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

Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:54 pm and ends on Saturday night at 5:53 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Bechukotai and Shabbat Mevarchim Sivan. Rosh Chodesh is on Tuesday.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha is switching locations: On Mon/Tue/Thu, it will be at ABL – 21/333 Collins, and on Wed 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 Ya’akov Waller. This week’s Torah reading of Bechukotai commences with a complex system of reward and punishment, applied at a societal level.

The fact that the Torah endorses both collective reward and collective punishment may seem jarring to modern sensibilities. Indeed, it was jarring to Avraham when he first encountered God’s plans for the city of Sodom, but what underpins the morality of this system is the fact that we are expected to be responsible for more than just ourselves.

The Torah does not endorse the tenets of libertarianism. It is because we subscribe to the notion that “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh ba-zeh” – “all Jews are responsible for one another” – that we can be rewarded and/or punished for the actions of society at large. But just as God conceded to Avraham that even ten righteous men could redeem an otherwise morally bankrupt city, so it is true that none of us should consider ourselves passive in determining the moral direction of our society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *