Times: Candlelighting is Friday 8:19pm; Shabbat ends Saturday 9:24pm. The weekly Torah Portion is Vayechi. Fast of 10 Tevet is today. Fast Ends: 9:09pm. There will be no fast of 10 Tevet in 2014 🙂

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha will continue at 1.52pm next week at our usual venue for as long as we still get numbers.

Study: Mon 12.30 @ East Melb Shule; Wed 12.30 Special @ Billing Bureau.

Kosher Food in the CBD: GOLD’S GOURMET are supplying delicious sandwiches to the following THREE outlets in the CBD:
-Pronto on Flinders @ Ground Level, 335 Flinders Lane
-CBW Express- CGU Building @ 181 William St.
CBW Express has arguably the largest range of fresh and packaged kosher products in the CBD!
-Cityblend Café @ 365 Little Collins St.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Isaac Balbin.  In memory of his father, R’ Shaul Zelig HaCohen Balbin, hk”m.  Vayechi informs us that ‘Yaakov didn’t die”. But Yaakov DID die. Do we need a verse to remind us that souls live on and bodies become nought and impure? We know that. And yet, we are told that specifically Yaakov did not die. Furthermore, Abraham and Isaac were also powerful forefathers, and their bodies died and souls surely were no less vibrant and alive in a higher world. Yet, the Torah does not tell us “Abraham didn’t die”. Life and living is about building. There is an architectural plan and an engineering implementation, the blueprint of which is our Torah. Then it must be built. We talk about a binyan adei ad, a solid edifice, when a couple is married. They too are commencing on the path of building. All three: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were the builders of the nation of Israel.

However, Jacob’s offspring progressed to a level of higher perfection. The efforts of Jacob’s father and grandfather were certainly as builders and step ladders: builders of our nation. The culmination, however, of this generational effort was through Jacob and his progeny. For this reason, explains Rav Kook, the Torah emphasises that Jacob’s soul – the epitomisation of a successful venture in the culmination of Jewish home building, never died. It was and remains the cornerstone of each and every holy edifice we frequent in our daily lives. The permanence of that achievement, inspires, excites and empowers us to face all that comes our way: not only to overcome, but also to derive and transmit nachas from our own offspring, each of which should function as a maintainer of the eternal Jewish edifice.

I lost my father, and the year of mourning is almost complete, but together with my mother, he nurtured the edifice that is Judaism. Our daughter Batsheva was just engaged to marry Izzy Goldman from Johannesburg. This is continuity. It is the desire of every parent to continue to inspire and be inspired by the living soul. I feel it on a daily basis, and try to transmit teachings and traditions to the next generation. We don’t complete the job – we may not even be experts – but we are each a vital link in ensuring the continued maintenance, the activity of which extends until we are all in the holy rebuilt city of Jerusalem, standing in awe as Elijah the Prophet who ascended in body and soul, announces the epoch of our redemption from the mundane.

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