Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:15pm and ends on Saturday night at 8.11pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayikra.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha is in recess, and we are looking to resume on Tuesday 6 April, either at 276 Flinders St or another location. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1:30pm via zoom. BYO lunch. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman. This week’s Torah reading (Vayikra 4:1-35) deals with the sin offerings that must be brought when a person has sinned unintentionally. The specific offerings are dependent on who has sinned – the high priest, the whole community (usually understood as the Sanhedrin/High court), a leader (‘nasi’) or an individual. The language the Torah uses when referring to each of these categories is illuminating: the word ‘if’ they sin is used for the high priest, the community and the individual, while the word ‘when’ is used for a leader i.e. “when a leader sins”.

Why the difference? The Torah recognises that a leader must at times negotiate difficult political situations in which the right thing to do is unclear. The Torah also recognises that a leader is often faced by competing priorities and that pleasing one group means displeasing another. Finally, the Torah recognises that having political power can make a leader susceptible to corruption.

With all this in mind, the Torah knows that there will come a time when a leader will make a wrong choice and sin unintentionally. However, he or she is given the opportunity to atone for the mistake. Perhaps that is the true sign of a great leader: not to be infallible but to have the humility to admit when one has made a mistake and bring a sin offering.

Based on the wisdom of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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