Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 5:36pm, ends Saturday night at 6:34pm. The weekly Torah portion for Shabbat is Eikev.

Friday mincha in the CBD: Mincha on Friday is 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.

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: https://vimeo.com/113673103. 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 Bookingshttp://www.melbournecitysynagogue.com/product/emhc-morning-tea/ and Phone Bookings: Synagogue office on (03) 9662 1372.

Thursday, 1 September: Lunchtime lecture with Rabbi David Eliezrie “The Key to Making a Successful Event with the Secret of Chabad”. Buffet Lunch from 12.30pm
Mincha 12.49pm, 1.00pm and 1.15pm, with lecture to follow at St James, 555 Bourke Street. Click here for map and directions.  For more information click here.

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 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)

Thoughts for the Week with thanks to Isaac Balbin.The nuance expressed in this short Dvar Torah is better appreciated with reference to the text in the Talmud (Tractate Brachos 33b). Our weekly portion quoting Moshe asks (Devarim 10:12) “… What does God request from Jews?” Moshe answers “ only to fear the Lord your God”. The word “only” is a challenging pursuit in life. How does Moshe seemingly minimise the fear of God, as a simple attainment, and as THE element that God asks from us?

The Talmud (ad loc.) is similarly troubled and says “Is fear of Heaven such a simple level to obtain?” The Talmud answers incredulously, “Yes, in Moshe’s domain it is a simple level to obtain”. The question then is obvious. We are not Moshe. We didn’t speak to God and experience miracles or God’s interference in our world. God remains hidden. For us plebians, it can’t be said that attaining the fear of Heaven is a relatively simple task.
In one of my favourite insights from Rav Soloveitchik, he explains that the placement of the comma in the Talmud’s response is the key to the puzzle. Instead of reading “Yes, in Moshe’s domain it is a simple level to obtain”, the Rav suggests it be read as “Yes in Moshe’s domain, it is a simple level to obtain”. Meaning, the Jew alone does not achieve this level unless they attach themselves to their respected Rabbi and teacher it is indeed a mountain to climb, however, it is incumbent upon every Jew to attach themselves to the Masoretic tradition of a respected Rabbi and teacher who is able to facilitate climbing the mountain towards “fear of heaven”.

The Rav’s great grandfather, the Griz, provided a further insight. He opined that the level of self deprecation towards one’s teacher on matters on faith, was proportional to the level of Yiras Shomayim (fear of heaven) that could be achieved. The lesson, however, is a simple one. Each one of us needs to seek and attach ourselves to a Rav Hamuvhak, an influential and upstanding teacher, and through that conduit we are able to achieve more lofty levels of attainment. Ego, reading, and personally inspired learning do not compare to the step ladder afforded by the Masoretic tradition of cleaving to a respected teacher, and surpassing one’s self-importance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *