian time, I will be off to Jambaroo, a country town outside Sydney, Australia to attend  the Lubavitch Women's Convention. I will be bringing my trusty laptop and camera and hope, G-d willing, to come back with a  blog post reporting all the goings one, hopefully with some inspiration too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tu b'Av: Modesty and Matchmaking, by Shoshanna Silcove

During ancient time the 15th of Av was a festival day celebrated by matchmaking which took on a fairytale-like quality. All unmarried women would beautify themselves and don white gowns (each borrowed from the other in order not to embarrass the poor), making all women appear equal in status.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's Kosher, Mate?, by Shoshanna Silcove

Melbourne, Australia is not New York City. This may seem to be stating the obvious, but, shortly after moving here from Brooklyn I would discover in a myriad of ways just how this was so. For instance, say the words ‘shlep’ or ‘shmatte’ or ‘shlamiel’ in mixed company in New York and everyone, even the Chinese, the Latinos, and the Afghanis, all know what you mean, more or less. Say those same words here in Melbourne, Australia and, they are met with curious raised eyebrows. “Is that Swedish?” they might say.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The First Jewish Radio Station in Melbourne LionFm 96.1 Proudly Only On Air 24/6

Lion FM has in its constitution:
4. To encourage and assist the development of Jewish social, religious and cultural life in Victoria;

Monday, July 19, 2010

Millions of Precious Yidden Slaughtered! Ad Mosai! Till When Will We Have to Wait for Redemption!

Watch Rare Colour Footage of the Shoach

The Challenge of Becoming Sad, by Shoshanna Silcove

 I am a happy person. Life is good. Learning and practicing Chassidus has trained me to be in a good mood most of the time. Preparing my mind set for Tisha B'Av is  not easy. My mood is too buyount. I am filled with gratitude for all the blessings the Almighty has bestowed upon me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unsung Victories of the Baalei Teshuva, by Shoshanna Silcove

How would you describe colors to a blind person, or a piece of music to a deaf person? Close your eyes for a moment and ponder how you would convey the images and sounds. At the very least it would be a daunting, perhaps even an impossible task.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just a little diddy I made up about our new PM:     

My Name is Julia, by Shoshanna Silcove

I am woman, hear me strong,
even though my nose is long,
it doesn't mean that I will lie to you.

My hair and politics are red,
and I climbed as Kevin bled,
as I promised, to the summit, with a grand view!

Shabbos in Zhmerynka, by Iosef Levy and Shmuli Silcove

In every place on Merkos Shlichus, one of the best things to do, is to make a get-together of all the local Jews. This we did, in Zhmerynka, Ukraine. It was last Friday, where we stood for hours in a tiny kitchen in the local Shule cooking food, with the meager kosher ingredients available in this part of the world. We were told to cook for, “Fertzig menschen” (“Forty people”), and thus we pealed 10lbs of potatoes (and did much more).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Invisible Curtain, by Shoshanna Silcove

I just can’t understand it!’ my father said as he shook his handsome round face back and forth in bewilderment. He was in his mid 50′s and his luxurious full head of hair had been transformed from jet lack to distinguished salt and pepper. “We sent you to Temple Emanuel Hebrew school every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday for years. ” He pointed his finger in the air to punctuate, ‘and you grew up to become religious!’ Dad sneered and shook his head in incredulity. ‘We tried to raise you right. I just don’t understand how this happened,’ he muttered as if defeated.

A Hug From G-d, by anonymous

Dvir Aminolav was the first Israeli soldier killed in the 2008 Gaza War. His mother Dalya missed Dvir, terribly. One night before she went to bed, she said in a loud voice: "G-d, give me a sign, give me a hug
from Dvir so that I will know that his death had some meaning."

That week her daughter asked her to accompany her to a musical performance at The International Crafts Festival in Jerusalem. Dalya, feeling quite depressed, did not want to go to the concert, but she didn't want to disappoint her daughter either, and agreed to go halfheartedly. The concert was a bit delayed. A two-year-old boy began wandering through the stands. He walked up to Dalya's seat and touched her on the shoulder. A preschool teacher, Dalya turned around, saw the boy and smiled warmly.

Suppression of Jewish Women – a Matter of Perspective,by Shoshanna Silcove

Does traditional Judaism prevent women from being free human beings? Do the laws and customs suppress women, thus rendering them as inferior in status to men, thereby making them unable to enhance their Jewish identity, spirituality, and connection to Hashem? Is traditional halachic theology dogmatic and sexist?

The answer to all these questions is that it depends on one’s perspective. While traditional Judaism seemingly discriminates against women by excluding them from the Rabbinate, from making aliyahs, dancing with the sefer Torah, and from serving as judges in Batei Din, men are no more spiritually powerful than women by virtue of engaging in these public activities.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Remembering the Rubashkins in Happier Times, by Shoshanna Silcove

I like to remember our old friends Sholom Mordecai and Leah Rubashkin in happier times past. My husband Chaim and I both knew them as singles before we met each other. We were each independently welcomed as Shabbos guests in their home on President Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. On a date  I mentioned to Chaim that I was planning on eating the Friday night meal there. Without letting me know beforehand, he surprised me and showed up at the Shabbos table too. I felt awkward as I gazed across the table at the young man I knew would become my husband. I cornered Leah in the kitchen and told her that the Australian guy at her table was the man I was going to marry, only maybe he didn't know it yet! Leah discreetly jumped for joy and said she was so excited that two of her guests may get engaged. She told me that if we did then she was going to make our vort (engagement party). A few weeks later we did indeed get engaged and the Rubashkins made us a a beautiful vort, sparing no expense, extending the warmest hospitality as if we were their own mishpacha (family). I treasure the memories and the photos.

