Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:09 pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:07 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Behar-Bechukotai and Shabbat Mevarchim Sivan. Rosh Chodesh is on Wednesday.
Mincha in the CBD: We will attempt to get a mincha minyan on Monday at 5/447 Collins St(JustCo) using the WhatsApp group to confirm numbers. 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 12:45pm via zoom. BYO lunch. We can switch to combined zoom/in-person based on demand. Details here..
Thought of the Week with thanks to Ezra May. This week we finish Sefer Vayikra with the double portion of Behar-Bechukosai. It contains what we refer to as the “tochacha” – rebuke. It details the often harsh & gruesome punishments and curses for not keeping the Torah.
However, straight after Chapter 27, the Torah switches topic to the laws of “arachin” – the dedication of the value of oneself or another person to the Temple.
The Kotzker Rebbe explains that after reading the terrifying curses and knowing, how much more so we today, how they have tragically been applied throughout our history, we may lose belief in our own value and self-worth. As a nation, we have been persecuted almost continuously throughout the last almost 2,000 years. Such intense national trauma could easily lead a person to despair.
Therefore in order to counter this view, the outline of the tragedies that will befall the Jewish people is immediately followed by laws of arachin. Here we detail how much a person is required to donate if he chooses to dedicate the value of himself or another Jew to the Temple. This is to strengthen us, that even though we may suffer the most inhumane treatment from our oppressors and not be afforded any dignity or respect by them, in the eyes of God we eternally retain our intrinsic worth.