Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:53pm, and ends Saturday night at 8:56pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayetzei.

Mincha in the CBD: Whisky and kugel Friday 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 Rebbetzin Althea Mirvis. This week’s Torah reading tracks the birth of the twelve tribes. Leah names her fourth son “Yehuda”, declaring, “This time, I will thank (‘odeh’) Hashem.” Although Yehuda’s name is initially chosen to reflect the character trait of gratitude or thanks, the Hebrew word for thanks (lehodot, modeh), shares a root with the word for confessing, or admitting. Indeed, years later, we encounter an episode in Yehuda’s life which reveals this aspect of his character. After being implicated by his daughter-in-law, Tamar, for questionable behaviour, he comes forward and confesses his actions.

Why do confession and gratitude share the same linguistic root? What is the connection between the two?
At its core, gratitude requires an element of confession. We must humbly come forward and concede that we are dependent, and that we are incomplete without another’s help. For us to live up to our name as “Yehudim” (Jews), and carry the name of Yehuda, we must strive for humility and gratitude. We must admit that we require the assistance of others, and above all else, that we are dependent upon the kindness of God.

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