Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:54pm, ends Saturday night at 8:57pm. The weekly Torah portion is Toldot.

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 special thanks to Rabbi Dovid Gutnick – Rabbi of the CBD – who recently returned from a visit to Israel where he represented Australia to mark 100 years since the Battle of Beersheva. There is a tradition that the beautiful blessings that Yitzchak blesses Yaakov (thinking it was Esav) beginning with the words “V’Yiten Lcha” are read every Saturday night just after the conclusion of Shabbat.

The Sefer HaRokeach posits that since we are leaving the bliss of shabbat and starting a new week it makes sense to invoke the these evocative and powerful blessings.

Every week after Havdalah I stand alongside one of my children or my wife and we draw these blessings upon each other. It is truly a highlight of our week.

Perhaps the biggest inspiration of these amazing blessings is that in Yitzchak’s mind he was offering them to Esav. This teaches us that even if we have strayed and evolved into a brute or behemoth, much like Esav, these blessings are directed our way and we can help propel us onto a new path. On the contrary – a careful reading of the entire story of Yitzchak, Yaakov and Esav teaches us of the superior power of the penitent and the potential that lies at the core of even a great sinner. This is what Yitzchak was seeking to achieve with Esav.

I urge you to read this blessings after the close of Shabbos this week and allow their energies to transform your week and your life.

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