Times: Shabbat starts tomorrow night with candle lighting at 8:20pm, Shabbat ends Saturday night at 9:21pm. Happy Australia Day (tomorrow)! The weekly Torah portion is Beshalach. Tu B’Shevat is on Wednesday (31/1)

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha is on summer break. We will gauge demand in early Feb once people are back from holidays.

Study: The Wednesday shiur & lunch takes place at 1.00pm at Billing Bureau.

Kosher Food in the CBD: Glicks delivery in the CBD: We are thrilled to announce Glicks online. We now come to you! Whether it’s for one person or corporate catering for 100, we have a delicious range of filled bagels, fruit, danish, muffins, drinks and club sandwiches. The food is beautifully presented and we deliver twice a  day anywhere in Melbourne including the CBD. Gluten free choices are also available.We are offering a huge 20% off all orders till end February (excluding delivery). Go to www.glicks.com.au and enter promo code glicks2018 to receive the discount.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Rabbi Menachem Wolf. As a grandchild of European Holocaust survivors, I used to wonder whether I was truly Australian or just the descendant of refugees who won a lottery and ended up here. I know from my grandparents’ stories, I could have just as easily been an American or Canadian, it’s just that Australia was the first country to issue papers to my family. This would mean that I don’t inherently have anything to do with Australia, which begs the question: what does Australia mean to me?

It was the discovery of an interesting Jewish law that stems from this week’s Torah reading that provided me with clarity as to what Australia means to me. Long after the Jewish people left Egypt, a law was introduced that a Jew may not live in Egypt ever again. Kabbalisticaly, the reason is because when we were slaves, we achieved everything there was for our souls to achieve in that land and now there is no purpose to us being there. This idea indicates that we only live in a place where there is something spiritual for us to achieve. It won’t be obvious to us, but living according to our spiritual discipline ensures that we do achieve what is required.

I must therefore assume that there is a divine purpose for my living here, it wasn’t by chance that my family ended up here, rather, we were placed here – to learn, grow and achieve, I need to honour the soul of this land and elevate it in the way G-d has empowered me to.

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