Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 6:05pm and ends on Saturday night at 7:03pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayeilech and Shabbat Shuva. Move the clock one hour forward on Saturday night for DST.
Yom Kippur starts on Tuesday night at 7:08pm and ends on Wednesday at 8:07pm.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha moves to summer schedule: 1.45pm on Mon/Tue at ABL – 21/333 Collins. Wed is Yom Kippur. Thu at L1 Capital at about 1.45pm following 1pm lunch & shiur – 28/101 Collins. Join the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur is in recess until after Sukkot. Current topic: duty of care for a borrower.  Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Mandi Katz.

In this very short parasha it becomes clear that Moshe’s death is imminent and Moshe tells the people that Yehoshua will succeed him as their leader. Moshe God instructs Moshe to take Yehoshua to the  tent of meeting so that God can charge him directly with the responsibility of leadership.

The reader may ask: what have we seen in Yehoshua’s character that makes him so indisputably suitable to lead the people into the promised land. An answer sometimes given is that Yehoshua together with Caleb did not go along with the other spies to speak badly about the land of Canaan. But a close reading of Bamidbar tells us that Yehoshua was much more reticent than Caleb to correct the record.

It was Caleb who first spoke up to defend the land and to remind the people of God’s  command to conquer it. Yehoshua was a little late to the party in speaking up. And so we might ask, in a parasha where more than one Moshe gives the instruction  “be strong and courageous”, why is it Yehoshua – slightly hesitant to speak up with courage  – who is chosen as the leader rather than the apparently much  braver Caleb? Perhaps, suggests Rabbi Shai Held in his beautiful book The Heart of Torah, it is precisely because Yehoshua  is a little reticent.

While speaking up is an admirable quality and critical for leadership, so too are the traits of being careful , and waiting for the right time to speak or act. And so on this Shabbat of reflection and a focus on self-improvement it is worth considering that acting quickly, courageously  and decisively are great qualities but that there are many times where circumspection and  thinking twice before speaking and acting are equally compelling.

Gmar Hatima to all.

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