Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 5:45pm, ends Saturday night at 6:41pm. The weekly Torah portion for Shabbat is Tazriah & Parshat Hachodesh.

Friday Mincha in the CBD: Mincha on Friday will continue is at 1.00pm at 5/459 Collins (not at St James) with kugel & whisky and using the SMS reminder system to confirm numbers.

Mincha in the CBD: The launch of Melbourne CBD’s first minyan factory went very well, with sufficient people for the required minyanim on each day. Thank you for your attendance and participation.
Buffet Lunch from 12.30pm-2.00pm.
Mincha at 12.50pm, 1.00pm, and 1.15pm.
Melbourne Room of St. James complex near the corner of Little Collins Street and Church St. Click here for a map. For more information click here.
Email stjames.mincha@gmail.com to be added to the list for any daily updates.

Study: Wednesday shiur will take place after the 1.15pm mincha at St James.

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:
IMPORTANT NOTE: the two CBD locations are not reliably stocking kosher products due to low demand. One of two things will happen: either they will stop carrying them, or more people will start buying and it will be worthwhile for them.
1932 Café- Ground floor –Manchester Unity Building- 220 Collins Street. Melbourne.
CBW EXPRESS-181 William Street.(Entrance Little Bourke St)
IN A RUSH CAFE-616 St Kilda Road-(Ground Floor-Lowe Lippmann Building)

Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman. “If a tzaraas affliction will be in a person…” (Lev. 13:9). The illness of tzaraas – a spiritual illness that manifests itself with a leprosy-like skin disease – is the biblically mandated consequence of speaking lashon hara (slander). Why is derogatory speech about another person considered so serious that it is punishable with a severe illness? After all, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me”, goes the children’s rhyme. “We all do it, it’s just a bit of fun, the person may never know anyway,” and so on, we excuse it.

When G-d created Adam, the Torah states, “And [G-d] blew into his nostrils the soul of life; and man became a living being’. Onkelos translates “a living being” as a “speaking spirit”. The ability to speak – to utilise a complete and extensive language – is what intrinsically defines us as human and differentiates us from other animals. When we use the G-dly gift of speech to cause harm to others, we are essentially negating our very humanity and giving in to our most base ‘animal’ instincts, and do great damage to our souls.

Now we can understand the appreciation of the stringency and appropriateness of the punishment. When a person is afflicted with tzaraas, they become impure and must be separated from the community. They cannot continue to sin when separated from friends and family.

Our sages state that lashon hara is one of three transgressions that cause us to forfeit our place in the world to come, and is comparable to murder. Conversely, the reward for self-restraint is the privilege of living to a ripe old age i.e. the opportunity to extend our “humanity” and be the “living being” that we were created to be for many, many years.

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