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Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:58 pm and ends on Saturday night at 5:57 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Behar.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at Warlow’s Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins St. Join the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at about 1.15pm (after mincha) at Warlow’s Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins St. – and via Zoom. Current topic: employee eating rights. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman. This week’s Torah reading discusses the rules of Shmita and Yovel, years during which no agricultural labour is to be performed. As CBD workers, it can be hard for us to relate. Just imagine if God told you to take a break from your job for a year or – in the case of when Yovel follows Shmita – two years. ‘How would I pay my mortgage? What about school fees or even putting food on the table?’ I hear you wonder.

The Torah anticipates this concern and God responds that He will provide you with a blessing in the sixth year so that the crop will last for three years.

In other words, God doesn’t expect us to simply trust that we’ll survive – he promises abundant crops before the Shmita year, making a great leap of faith unnecessary (although of course some measure of trust is necessary).

That God does not expect great leaps of faith from us is an important principle that teaches us that He does not expect from us anything that is beyond our abilities. If he has given us a mitzva to do, although it may sometimes be extremely challenging, it is not beyond our means.

As it says at the end of Devarim, “For this thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and your heart to do it”.

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