SPEECH: Shavuot 30th May - 1st June 2017



Mr BURKE (Watson—Manager of Opposition Business) 10-5-2017

On behalf of Labor I want to extend my best wishes to Jewish communities in Australia and around the world for the joyous occasion of Shavuot. Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments form the moral basis for the Jewish faith and for other faiths around the world. It is also a harvest festival and the start of the season when ancient Israelite farmers would bring their first fruits to the temple in Jerusalem and celebrate the blessings of God given to the Jewish nation. Here in Australia it marks the beginning of winter and is a time for spiritual connection with God. Families and communities will gather at the synagogue to hear the readings of the Torah and eat dairy foods, which is a customary tradition. The celebration of Shavuot offers all of us the opportunity to reflect on the moral and ethical foundations of our society and to continue work towards building a prosperous nation of diverse cultures, faiths and backgrounds, celebrating the essence of modern multicultural Australia, a nation of vibrant cultures, faiths and backgrounds all united under one banner of unity.

Happy Shavuot.

Tony Burke