Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:45pm, and ends Saturday night at 8:47pm. The weekly Torah portion is Toldot (Generational Traditions).

Mincha in the CBD: In honour of Rosh Chodesh, Whisky and Cholent Friday is on today at 1.30pm (mincha 1.45pm). 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 Rabbi Menachem Wolf. This week’s Torah reading is Toldot, meaning generations, and focuses on the value and power of Jewish food, ritual, traditions, culture and assimilation. It is not the individual food or action but the intention that goes with it. When a child receives the food, or blessing, this is an important moment of sharing. The child receives not only a physical experience, but also a spiritual one. The way they receive it and the intention are just as important as the action or dish itself.

We are told that Avraham was the father of Isaac and we come to discover that Isaac is the father of Jacob. What made their family distinct from others was their ability to continue a faith and tradition in a world that was forever changing. This successful transmission of teaching and values was achieved through the rituals practiced in their home, the traditions delivered with love – whether they were ones of consumption or abstinence. Toldot is about families moving away from rote activity (a ritual without meaning) to ritual which is a (possibly) mundane activity filled with meaning. Generations carry tradition when the tradition has meaning and love.

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