Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 8:24pm, and ends Saturday night at 9:29pm. The weekly Torah portion is Parashat Vayechi.
Mincha in the CBD: Last mincha of our season today – with kugel, chicken nuggets & whisky to wrap things up from 1.40pm (mincha 1.55pm) using the SMS reminder. Then mincha goes into recess until about February.
Study: The Wednesday shiur and lunch will return after the summer break on 6 February.
Thought of the Week with thanks to Rabbi Dovid Gutnick. This week’s Torah reading is Parashat Vayechi.
Yaakov experienced drama his entire life, around the theme of firstborns and child favouritism. Yet, at the end of his life, in his final act, he still chooses to favour a younger brother over his older brother when blessing the sons of Yosef. He placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. And proffered him precedence over his older brother, Menashe.
Yaakov, as an embodiment of Emet (truth), may have tried to convey a most profound truth. Our life achievements do not depend on the privilege of our birth circumstances. For instance, being a first born or carrying great potential. Our achievements depend on the effort and toil we put in and the legacy we leave behind, for those who follow.
Yaakov says that, almost word for word, in his blessings to his actual first born, Reuven. The circumstances we are born into are fate and chance. The more privilege, the more responsibility. It is the toil of our hands that will define our story.