Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 5:11pm, and ends Saturday night at 6:11pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vaetchanan & Shabbat Nachamu. Today is Tu B’Av ❤️
Mincha in the CBD: Whisky and Kugel Fridays is on today at 1.00pm using the SMS system to confirm numbers. Mincha (Mon-Fri) 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 Menachem Wolf. I dislike being told to give up, it upsets me to be told my plans are unrealistic or that my goal is unachievable. But this is partially because of my own ego coupled with a built in inflexibility. What further bothers me is that we are bombarded with YouTube videos and social media memes that encourage us not to give up and never stop dreaming.
So how should we decide what’s important enough to keep trying for and what should be abandoned? In this weeks Torah reading of Vaetchanah we discover that Moshe prayed 515 times over the course of his desert journey towards Israel, he begged G-d to allow him to reach the Holy Land and not die in the wilderness with his generation. He was desperate to enter Israel even though G-d indicated that he would not be allowed to. This was a consequence of hitting the rock in that infamous story resulting in G-d telling him that the consequence was dying in the desert. If G-d had already decided on this consequence, why did Moshe persist the way he did? why didn’t he just accept the word of G-d and give up?
While I can’t draw a line in the sand in a short article as to when to give up, one thing is for sure: we should never give up on living. There is a fascinating prayer that says, even when the executioners blade touches the throat one shouldn’t lose faith nor discount a lifesaving miracle. In my job I have seen people on the brink of death who have chosen to fight and survive and today live happy and/or meaningful lives (whether it be for a week or decade longer than ‘predicted’). To Moshe, living outside of Israel was as good as death and therefore he refused to give up – even until his last breath.