Our deepest sympathies to Moishe, Jacqui and Leon on the passing of your mother, Mrs Lidia Landau.

Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:52 pm, and ends Saturday night at 8:49 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Ki Tisa.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha has resumed and is using a WhatsApp group until the end of DST. Message 0412-389-389 to join.

Study: The Wednesday shiur and lunch has resumed and continues at 1.30 pm.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Chezkel Deren. “How could they?!” It’s the question that nags at every reader when encountering the story of the Golden Calf. A nation that experienced God’s grace at the Exodus from Egypt and the splitting of the sea. A nation that saw the revelation at Mt Sinai. How could they turn their back on God so soon?

This question gives rise to a plethora of answers and ideas, which for the most part attempt to reconcile the baffling behaviour of the Jewish people following the giving of the Torah.
But the most obvious point is the one that is in plain sight. Worshipping an idol after hearing God’s voice, is actually consistent behaviour. For some of the Jewish people, worshipping a Golden Calf right after hearing God’s voice is not as unthinkable as we would like it to be – after all, it happened.

Clearly witnessing a miracle – a singular experience of spiritual exaltation – provides no immunity against spiritual corruption. That is the first lesson of this story. There are no shortcuts to good character, it is a road that has to be travelled, mile by mile. The inspiration we derive from God’s kindness can only take us so far. Ultimately, it is about the choices we make.

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