Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 5:22pm, and ends Saturday night at 6:21pm. The weekly Torah portion is Re’eh, Rosh Chodesh is tonight (Shabbat) & Sunday.

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 Dovid Gutnick. There is a well known Jewish custom of burying a deceased with the palms of the hand open and spread out. It has been suggested that the reason for this is to denote the fact that we all ascend to the world of truth empty handed of all the physical possession that we accrued throughout life.

This custom is linked to a verse in this week’s Torah reading. “When there is a pauper before you on your land… do not harden your heart or close your hand…” This prohibited act of “closing the hands” or “clenching the palms” is the opposite of what occurs when we are laid to rest.

It is as if the Torah is saying: Do not close your hands or clench your palms from assisting your fellow, for there will inevitably be a day where we will ascend to the world of truth with our hands open and unclenched, devoid of our physical possessions. Better to open our hands now and when our day of reckoning arrives, where our hands will nevertheless be divested of our physical possessions, they will yet be filled with the intangible charities and kind deeds we performed in our lifetime.

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