Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 4:53pm, and ends Saturday night at 5:54pm. The weekly Torah portion is Balak.
Mincha in the CBD: Friday mincha is currently on recess and will resume on 20 July. Mincha (Mon-Thu) continues next week at 1.00pm with the SMS reminder.
Study: The Wednesday shiur & lunch continues this week at Billing Bureau, following 1.00pm mincha.
Thought of the Week with thanks to Rabbi Chezy Deren. This Shabbat we read in Bilaam’s prophecy that – “a star will shoot forth from Yaakov”. The commentator Rambam (Melachim, Chapter 11) interprets these words as a reference to King David, while Ramban understands them as a reference to Moshiach. But the Talmud (Maaser Sheini – Jerusalem, ‘4 ‘6) sees it as a reference to every individual Jewish person.
In some sense all these answers are true, especially the last interpretation. It is a remarkable feature of our tradition that the description used for the greatest characters in our history – a star – is also applied to the common person.
Of course, the Torah had already compared the Jewish people to the stars of the sky in G-d’s promise made to Avraham. The difference here is that the description is used for each Jew on their own: by living a life guided by Torah, we can brighten the darkest of places.