Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 5:53pm, ends Saturday night at 6:50pm. The weekly Torah portion is Nitzavim-Vayelech. Selichot starts on Saturday night.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at 1:00pm at 459 Collins using the SMS system as a reminder. The second mincha minyan is now in recess until sometime next year.

Study: Wednesday shiur & lunch on Wednesday will not be taking place due to Erev Rosh Hashanah.

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 Gaby Silver. In the weekly Torah reading of Nitzavim, G-d gives us a choice: “See, I have set before you life and goodness, and death and evil…Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life…”

Quite the choice? Life versus death, blessing versus curse? How many people would opt for the latter? Even more quizzically, G-d then commands us to make the right choice. Doesn’t sound like much of a choice, does it? How can we reconcile these seeming contradictions?

Our world is not straightforward – black and white. Every moment of every day brings with it choices to bring life and light in the world, to leave it as it is, or G-d forbid the opposite. Whether these choices come at critical junctures, such as when contracting an important business deal, or seemingly trivial moments, such as when tying our shoes, our Creator expects us to choose the way that brings light. This choice is not always so simple. However, the Torah assures that the answers are not at the bottom of the ocean, nor in the heavens above. They are “very near to us in our mouths and in our hearts to do them”. The defining phrase upon which the Tanya is based tells us that the complexities of life can essentially be distilled into a simple choice to connect with the essence of who we are, an actual portion of G-dliness clothed in a physical body.

When you look at it like this, no matter where life takes you, or what conundrums it throws up at you; look inside yourself and the choice is simple.

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