Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:58 pm and ends on Saturday night at 5:59 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Matot-Massei and it is Rosh Chodesh.

Mincha in the CBD: As people slowly return to the city, we will try to resume Mincha. When we do resume, it will be at Warlows Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins St (cnr Bank Pl). The Thursday mincha at 1.50pm (following shiur & lunch at 1.00pm) at L1 28/101 Collins is planning to resume on 8 July. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

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

Thought of the Week with thanks to Isaac Balbin. We learn the law of immersing new vessels in a mikva from the episode of the Midianite spoils of war which needed purification, as related in this week’s Torah reading.

One method of purification is an involved and directed process of seven days using the ashes of the red heifer and culminating in the mikva. An alternative more drastic approach is to effectively “rebuild” the impure vessel by breaking the vessel so that its original utility is voided.

Indeed, we still utilise this latter approach when dealing with the immersion of certain electric vessels which may be destroyed through mikva/water immersion. Instead, one may takes such a vessel apart in a way that requires a specialist to put it back together. This negation of its original form obviates the immersion.

In attempting to “move on” from a past challenge which left its mark on a human being, the process of purification or the ability to improve from a backward step may well also require the choice of one of these two methods: either a gradual, measured and directed process over time; or a rebuilt re-beginning and renewal where the original is refashioned anew.

Psychologically, one approach seeks to look backwards and re-examine and recover and purify via renewal over time. The other approach is more drastic: it refuses to look back, only moves forward and fashions a “new vessel”.

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