Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:23pm, and ends Saturday night at 8:23pm. The weekly Torah portion is Lech Lecha.
Mincha in the CBD: Whisky and Kugel Fridays is on today at 1.30pm (mincha 1.45pm) using the SMS system to confirm numbers. Mincha (Mon-Fri) continues next week at 1.45pm with the SMS reminder.
Study: The Wednesday shiur & lunch continues this week at Billing Bureau, beginning at 1.20pm with mincha to follow at 1:45pm. .
Thought of the Week with thanks to David Prins. In this week’s Torah reading, G-d promises a Land to Avraham, and later to his descendants through Yitzhak. This Land is to be our inheritance and home, for ever. It is worth reminding ourselves which Land is to be our eternal home, because there has been confusion over the millennia. It is the Land of Israel.
It is not Babylon (now Iraq) where the Babylonian Talmud was written in a centre of Jewish learning for centuries. It is not Spain, where we lived in a Golden Age before the terrible inquisition and expulsion in 1492. It is not Uganda, though at one time there was a plan for that to be our home. It is not Germany or Hungary or Poland or any other country in Europe where Jewish religious and cultural life flourished until the horrors of the Holocaust, and where there is now rising anti-Semitism – even in Britain where Jews were spared from the Holocaust. It is not any of the Arab lands of North Africa, where Jews lived freely until the establishment of the State of Israel. It is not Iran (Persia) where Jews were treated well until the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Revolution. It is not the United States of America, even though that might be called the Land of the Free. It is even not Australia, though our land abounds in nature’s gifts of beauty rich and rare. The Land is the Land of Israel. Israel is our only real home. Anywhere else that may seem to be our home is at best a temporary illusion.