Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:50 pm and ends on Saturday night at 5:51 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Chukat.

Mincha in the CBD: As people slowly return to the city, we will try to resume Mincha. The Thursday mincha at 1.50pm (following shiur & lunch at 1.00pm) at L1 28/101 Collins is possibly resuming. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1:10pm (note new time)via zoom. BYO lunch. We will switch to combined zoom/in-person based on demand. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to David Werdiger. This week’s Torah reading describes the process of purifying someone who came in contact with a corpse, using the ashes of a red heifer. Why a heifer? Commentators explain that this is “measure for measure” – the red heifer sacrifice atones for the sin of the golden calf. But why does this particular mitzvah atone for that awful sin?

This mitzvah is the prototypical ‘chok’ – a statute that defies logic and is therefore done purely because God wants it from us. This contrasts with the two other categories of commandments: ones which are logical (e.g. do not kill) and those which commemorate certain events (e.g. Pesach).

The mitzvah of the red heifer is the perfect atonement, as the sin of the golden calf was essentially a failure of belief in God. To truly atone for that sin, we must accept a commandment that makes no sense and thus affirms our belief in God.

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