Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 4:53pm, ends Saturday night at 5:55pm. The weekly Torah portion is Chukat.

Past Events: To listen to the podcast from the lecture this past Monday with Rabbi Todd Berman on “Human Dignity as a factor in Jewish Legal Decision Making” click here.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at 1:00pm at 459 Collins using the SMS system as a reminder.

Study: Wednesday shiur & lunch is on Wednesday at about 1.15pm at Billing Bureau, following mincha.

Kosher Food in the CBD: Unfortunately, due to lack of demand there is no longer kosher food being sold in the CBD. Glicks, we want you back!!

Thought of the Week with thanks to Yehuda Gottlieb. This week’s Torah reading begins by describing the purifying ritual undertaken with the ashes of the red heifer. The Torah refers to this process as a ‘chok’, which loosely translates as an ‘ordinance’. Rashi comments that this mitzvah is something which will give rise to questions as it defies logic, and yet, we do not have permission to delve into its meaning, and should rather accept it as the will of G-d. The red heifer is not the only offering that purifies a person. The Torah goes into depths about the purification process for other times of impurities, such as a zav or someone who has given birth.

The Ohr Hachayim asks why the Torah specifically mentions why would people question this process more than others? The answer is that this process is one that must be done outside the temple whereas the other offerings are done inside. It seems this process in particular, is one that assists us in strengthening our belief in G-d. Despite our lack of understanding, and potential derision in the eyes of others, we undertake it purely because G-d has said so.

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