Times: Shavuot is Tuesday night-Thursday night. Candlelighting is Tuesday 4:51pm; Wednesday (after) 5:51pm; Shavuot ends Thursday 5:51pm.

Shabbat Candlelighting is Friday 4:50pm; Shabbat ends Saturday 5:51pm. The weekly Torah Portion is Behaalotcha. Queen’s Birthday is Monday, June 9th.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha will resume next Tuesday at our usual location at Level 5 South, 459 Collins St, at 1.00pm Mon-Thu. Please note: there will be NO Mincha minyan Tues- Thurs due to Shavuot and Monday (June 9th) due to Queens Birthday.

Limmud Oz, the festival of Jewish learning, takes place 7-9 June at Monash University (Caulfield Campus). Check the web site for details.

Study: June 4th) Wed 1.15 Shiur in recess due to Shavuot.
(June 9th) Mon 12.30 No Shiur – Queen’s Birthday ; Wed 1.15 @Billing Bureau

Kosher Food in the CBD: Kosher sandwiches and snacks provided by Sidewalk Cafe under Kosher Australia hashgacha are available at the following locations:
-CBW Express- 181 William Street (Open late until 9pm)
-Pronto on Flinders – 335 Flinders Lane
Kosher sandwiches and snacks delivered daily to the CBD.
SANDWICHES: egg mayonnaise and tomato, tuna mayonnaise and pickles, smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese, crisp lettuce, sliced cheese, tomato, cucumber and salad. SNACKS: natural berry yogurt with oat cluster crumble, fresh fruit salad, mixed berry muffin

Thought of the Week with thanks to Isaac Balbin. The weekly Torah reading of Beha’alotcha, which immediately follows Shavuot, speaks about the requirement to blow trumpets when the people of Israel are in danger. Their message is to draw strength and unity before going into battle. In contemporary times, we pray daily for similar outcomes.
Maimoinides is of the view that prayer is a Biblical obligation (the Shemoneh Esreh) whilst Nachmanides contends that it is of Rabbinic obligation. What is at the root of their disagreement? Rav Soloveitchik ז’ל explained that Maimonides felt that the precarious existence of each person would be a sufficient motivator to pray each day Biblically, as they would know their volatile daily existence. Nachmanides held that this was too much to expect. Most people would only be motivated at the time of stress and the need for delivery, similar to the blowing of the trumpets at a time of need. Maimonides can be seen as an idealistic commentary on human nature, whereas Nachmanides was perhaps a more realistic view.

Let’s look at the Shavuot functions in our community over the last 20 years. They have morphed, I would say, from a Maimonidean idealistic context through the traditional Tikun Leil Shavuos, to a Nachmanidean context. These days, Shules must resort to every tantalising type of hourly event in order to entice those who might slumber to be aroused to attend. That is reality. That is the Nachmanidean approach. Maimonides was arguably more Torah for Torah’s sake. There are no need for gimmicks and special approaches. One only has to genuinely uncover a layer of Jewish learning, in earnest, to be magnetically attracted towards the genius and Godliness inherent in the Torah.

May we all gain over Shavuos, each in their way, and at their level. Not participating, though, is not a view we find recorded, whether it be prayer or learning.

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