Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:44pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:41pm. The weekly Torah portion is Ki Tavo. 

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 Michelle Coleman. It’s a question that many have been forced to ask over the past six months as the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with our ‘normal’ lives.

Much of this week’s Torah portion speaks of the dreadful punishments we will incur for not following the Torah. However, it seems that these punishments are about more than ‘merely’ not keeping the Torah, “since you did not serve Hashem your G-d, with joy and goodness of heart, from rov kol (the abundance of everything)”. The simple meaning is that the Jewish people did not perform mitzvot with happiness, despite having an abundance of everything.
The Arizal, however, explains the verse differently: Our main joy did not come from keeping the mitzvot but rather from the ‘rov kol’, which means all other sources of happiness.

This message is particularly pertinent as Rosh Hashanah draws near, when we crown G-d King over all the world and everything in it. One facet of this means recognising that G-d is the source of all and that every other type of pleasure is essentially meaningless.

Let’s try to focus not on the places we can’t go and the people we can’t see; let’s focus instead on the true source of joy.

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