JBD – Jews of the Melbourne CBD is now on LinkedIn. Follow us here.

Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:38 pm and ends on Saturday night at 8:34 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Pekudei.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha is in recess for the summer. We look forward to opening up when people return to their offices and we have sufficient numbers. Join the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1.20 pm at Warlow’s Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins St. – and via Zoom. Current topic: Torah derivation of employee eating rights. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Rafi Goodman. This week’s Torah reading mentions how the half-shekel silver coin donated by every Jew, was utilised for the construction of the Mishkan and atoned for their involvement in the Golden Calf.

Moshe was perplexed by the notion that the soul can be redeemed from such a severe sin by a mere donation of silver. After all, the soul is spiritual, but moreover, its focus and drives are spiritually oriented. Silver, in contrast, besides being itself material, represents our lust for materiality. Since the reason the soul needs to be redeemed is because it has succumbed to materiality, how can too much materiality (i.e. sin) be cured by even more materiality (i.e. donated coins)?

God answered Moshe by showing him a coin of fire. Indeed, a “cold” coin, given without feeling, cannot redeem the soul. But a “fiery” coin, given with the Divine soul’s warmth and enthusiasm for Divinity, can atone for even the gravest sin.

This lesson applies to all the Mitzvot we perform. If we perform them with spiritual vitality and enthusiasm, they become coins of fire, atoning for our past misdeeds and binding us to God Himself.

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