Mazal Tov to Joel Bierenkrant and Shifi Elmakeas on their engagement.  Mazal Tov to the parents and grandparents.

Mazal Tov to Mottel & Shternie Gestetner on the birth of their baby girl.  Mazal Tov to the grandparents and great-grandparents.  

Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 5:30pm, ends Saturday night at 6:29pm. The weekly Torah portion for Shabbat is Vaetchanan – Shabbat Nachamu. Tu B’Av is today (19/8).

Special Friday mincha in the CBD: Because of a yahrzeit, today we are aiming for two minyanim for Friday mincha. It’s on at 1.00pm at 5 South Tower, 459 Collins (not at St James) with cholent & whisky. We will send an SMS reminder – please come along!

Upcoming Events: 
Sunday, 28 August at 7.30pm: Ora II: An evening of cantorial, operatic and Israeli music. Featuring renowned cantor ZEV MÜLLER from the West Side Institutional Synagogue Manhattan New York. Special Guests include Aaron Max, Rabbi David Rubinfeld, Didi Levin, David Brykman, and Shimon Walles. Toorak Shule– 2/10 Toorak Road, South Yarra. To book tickets click here. To see the flyer click here.

Wednesday, 31 August at 10:15am: East Melbourne Synagogue’s special morning tea with Professor Sharon Lewin. Sharon is a great Jewish Australian who is world acclaimed for her achievements in medical research particularly in the area of HIV and infectious disease. She will be sharing some of her life story and the latest medical findings in combatting the world’s most dangerous diseases. See the video featuring her as Melbournian of the Year here: Location is at the ‘Fenix’, 680 Victoria St Richmond (near Victoria Gardens). This event is EMHC’s annual community fundraiser and is central to keeping the Synagogue’s vital work intact. Any support you can provide and invite you to attend this wonderful event.Online Bookings and Phone Bookings: Synagogue office on (03) 9662 1372.

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 (earliest time), 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 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
IN A RUSH CAFE-616 St Kilda Road-(Ground Floor-Lowe Lippmann Building)

Thought of the Week with thanks to Gaby Silver. Rashi comments that Va’etchanan, the name of this week’s Torah reading, is one of the 10 phrases the Torah utilises to indicate prayer. Moshe had decades to digest the fact that he would not be entering into the Land. Why start praying now? Probably not because he wanted a beachside villa in Netanya. A few verses later, Moshe twice reminds us in forceful language that G-d is One, and “there is no other”. What is the connection, and why the redoubled urgency?

The focal points of our daily prayers are the Shema and the Amida. Shema begins by confirming G-d’s unity. The Amida concludes by affirming that G-d has given us the Torah of Life and blessings of loving-kindness, righteousness and mercy through “the Light of Your Countenance”. The word “Tefilla” (prayer) literally means “connection”. Our sages have thus bookended the pinnacle of our daily connection with G-d with these two concepts. Chassidus employs light as a metaphor for G-d’s existence and flow of vitality into the physical world. Light exists, but has no mass. We can see it, but it cannot be grasped. It is intrinsically connected to its source – the luminary.

Our great leader Moshe operated on a level in which the physicality of the world was secondary to the spirituality. More than the land, it was the revelation of G-dly light that would stream forth from the physical manifestation of G-d’s unity – the Temple and its services. As we move from mourning the Temple’s destruction and prepare for the of renewal and revitalisation of Elul/Tishrei, may we harness the power of our prayers so that the approaching days of awe and joy are filled with a revelation of G-d’s light and unity in the third Templ.

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