Mazal tov to Shimon and Rivi New (née: Potashon the birth of their daughter. Mazal Tov to the grandparents Chaim & Sheiny New (Melb) and Golda Potash (Florida, USA).  Mazal Tov to the great-grandparents Mendel & Assia New (Melb) and
Rabbi Benzion Friedman (New York).

Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 4:58pm; ends Saturday night at 5:59pm. The weekly Torah portion for Shabbos is Pinchas. Rosh Chodesh Av is on Friday (17/7). 

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at 1.00pm Monday-Thursday.

Study: Wed shiur Billing Bureau: 1:15pm

Kosher Food in the CBD: Nifla Kosher Catering (KA Hechsher)
Offers Corporate Catering, specializing in individual and board room lunches. For further details visit www.nifla.com.au
10% Discount on your first website purchase. Enter promo code “FIRST TIME”.
Kosher sandwiches, muffins and salads are available at the following locations:
CUPP- Manchester Unity Building- Ground Floor-220 Collins Street
CBW EXPRESS-181 William Street.(Entrance Little Bourke St)
IN A RUSH CAFE-616 St Kilda Road-(Ground Floor-Lowe Lippmann Building)

Spot On (KA Hechsher)
Kosher sandwiches and snacks are available at the following location: 
PRONTO ON FLINDERS-335 Flinders Lane
Smoked salmon and cheese sandwich, Tuna sandwich,Cheese and salad sandwich, Egg and tomato sandwich. Natural yoghurt with berries and granola clusters, Mixed berry muffin, Seasonal fresh fruit salad, Pesto pasta salad (new), Greek salad (new).

Thought of the Week with thanks to Yudi NewThis week’s portion, Pinchas, is about transition. It describes a nation finally ready to leave its spiritual cocoon to grapple with the challenge of finding G-dliness in a material and mundane existence.

For this transition, the Israelites needed new leaders who were religious self-starters and, unlike Moses, could not simply access G-d at will. The land of Israel is full of trapped holiness which must be identified and revealed through toil and commitment. Unlike his father and grandfather, Pinchas did not automatically merit the Priesthood. However, this did not stop him from taking charge in a time of crisis and rebellion. Joshua was not born into royalty, yet earned his position through many years toiling at the foot of his teacher Moses. By contrast, Moses’ own sons appear to have taken their spiritual status for granted and, to Moses’ disappointment, do not even rate a mention. Tragically, Moses himself could only gaze and yearn from afar and endorse Joshua for the next and more spiritually opaque phase where the Jews would be preoccupied with tilling the Land.

The land is then divided through the tribal princes but it takes the daughters of Zelaphchad to generate and publicise an acute desire to connect with the Land. This longing is a tradition which they have received from their ancestor Joseph who chose a simple burial plot in Israel over, what would have otherwise been his right to, a glorified tomb in Egypt. Zelaphchad may have been a sinner but his daughters would not countenance the loss of his portion in the Land – even if it meant respectfully challenging Moses and accepted tradition and taking the matter all the way, directly to G-d almighty. G-d’s response is emphatic – “the daughters of Zelaphchad have spoken correctly”.

Finally, the Parsha ends by detailing the sacrifices for each Festival. Although similar in nature, each Festival has its own nuances which reflect and celebrate the rhythm of the agricultural year which was so central to life in Israel. Three times a year the people would pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem to bring sacrifices and heighten their senses to the spiritual opportunities which lay within their otherwise mundane existence.

It is by no accident that this portion is always read within the 3 weeks of grief when we mourn the destruction of the Temple and yearn for its rebuilding. It is a reminder to us that we must not settle for a life in the Diaspora. We must actively reawaken our love for the Land and what it stands for as well as will G-d to end the exile, rebuild the Temple and once again rest his Holiness in a revealed way amongst us – may this happen speedily in our days.
(Drawn from ideas discussed in the Sefas Emes and Ktav Sofer)

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