Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 5:35pm, ends Saturday night at 6:31pm. The weekly Torah portion for Shabbat is Metzorah & Shabbat Hagadol.

Past Events: To listen to the past lunchtime lecture from Rabbi Davey Blackman on “The Minhag of Kitniyot” The origins and scope of the practice click here. 

Upcoming Event: Wednesday 20 April: Pre-pesach lunchtime text-based shiur with Rabbi James Kennard on “The Fifth Cup”. shiur at 1.10pm at the Melbourne Room of St James Complex. (See Mincha section for map.) 

Friday Mincha in the CBD: On recess this week and until after Pesach. Will resume on 6 May.

Mincha in the CBD: Melbourne CBD’s minyan factory is continuing, with an amazing three minyans per day, every day. Thank you for your attendance and participation.
Buffet Lunch from 12.30pm-2.00pm.
Mincha at 12.50pm, 1.00pm, and 1.15pm.
Please note for next week: Wed & Thurs mincha minyan times: 12.50pm and 1.00pm only
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 be replaced next week with Rabbi Kennard’s shiur after the 1.00pm 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  Isaac Balbin. One of the primary reasons for the affliction known as tzara’as, is the use of a false or forked tongue. Today, those who speak falsely are no longer afflicted in a way that can be seen externally. Yet, the punishment of the perpetrator — the metzora — that promulgator of lies/lashon hara/diplobabble is effectively identical. In former times, when we were closer to the spiritual essence, the metzora was forced to leave the Camp of the Jewish people and be alone.

Rav Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik notes in his ‘Lonely Man of Faith’ that three others are described as ‘alone’: Adam before Eve was created; Ya’akov when he fought the Angel and developed the strength to overcome enemies and being rewarded with the upgraded name of Yisrael, and Moshe, who was alone with God when he received the Torah. “Badad”, “Levado”, are terms used for being in a state of aloneness. In each prior context, the removal of the state of aloneness led to a better outcome. For example, the first community was an outcome of Adam no longer being alone.

We live in a society where lies and lashon hara are pervasive cancers. These lies are sometimes camouflaged in ambiguous maunder by politicians, or transparent back stabbers. Why is the metzora of all those who sin forced backwards into that state of aloneness. An answer is based on Onkelos (Bereishis 2:7) in translating the holy spirit that God breathed into Adam’s nostrils when Adam was formed. Onkelos describes this breath as the “spirit of speech”. This is one prime area that qualitatively differentiates man from animals or the inanimate. When this quality is abused and misappropriated through scurrilous lies, man deserves to recede back into a state of aloneness where he is no longer part of the covenantal community until such time that the Cohen attests that the metzora has properly atoned for his animalistic tendencies.

We may no longer see the physical affliction on the metzora’s body today, but we most definitely do still see it, sooner or later. People are not blind. There is nowhere to hide. Perpetrators must be banished to solitude until they sincerely atone for the damage they have wrought.

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