Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 5:07pm, ends Saturday night at 6:07pm.  Happy Pi Approximation Day! The weekly Torah portion for Shabbat is Balak. Fast of Tammuz is on Sunday (24/7); fast begins at 6:04am; fast ends 5:56pm.

Friday Mincha in the CBD: Mincha on Friday is back on this week 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: 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 1.00pm, and 1.15pm for this week.
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, specialising in individual and board room  lunches. 10% Discount on your first website purchase. Enter promo code “FIRST TIME”. For further details visit www.nifla.com.au
IN A RUSH CAFE-616 St Kilda Road-(Ground Floor-Lowe Lippmann Building)

Thought of the Week with thanks to David Prins. This week’s Torah reading tells how Balak the king of Moab commissioned the heathen prophet Bilaam to curse the Jewish people. The Biblical commentator Rashi questions why Balak resorted to unconventional warfare to defeat the Jewish people through curses, rather than waging a normal war using the conventional weapons of the day.

Rashi answers that the Midianites saw that the strength of the Jewish people was in their mouth. They were espousing moral values, civil rights, and freedom of expression. These were a threat to the dictatorships of the Middle East that would be Israel’s neighbours. Balak correspondingly sought to destroy the Jewish people through words.

The same may be said of wars today. Battles of words are fought in the street and in cyberspace by all sides to win the minds of impressionable people. The enemies of the West use the social media of the West to recruit followers. The forces of good must use words to remind themselves, their people and the people of the world of the justness of their cause. They must deploy their oratory resources as well as their military resources to ensure that they prevail and influence the world for good, while pure evil is defeated and eradicated.

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