Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:01pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:00pm. The weekly Torah portion is Behar-Bechukotai and Chazak.
Mincha in the CBD: Weekly Shiuris now online using zoom – URL and notes are here. Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1:10pm via zoom, following mincha at 1.00pm. BYO lunch.
Study: Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1:10pm via zoom, following mincha at 1.00pm. BYO lunch. Details here.
Thought of the Week with thanks to Gaby Silver. This week’s Torah reading includes details of how we are to conduct ourselves in the world of business and finance. Specifically, the prohibition against ribbis – charging interest on loans to our fellow Jews.
Rabbinical law, however, provides a mechanism to allow a lender to benefit from a loan. The concept of heter iska alters the nature of the transaction from a loan into an investment in a partnership from which both parties benefit.
But isn’t this just a clever device? A convenient loophole that indulges the lenders drive to profit and indulge his evil inclination? For, as Rashi comments on the relevant verse: “a person’s mind is drawn to interest, and it is difficult to separate oneself from it”.
This approach ignores the essential connection created between G-d and Jews through the issuing and performance of Mitzvos. Growing up in the secular world, “Mitzvah” was often translated as “good deed”. This is fundamentally misleading. It diverts the focus of its performance on the deed and its practical outcomes, rather than the divine bond created therein. A nice thing to do, but not necessarily holy.
We know that G-d performs every Mitzvah He commands. Spiritually, this means that He does not simply command and then sit back and wait for the principle to return with interest. Rather, he is a partner with us in every Mitzvah that we perform. An investor who carefully watches and manages his capital as we utilise it to work towards our mutual objective.
Like all good investors, we should buy low in this world so we can sell high when our actions bring the revelation of a new reality with the coming of Moshiach, may it happen speedily in our days.
– This DT is dedicated to the memory of Chana Chaya bas Dovid Leib Binyomin OBM. May her neshama have an aliya and her family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.