Mazal tov to Eli & Tammy Nossbaum on the birth of their baby girl.  Mazal tov to the grandparents and great-grandmothers.

Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:39pm, ends Saturday night at 8:40pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayeira.

Past Event: To listen to the lecture from Professor Efraim Inbar on “Israel’s Old-New Security Challenges in a Fluid Strategic Landscape” from Friday, October 27 click here.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at 1:45pm at 459 Collins using the SMS system as a reminder.

Study: Wednesday shiur & lunch is on Wednesday at 1.20pm at Billing Bureau, followed by 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 Isaac Balbin. Prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, God describes Avraham our father’s family by “v’shamru derech Hashem la’asos tzedakah u’mishpat” and “they should keep the way of God, to perform righteousness and justice”. Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik z’l explains in his posthumous book “Abraham’s Journey,” that “v’shamru derech Hashem” refers to Avraham’s family’s pursuit of holiness (kedushah) whereas “la’asos tzedakah u’mishpat” means their “practicing righteousness and justice.” Nice words: Holiness versus Righteousness and Justice; but what do they mean?

There are two categories of commandments: between man and man, and between man and God. Our intuition would suggest that Holiness comes from mitzvot between man and God (e.g. Shabbat), whereas Rightouseness and Justice emanate from observing commands between man and fellow man (e.g. hospitality). The Rav rejects this line of thinking by bringing a plethora of examples where the Torah describes Kedusha/Holiness as the input/output of performing and act between man and fellow man. Kedusha exceeds and envelops well past the category of “between man and God”. The Rav explains that for the covenantal Jew, it is in fact his separation, his Kedusha, his chosen role which provides the huge sacrificial altar of both categories of Mitzvot. We readily see this in our day, where what was once “good manners and basic morality” is no longer. It is only the God-gifted Mitzvot which afford the exalted outcome, famously described by Kierkegaard as the “teleological suspension of the ethical” where faith transcends reason.

This D’var Torah is dedicated in memory of Yehuda (Johnny) Baker z’l with whom I shared a life-long connection.

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