Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:19 pm and ends on Saturday night at 8:19 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Lech-Lecha.

Mincha in the CBD: We will seek to resume mincha at L2/430 Lt Collins on summer schedule (1.45pm) once there is demand. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1.20pm via zoom. Current topic: how to spot a thief. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman. At two different points in this week’s Torah reading, God reassures and blesses the childless Avram that he will have many descendants. The first time he is told that his children will be “as the dust of the earth” (Bereishis 13:16) while the second time they are compared to the stars in the sky: “And He said: ‘Look now toward the heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them’; and He said to him: ‘So shall your seed be.’” (15:5).

If the intention is simply that we will be many in number, then there are many things in this world to which the Jewish people could be compared. Why these two similes – like the dust of the earth and the stars in the sky – in particular?

Everyone walks on the dust of the earth and similarly, in Jewish history many nations have metaphorically ‘stepped on’ the Jewish people. However, just as the dust on the earth outlasts those who step upon it, so too will we as a nation outlast those who oppress us.

In a similar vein, the stars in the sky appear very small from earth. However, in reality they are immense. Hashem thereby assured Avram (and us) that even though down on earth we may appear insignificant, up in heaven we are very important.

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