Mazel Tov to Moish and Chaya Ross, and family, on the birth of a daughter.

Our condolences to John Searle and his family on the passing of his father, Victor Searle.

Times: Shabbat starts tonight at 4:55 pm, and ends on Saturday night at 5:55 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Behar.

Pre-Shavuot Shiur With Rabbi James Kennard  Topic: The Uniqueness of Torah Learning. Monday 3 June 1 pm Mincha, followed by Shiur and Lunch at Level 5 / 459 Collins St. RSVP: Wednesday 29 May for catering purposes:

Carpooling and networking  Join our WhatsApp Group: With the current Metro Trains works, the Sandringham line will be down until June 9. Let’s use this as a positive opportunity to network and collaborate. Would you like to connect to coordinate lifts to and from the city together? If you’re interested in either getting a lift or giving one, please join our JBD WhatsApp carpooling group here.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha, whisky and kugel today 1:00 pm. Mincha continues at 1:00 pm Monday to Fridayusing the SMS reminder system.

Study: The Wednesday shiur and lunch starts at about 1:15 pm after mincha.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Geoffrey Bloch. This week’s Torah reading of Behar begins: “You shall sanctify the 50th year and proclaim freedom throughout the land for all its inhabitants; it shall be the Jubilee year (Yovel) for you.”

The Torah teaches us that if a Jewish servant works a six-year period of service but at the seventh year says: “I love my master, I do not want to be free” then he shall serve his master forever (le’olam)”. The oral law, however, clarifies that in this context, the word “forever” (le’olam) actually means until the Yovel. Why does the Torah opt for the word “le’olam” when it could simply have used the expression “ad ha’Yovel” (“until the Yovel”)?

According to the Ramban, 50 years is such a significant block of time that in a mystical sense, it indeed represents “forever”. Consistently with the Ramban, the Mekhilta (the legal midrash on Exodus) describes the world as fifty years old and Rabbeinu Bechayei cites the Kabbalists that 50 represents the circle of life.

At Yovel, a Jewish servant is forced to independence. According to Rabbi Asher Brander, even those who think they have lost their sense of destiny and independence “forever” learn that there is no such limitation; that they must never be consigned to servitude “forever” and that a whole new world with hopes and freedoms always beckons.

So too, we should be inspired by the reality that we can, in a sense, transcend “forever”, by striving to reach personal and spiritual goals we once thought we might never achieve.

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