Times: Candlelighting is Friday 7:44pm; Shabbat ends Saturday 8:41pm. Early Mincha: 6:30pm; Early Candlelighting: 6:45pm. The weekly Torah Portion is Pekudei & Parshat Shekalim; Rosh Chodesh Adar II is on Sunday & Monday.
Mincha in the CBD: Mincha minyan is going along moderately at ABL – Level 21, 333 Collins St, and will continue next week at 2.04pm. The weekly Wednesday JBD shiurim have also moved, and we will continue to monitor things and adjust if necessary. After DST is over, we will move back to 459 Collins.
Kosher Food in the CBD: Kosher sandwiches and snacks are available at the following locations:
-CBW Express- 181 William Street
-Pronto on Flinders – 335 Flinders Lane
Thought of the Week with thanks to Rabbi Leon Anaf. G-d instructs Moshe to take a census and the counting must be done indirectly, so that no plague will break out amongst the Israelites. Rashi explains that the plague would come from the “ayin hara” (lit. “evil eye”) which would result from a direct count. We are supposed to avoid counting things publicly e.g. for a minyan. If the ayin hara results from some evil spirit why should the Jews be worried about it as G-d is the ultimate power and He commanded the census? The Maharal explains that every prayer to G-d must be answered, and he writes that any negative or jealous thought about another person may count as an unconscious prayer against the person’s success, which will have to be answered in one way or another. Such is the power of prayer! If all prayers must be answered, even ignoble ones, how much more will prayers be answered which are in accordance with G-d’s wishes – prayers for the welfare of others or for our own spiritual growth.