Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:02 pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:03 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Devarim and Shabbat Chazon. If moshiach does not come, Tisha b’Av will immediately follow Shabbat – fast starts at 5.21pm and ends on Sunday night at 5.51pm.
Mincha in the CBD: As people returned to the city, this week we had mincha every day! We will try to resume next week as we emerge from this latest lockdown. The Thursday mincha at 1.50pm (following shiur & lunch at 1.00pm) at L1 28/101 Collins is planning to resume in August. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.
Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1:10pm either online or combined in-person/online with lunch, depending on numbers. Current study: duty of care over raw materials held by craftsman and retention of title. Details here.
Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman. In recounting the episode of the 12 leaders who were sent to spy out the land of Israel, Moshe rebukes the children of Israel’s behaviour, reminding them that “you slandered in your tents and said, ‘Because of God’s hatred for us did He take us out of the land of Egypt'” (Devarim 1.26-27).
The commentator Rashi explains this with a parable: A king had two sons and two fields. One of the fields could be easily irrigated while the other depended on rain for water. The king therefore gave the easily irrigated field to the son he loves more and the inferior field requiring rain he gave to the son he hates. The children of Israel were comparing Egypt, whose crops were watered by the overflowing of the Nile, with the land of Israel, which depended on God’s blessing of rain i.e. God was giving them the ‘inferior’ land.
This begs the question: why did God choose to give us Israel when he could have given us any land, including Egypt?
Israel is a land of challenges; a land in which our fulfilment of the commandments is the only way to ensure the land is blessed with rain and a land flowing with milk and honey. However, it is also the land of challenges. That is the true land of blessing, because it is only through challenges that we are able to grow and become the very best that we can be.