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

Happy New Financial Year!

Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:53 pm and ends on Saturday at5:55 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Korach.

Mincha in the CBD: On Mon/TueMincha is at ABL – 21/333 Collins, on Wed (this week only) at ABL, and on Thu at L1 Capital – 28/101 Collins. Join the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at about 1.15pm (after mincha) at ABL (this week only) – and via Zoom. Current topic: employee eating right transferrability. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Isaac Balbin. Regarding Korach’s rebellion of 250 men and women, Rav Y.D. Soloveitchik wrote:

“Korah’s appeal to common sense in Judaism was basically a claim that only intelligence (da’at)  and not knowledge (hokhmah) is involved in the application of Jewish law. He conceded that the legal aspects of Jewish law require expertise, technical and academic. But he maintained that there is also a psychological and emotional aspect in the practice of Jewish law and the observance of mitzvot. In judging the utility, relevance, and beneficial effects of the mitzvot, all intelligent people are qualified to render judgment on the basis of close and informed observation. For this aspect, he argued, common sense, human experience, and basic judgment are the criteria. And on this basis he challenged the authority of Moshe”
Korah was committed to the doctrine of religious subjectivism, which regards one’s personal feelings as primary in the religious experience. What is so wrong with that notion? Rav Soloveitchik explains:

“First, the religious emotion is volatile, ever-changing and unstable, even within one individual. Second, each person feels an experience differently. Rituals would continually have to be reformulated to correspond to the feelings of different individuals at different times. Third, we have no reliable gauge to differentiate secular types of response from the genuinely religious experience. There are many non-religious reactions which claim transcendental qualities of holiness.”

(Still) sound familiar?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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