Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 7:12 pm, and ends Saturday night at 8:07 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Tzav. Today is Shushan Purim.
Mincha in the CBD: Mincha has resumed Monday-Friday (currently 1.57pm) 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 Dr Isaac Balbin. Purim is over and we head towards Pesach. The weekly reading of Tzav is always read before Pesach. It describes offerings that are brought in the Temple, whose execution is important but whose neglect would simply be a missed opportunity to perform a positive command. Contrast that with the Passover offering, which wasn’t even offered on an altar in Egypt, and whose neglect makes one liable for excommunication from the Jewish People. Why are the offerings in Tzav but a praiseworthy deed, and not bringing the Pascal Lamb, leading to exclusion from the Children of Israel? Rav Y. D. Soloveitchik zt”l explains that the Paschal Lamb and Pesach generally, is a time when we are enjoined to recognise that our freedom and unique history, brings with it a cogent responsibility cum obligation.
We have an obligation, as former slaves, and as a formerly oppressed people, to treat people with dignity, and to be models of holy behaviour. The Pesach sacrifice teaches us that our past matters, and that it means something worth remembering, akin to the re-enactment or renewal of the exodus from Egypt. Indeed, unlike the offerings in Tzav it is so important, that by neglecting it, we are spurning Judaism and its heritage.