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Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:02 pm and ends on Saturday at 6:03 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Balak.

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 Menachem Wolf. Presumably, you grew up being told to stop being silly and have probably helped perpetuate this message to the next generation/s. But why, what’s wrong with being silly?

When I tell my children to stop being silly, it’s usually because they are disrupting me or triggering a nervousness. Like me, I am sure you have been the ‘grumpy’ adult that just wants the silliness to stop! But is our personal annoyance a correct justification to stop childish (or adult) silliness?

Hundreds of years ago, Reb Nachman of Breslov taught that silliness is a form of self-regulation and even more: it is a sacred spiritual practice. Stamping out silly behaviour may cause greater problems than the silliness itself!

In his teachings on happiness, Reb Nachman described the challenge in life is to be constantly happy. He points out our susceptibility to melancholy and depressed states, often induced by life’s challenges and personal problems, and the difficulty of deliberately moving beyond melancholy.  He proposes silliness, slapstick and other humour, dancing and even summersaults/cartwheels as being the best way to snap out of sadness.

Don’t wait for melancholy to pass. (I’m adapting his teachings slightly) whip out that phone and watch a comedic clip, put on some music and dance, do a summersault (his word) – right away! Laugh with yourself!

And for those that still say silliness can lead to bad things, Reb Nachman teaches, the negatives of depression and melancholy are much worse!

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