Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:44 pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:39 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Shemini and Shabbat Mevarchim Iyar. Rosh Chodesh is on Monday & Tuesday.

Mincha in the CBD: Based on current numbers, we are not operating a mincha minyan. On Thursdays, there is mincha at L1 28/101 Collins at 1.50pm following the shiur & lunch. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 12:45 pm via zoom. BYO lunch. We can switch to combined zoom/in-person based on demand. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Rabbi Dovid Gutnick. In this week’s reading, the Torah lists the two characteristics that make an animal kosher: entirely cloven hooves and cud chewing. One would think this easily defined criteria would suffice in order to allow us to progress to the laws of the next taxonomical class such as sea life or fowl. Instead, the Torah makes a point to “name and shame” four individual animals that possess only one of the two criteria that would make it fit for consumption. Either only chewing the cud (camel, hare and hyrax) or only possessing cloven hooves (the swine). The fact that these species only bear one of the two requisite features for a kosher animal should suffice to inform us of their prohibited status. Why does the Torah need to list them specifically as being prohibited?  And if it is choosing to list non-kosher animals despite already having given us the identifying features of such, why not at least mention some fully non-kosher animals that lack both characteristics?

A possible lesson from this is that kashrus is binary. In fact, probably having partial fulfilment of the kosher criteria is worse than none at all. At least when you are totally treif it’s clear what we are dealing with. It is telling that the animal that exemplifies non-kosher is the swine – one of the four animals listed as possessing partial kosher features (and where the one feature it has is externally visible).

Food for thought (even if not for eating).

See Also: Rashi, Ramban on Vayikra 11:8, Talmud Chullin 59a.

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