Condolences to Michael Wise and family on the passing of his father.

Mazel tov to Shimon & Rivi New on the birth of their baby girl. Mazal tov to the grandparents and great-grandparents. 

Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 8:09pm, ends Saturday night at 9:14pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayishlach.

Upcoming Event: Wednesday, 6 December: Lunchtime lecture with Rav Yoni Rosensweig on The Miracle of Chanuka: What’s it all about? at 1:00pm Mincha 1:50pm at JBD, Level 5 South/459 Collins Street.  RSVP for catering purposes to by Monday 4, March.  For more information click here for the JBD website.

Mincha in the CBD: Please note change to Mincha time starting Monday.
Friday (1/12) Mincha will be at  1:45pm at 459 Collins using the SMS system as a reminder. Starting Monday (4/12) Mincha will begin at 1:50pm. Please keep coming to help sustain the minyan for the last few weeks of the year.

Study: Wednesday shiur & lunch is on Wednesday at 1.20pm at Billing Bureau, followed by mincha.

Kosher Food in the CBD: There is good news on the horizon .. watch this space!

Thought of the Week with thanks to Isaac Balbin. (The following is a miniscule section of a Shiur given to lay congregants by HaRav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik z’‘l in the 1970s)

We will read in this week’s Torah portion Vayishlach about the confrontation between Yaakov and Esav. We have read of many confrontations, larger, stronger and crueler: Noah and the people of his generation at the flood; Avraham and those who opposed him; Yitzchak and Avimelech. Tension, Tension, Tension: not to mention the earlier confrontation of Yaakov and Esav. In general, the story of the patriarchs is tension and confrontation. Some tried to make peace — others made it as hard as possible.

However, what we read this week – the confrontations between Yaakov and Esav and also Yaakov and Shechem are unique in one regard – they are both the final end or disposition of the struggle.

The answer to that struggle is found in the last line of the Haftorah. “V’olu Moshyim” — And the saviours shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esav, and the kingdom shall be G-d’s. This is also part of the liturgy of Rosh Hashonah. It is THE confrontation which will be terminated on one given day! All the negotiations of Abraham and others were temporary. They met; it was resolved. Crisis after crisis arrived and were settled. Temporary! But HERE it is Yaakov versus Esav. When will THAT ever stop?

Rav Soloveitchik points out that this eternal struggle will only cease when the Messianic age will finally come. It will be a permanent confrontation. Peace Now? No. Peace with Mashiach, yes. It won’t be solved by one state solutions, two state solutions, three state solutions, and certainly not the Galus/Diaspora mentality of the New Israel Fund types, a fund which should be renamed the ‘Fund for a new Israel’. Forget it. Israel is eternal. No leftist postmodernist will ever change the eschatological events that were predicated by that eternal struggle.

It is strange that Yaakov is ready to meet Esav the next morning. Eisov is ready to fight. Why was it necessary that the night before they meet, a “mysterious figure” engaged Yaakov in a struggle which lasted ALL NIGHT LONG (with apologies to Lionel Richie, lehavdil). From night until daylight. God wanted to teach Yaakov/Yisrael (you and I) a lesson: “Tomorrow morning you will emerge victorious as a gentleman. There will be NO trace of animosity. But don’t make a mistake; there will be PLENTY of confrontations with strange and mysterious people during the “long night” of diaspora and it will only be be terminated, with the help of G-d, when the ‘daylight’ will come in that eschatological era of the Moshiach.”

“Bayom Hahu – Hashem Echod U’shmo Echod.” – On THAT day, G-d will be recognised as one.

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