Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:49pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:47pm. The weekly Torah portion is Nitzavim-Vayelech.

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 1:10pmvia zoom, following mincha at 1.00pm. BYO lunch. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Geoffrey Bloch. In this week’s Torah reading, Nitzavim, which is always read the week prior to Rosh Hashana, there are multiple ways in which the root of the Hebrew noun teshuva and its related verb lashuv appears. The root itself means “to return to” or “to repent.” For example, vahasheiivota, v’shavta, v’shav v’ata tashuv, ki yashuv, Ki tashuv ….

The appearance of all these variations in such close proximity to each other suggests it is a significant word.

Indeed teshuva has a double meaning clearly expressed in our parasha. According to Ramban, it has both a physical and spiritual dimension. It means the physical return to the land and the spiritual return to God. It is both an historical drama of exile and return and a religious experience of sin and atonement.
For nearly two thousand years, the latter predominated while the former was a distant memory and an enduring hope.

However today, this has been reversed. The state of Israel has been reborn and the historical drama of exile and return is playing out before our eyes! Yet teshuva, in its alternative sense, has not yet been fully realised.

May we focus, over the coming yamim norai’m, on elevating our spirituality as a nation to match the physical reality of shivat tzion.


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