Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:26pm and ends on Saturday night at6:25pm. The weekly Torah portion isRe’eh. and Shabbat Mevarchim Elul. Rosh Chodesh is on Thursday & Friday.

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: 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 Yudi New. This week’s Torah reading opens with “See I place before you today the blessing and the curse”. In a lesson directly relevant to our current circumstances, Rabbi Zevin explains that blessing and curse is really a matter of perspective and no matter how something is classified, it can be utilised to spur on greater G-dly service. For example, the wealthy person might recognise that their material status enables them to assist others and appropriately praise G-d for those privileges. Conversely, the poor person’s financial constraints could be utilised to trigger a sense of urgency in prayer and connection to G-d.

Either way, it’s not the situation itself that represents the blessing or curse but rather what we can extract from it in terms of personal growth. We have no idea as to G-d’s plan behind Covid nor Is there much point speculating. However, what we can control is our response to the challenging circumstances and whether, despite the difficulties and distractions, we are able to mine the opportunities to strengthen ourselves, our relationships and connection to G-d. Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom and peace of mind.

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