Had Grand Opening of the first Jewish Radio Station in Melbourne Today

         I just got back from the grand opening of LionFM 96.1 Radio at Spiritgrow on Balaclava Road. We had a packed house. We all did a ten second countdown launching the first Jewish radio station in Melbourne, Australia, and the excitement in the room was palpable. 

 My show, the Melbourne Jewish Women's Show, will be a showcase for dynamic Jewish women doing interesting things highlighting their contributions to the community. Hopefully, this will have the effect of dispelling some negative stereotypes of Jewish women, and presenting some of the color of the local Jewish culture to the community at large. Along with that I plan to spread a bit of the light of Torah, and to  entertain and inspire my listeners.

The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show airs for the first time tomorrow at noon for one hour and then every two weeks.  It will air every second and fourth Monday of the month thereafter, except for Shabbos and Yom Tov. Looking forward to your feedback.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ten Reasons Why Lubavitch is Not a Cult, by Shoshanna Silcove

                  While some have accused Lubavitch of being a cult, it does not meet the criteria.

  • 1. People are free to leave or stop participating. No one is forced to stay in the Lubavitcher movement.

  • 2. Difference of opinion is allowed and even encouraged. Lubavitch welcomes and encompasses a vastly broad range of individuals from all types of backgrounds.

  • 3.Lubavitch does not teach some weird, half-baked philosophy, on the contrary, it is a theology that is rooted in ancient Jewish tradition.

  • 4. While cults isolate and separate themselves from society, Lubavitch does the opposite and engages with the society around it. Chabad Houses are often trailblazers in their communities, often making significant contributions.

  • 5. Lubavitch does not make sharp distinctions between themselves and other Jews. In fact, the Lubavitcher theology teaches that all Jews are equally beloved by G-d. Lubavitch values each and every Jew regardless of their Jewish affiliation or lack of it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My New Radio Show Starts Monday July 12

We finally have a Jewish radio station here in Melbourne, Australia.

LION FM 96.1

My Radio Show Starts Monday, July 12, Noon

The Melbourne Jewish Women's Show, with your host Shoshanna Silcove

Please listen and post your feedback here on The Repenting Jewess

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mezuzah in Zhmerynka 2 - Roving Rabbis

I am having Chassidisha nachas. This is my son Shmuli helping a woman in Ukraine do the mitzvah of mezuzah.

Soul Sisters Jewish Style, by Shoshanna Silcove

Sociologically speaking in general terms, the life cycles of women who are born into traditional Orthodox society vary greatly from those women who became newly observant as adults. Women who are frum from birth were hardly touched by the feminist trends and changing mores of our modern world, as they are socialized in a clearly defined traditional female role reminiscent of an earlier era.

The newly observant women can be coming from almost any socioeconomic background and, she could have had any of a myriad number of life experiences. Most likely, if she is of university age or older by the time she entered the fold, she had had a semblance of independence that most frum from birth women could only imagine. Not that this is necessarily good or bad, as I am not making any value judgments—only observations.

I have known newly observant women who were quite accomplished in careers, in the arts or sciences, and who were well travelled. Many of them moved in educated and sophisticated circles and were exposed to the world of culture that most frum from birth women have no connection with. There are also many ordinary women who become newly observant, humbler types who cannot boast of anything more than a mediocre existence before becoming frum. Yet, whatever end of the social or educational scale a newly observant women was on before, for the most part it is safe to say that she was heavily influenced, in one way or another, by the modern post-feminist world she came from.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Rant on Igros Voodoo, by Shoshanna Silcove

The Igros-voodoo practice would never have been tolerated while the Rebbe was still in this physical world. The Rebbe's secretariat (closest aides) were completely committed to ensuring that the Rebbe’s words were never misinterpreted. They knew that with each communication (written or verbal) of the Rebbe, that they had to check every nuance and detail, every single word, and every single punctuation, to be certain it would mean exactly what the Rebbe wanted it to mean. The Rebbe was known to get extremely angry when anyone tried to ‘put words into his mouth’. To do so, even inadvertently, would be considered the ultimate chutzpah. If this was so while the Rebbe was here in this physical world, how much more so now when the Rebbe is not here to defend himself against those who portend to speak for him?

Those people who walk around claiming to have clear and specific instructions from the Rebbe post-Gimel Tamuz (the Jewish date the Rebbe passed away in 1994) are sorely misguided. They do not understand how the Rebbe functioned. For forty years the Rebbe stood for hours in all kinds of harsh conditions, day in and day out at the Ohel (the gravesite of the previous Rebbe in Queens , NY, now of the Rebbe too)answering a neverending stream of petitioners. Yet he treated each and every letter as if they were the only one. And when the Rebbe answered a person, he connected with that person’s neshoma at that point in time. He looked into each individual’s soul and saw its roots. He brought down blessings and even performed miracles specifically for each separate soul. The Rebbe never once suggested or even hinted that the Igros were interchangeable. This was so even when, as it explains in the introduction of the Igros (book of letters) entitled, ‘The Letter and the Spirit”, the Rebbe becamse utterly overburdened and pressed for time that he had to develop a supernatural method of reading a letter and answering a letter simultaneously. This was so even though the Rebbe was obsessed with the difficulties of his time management situation, he never once directed us to to go to his Igros instead of going directly to him. In fact, remarkably, as his huge work load increased the Rebbe made himself even more accessible to each and every one of us! How much easier it would have made the Rebbe’s life if he had told us to go find out answers in his Igros and just leave him alone. Why didn’t he?