Times:  Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:50pm and ends on Saturday night at 8:53pm. The weekly Torah portion is Chayei Sarah and Shabbat Mevarchim Kislev. Rosh Chodesh is on Tuesday.

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 Mandi Katz. In this week’s Torah reading which speaks of loss, and then love and comfort there is a particularly poignant moment that seems mostly to be read as a supporting moment, rather than as a key part of the story. When it is agreed that Rebecca will leave her family to marry Isaac her mother and brother react with a mixture of happiness and hesitation and ask if she can stay just a little longer: “Let the young woman stay with us for some time, then she may go”. This is often read a counterpoint to Rebecca’s commendable wish to fulfil God’s will without delay, which in turn is understood as one of the character strengths she shares Avraham.

But the power of story in Torah is found also in the asides. In the sparse narrative of Torah, every moment means something, and the picture of a family not yet quite ready for a daughter to leave home and marry is deeply touching. Their joy is not complete – and so it is often in life that even when it is clear that a decision is right, it is also true that it results in loss, and that too is part of the story.

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