Mazal Tov to Ari & Batsheva Werdiger & families on the birth of a son.

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Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 5:18 pm and ends on Saturday at 6:18 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Devarim and Shabbat Chazon. If Moshiach does not come, Tisha b’Av will follow immediately after Shabbat. Fast starts at 5:37 pm and ends on Sunday at 6:11 pm.

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: duty of care for paid custodians. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Asher Seifman. In haftarah reading of this week, the prophet Isaiah asks: “Eichah {how} has the faithful city become like a prostitute? [Isaiah 1:21]”

Rav Moshe Shternbuch notes that the use of the word eichah here (and in other instances where the term eichah is used) alludes to the prophet explaining the cause of the destruction of the two Temples. Isaiah understood the cause to be our nation lusting after the ways and desires of other nations and neglecting the Torah.

We see a similar concept in the Talmud (Nedarim 81A): “Why was the land destroyed? Because they did not make a blessing prior to the study of Torah.”

Rav Yaakov Naiman in his book Darchei Mussar elucidates: In the blessings pronounced before Torah study, we state that God has chosen us from amongst the nations and has given us His Torah. By omitting this blessing, the generation of the destruction failed to recognise the unique role our nation must serve in this world. If the Jewish people are no different than the other nations, then it follows that they can have the same wants and desires. This is what led Isaiah to exclaim: “Eichah {how} has the faithful city become like a prostitute?”.

The land of Israel is designated for the nation that understands its holy function in this world. Not making the blessing on Torah study–not recognizing who we are and what we must do–leads directly to destruction and exile.

Adapted from DT by Rabbi Yisroel Ciner on torah.org.

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