Times: Candlelighting is Friday 7:34pm; Shabbat ends Saturday 8:30pm. Early Mincha: 6:20pm; Early Candlelighting: 6:35pm. The weekly Torah Portion is Vayikrah. Fast of Esther is on Thursday, 13th March; Fast begins 5:36am; Fast Ends 8:11pm.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha minyan is going along well at ABL – Level 21, 333 Collins St, and will continue next week at 2.02pm, except for Thursday (fast of Esther) when we will be at 459 Collins. 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.

Study: Mon 12.30 @ East Melb Shule; Wed 1.00 @ ABL.

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 Noach Klug. This week’s parsha, Vayikra, focuses on sacrificial offerings. One of the verses says “Speak to the Jewish Nation and tell them that when an “adam” from among you will bring an offering to Hashem….” The Hebrew word “adam” means “person.” But the great commentator Rabbi Shomo Yitzchaki (“Rashi”) is bothered by something: why did the Torah choose this specific word for “person”? There are several Hebrew words for “person,” the most commonly used of which is “ish”. Rashi answers that the Torah specifically chooses the word “adam” for “person” here to teach us that just as Adam, the first man, did not bring a sacrificial offering that was stolen, since everything in the world at that time belonged to him, so too we should not bring offerings from that which is stolen. This is a nice lesson, but there is something deeper here as well.

We are taught that everything in the world at the time Adam was created was perfect – human beings never died, it was not necessary to work because food was plentiful and could be eaten in its natural form without any processing, childbirth was not painful, all knowledge and wisdom came to a person without any effort, and the list goes on and on. Most notably, however, for our discussion here, the world in Adam’s time was perfect in the sense that everything that existed was his. Wouldn’t it be nice if everything in the world belonged to you? We are taught that the world turned from a perfect state to its current imperfect state because Adam and Eve made a mistake. But this was not meant as a punishment. The “imperfections” created in the world after their mistake are all here to teach us, help us to grow and develop, and through our own efforts, actively turn the world back to its original perfect state.This brings us back to the Rashi. Why did Hashem change the world after Adam and Eve’s mistake into an existence where a person does not own everything in the world? The lesson is obvious – to help us to grow by learning to be “sameach b’chelko”  – happy with our portion – not wanting to own everything in the world, but rather accepting that whatever we do have, is what we should have, and being both grateful for the gifts Hashem has given us, as well as happy for others for the gifts that Hashem chose in His wisdom for them to have.

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