Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:52pm and ends on Saturday night at 5:53pm. The weekly Torah portion is Korach.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha is still virtual as we await people returning to work in the city. That means we all daven at an agreed time, which is 1.00pm. Details at theWhatsApp group.

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 Isaac Balbin. By coincidence, I found an old book that had been secreted on a remote bookshelf. It was entitled “Understanding the Bible through History and Archaeology”, published by Cornell University. The study and interpretation of Torah and Halacha cannot proceed using only common sense, the laws of logic, and cognate academic disciplines. Halacha, the living Torah, has its own independent meta logical structure, though it can be informed and expressed through the lens of some disciplines.

Logic alone would dictate that if corner threads of techeles (lapis lazuli) coloured tzitzit are preferred, then an entire garment made of such techeles wool could be seen as an even better reminder of the link between the colour itself and the Holiness of God. However, an entire garment of Techeles is divested of its religious meaning and totally secular. When people talk of a meaningful Halacha, of unfreezing the Halacha or of an empirical Halacha, they are following Korach’s path. Halachic methodology can only be achieved through extensive study buttressed by an axiomatic faith.

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