Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:48 pm and ends on Saturday night at 6:46 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayelech and Shabbat Shuva.

Mincha in the CBD: We will seek to resume mincha at L2/430 Lt Collins after DST starts if there is demand. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Wednesday Weekly Shiur is in recess and will resume on 6 Oct with a lunch to celebrate the completion of the chapter and the volume. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Ezra May. In this week’s Torah reading of Vayelech, Moshe commands that all the people – men, women and children gather together and hear the appointed King read from the book of Devorim, during Sukkos every 7 years – the gathering knows as Hakhel.

The commentator Kli Yakar explains that the integral reason for this commandment was to remind the people the importance of unity. Famously, the Midrash teaches that the four species taken on Sukkos correspond to different types of Jews. And because they are all taken together, they symbolise the unity of the Jewish people and therefore Sukkos is the appropriate time for this gathering.

He further adds that this explains why this gathering is specifically at the conclusion of the Sabbatical year. He contends that the major obstacle to unity is jealousy and competition amongst people. Therefore after the Sabbatical year, in which farmers are forbidden to work their land and gather their produce for themselves, as anything produced is considered ownerless, all Jews in Israel feel equal. Which is an ideal time to gather together for the Unity Mitzvah of Hakhel.

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