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Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:57 pm and ends on Saturday at 5:59 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Chukat.

Mincha in the CBD: On Mon/TueMincha is at ABL – 21/333 Collins, on Wed at Warlows Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins, 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 Warlows Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins – and via Zoom. Current topic: employee eating right transferability. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to David Prins. In this week’s Torah reading, Miriam dies, and there is a lack of water. Midrash tells us that when Miriam was alive, in her honour a well of water travelled with the people. Now that she has died, this free supply of water has disappeared, and the people complain that they are all going to die. While free water flowed, there had been no incentive for the people to invest any effort to develop their own water supply. But this is now an imperative. After travelling around the Land of Edom, they work together to dig a well, and they sing a song to celebrate this achievement.

At Yam Suf, the song they sang praised God for having saved them, but this song is different. In this song, they acclaim their own efforts: “The well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people excavated, with maces, with their staffs”.

There are many people who need help to get over difficult times in their lives. But sustained long-term free handouts when they are not needed lead to complacency and institutionalised dependency. Real societal progress and incentives for innovation come through an environment where determination and hard work to act together to solve the world’s problems is recognised and rewarded.

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