Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:09pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:09pm. The weekly Torah portion is Devarim and Shabbat Chazon, If Moshiach does not come, the fast of Tisha b’Av will start on Wednesday at 5.31pm and conclude on Thursday at 6.00pm.

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 the WhatsApp group.

Study: Special Shiur on Wednesday at 1:10pm via zoom, following mincha at 1.00pm, featuring Rabbi Yoni Johnson from Kollel Menachem. Topic options: if Moshiach comes, “Tisha b’Av – revealing the greatest Yomtov of all“, and if not “When the house was on fire the Keruvim embraced“. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Rafi Goodman. The Shabbat before Tisha b’Av is always known as Shabbat Chazon. Chazon means “vision” and this Shabbat is named after the Haftarah – the Vision of Isaiah, which deals with the calamity of the destruction of the first and second temples and the subsequent exiles.

The illustrious Chassidic Master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev gives another reason – that on this Shabbat, every Jew is shown a vision from afar of the future third Temple. He explains this with a parable of a father who had a precious garment sewn for his son. The boy promptly tore it to shreds and so the second garment was sewn and also damaged.

The father creates a third garment and does not allow the son to wear it but only to gaze upon it at appointed times, and when he chooses to conduct himself properly he can wear it.

In this way, the father trained his son to act in a manner that ultimately became second nature. At this point, the father gave him the garment and allowed him to wear it.

During these difficult times may we all wake up this Shabbat morning with a vivid vision of the third Temple, so vivid that we will all be transported immediately to Jerusalem with Moshiach, Amen.

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