Times: Candlelighting is Friday 5:38pm; Shabbat ends Saturday 6:36pm. The weekly Torah Portion is Shoftim.
Upcoming Events: Thursday, 11th September: A lunchtime lecture with the Honourable Justice Michael Sifris “Religion, Democracy & Civil Society – Battle of the Rights” 12:30pm Kliger Partners Lawyers, Level 2, 280 Queen Street, Melbourne. RSVP for catering purposes to firstname.lastname@example.org by COB Tuesday 9th September. For more information click here.
Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at our usual location at Level 5 South, 459 Collins St, at 1.00pm Mon-Thurs.
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. We have been confronted and judged according to the so called “moral governance” of the Nations in respect of our defence of Israel. Ironically, we don’t find the type of morality in war that we are asked to display expressed in any of behaviour by the nations of the world. How then do they bleat about what they do not do?
The Torah in Shoftim tells us “appoint a king for yourselves”. The Rabbis in the Talmud tell us that it is the first Mitzva the Jews had to perform when they entered Israel. Later we read in the history of the Jewish people in the land that the tribes came to Shmuel who was the prophet at that time and asked that he appoint a king over them. We are told that Shmuel was angry with them for their request. Since we read in the Torah it is a Mitzva and the Rabbis tell us it was to be the first Mitzva in the land, why was Shmuel angry?
When we read carefully the request that the people made of Shmuel we find that their intention was “to be like all the nations” (I Samuel 8:5). It was not to fulfill the Mitzva but to be “like all the other nations” and their so-called governance styles.The message of our Parsha is that the Jews cannot conduct themselves simply according to the bleatings all other nations. We are unique and have our own challenges. We show the world what is moral and what is just. We don’t take orders to behave according to their hypocritical platitudes. We are to be a light and a guide for others. That is what makes us unique. When we try to be like others and satisfy their vacuous words we usually fail. The Jew should set the example and the world will follow us.
Let us rejoice in the Kiddush Hashem, sanctification of God’s name during the war in Gaza. We don’t imitate their false ways or react according to what they think is the correct way. Their ways are the ways of falsehood. This was Shmuel’s message. Appoint a King but do not imitate the false morality of their Kings.