Condolences to the Rosenbaum family on the passing of Fay (mother of the late Norman)

Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:42pm and ends on Saturday night at 8:44pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayeira.

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 1.45pm now that we’re on summer schedule. Details at the WhatsApp group.

Study: Weekly Shiur continues Wednesday at 1:20pmvia zoom, with virtual mincha to follow at 1.45pm. BYO lunch. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Rabbi Dovid Gutnick. We all know that as Sodom and Gemorrah went up in flames, Lot’s wife turned her head back for a final glance at the fiery plains and was transformed into a pillar of salt. Why Salt?
Aside for the classic midrashic explanations, we are taught that salt is a preservative and a food condiment that doesn’t degrade or perish. It represents, in its negative sense, stagnation or remaining in a particular state for eternity (as Lot’s wife did).

The mistake we make when attempting to flee negativity and toxicity is that something within us pulls us back. We are still held by our previous vices, sympathies, weaknesses – that short burst of pleasure or even just a macabre interest in what the destruction looks like. It might only last a moment but it can be a fatal lapse indeed.
We are all fleeing some sort of darkness or negative force. We might sense the urge to glance back to preserve a negative characteristic in our past that would be much better let go. This glance behind betrays the momentum of our journey and risks drawing as back into the clutches of the toxic state.
There has been much negativity this year. But we now have a window to pursue something far better. Stride forward and don’t look back!

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