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Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 7.58pm and ends on Saturday at 8.56pm. The weekly Torah portion is Mishpatim, Parshat Shekalim, and Shabbat Mevarchim Adar. Rosh Chodesh is on Tuesday  and Wednesday.

Mincha continues at Ainsworth Property – 7/459 Collins St (North Tower), at 2.07pm and we will use the WhatsApp group to confirm numbers.

The weekly lunch & shiur continues on Wed at 1.40pm at A-P 7/459 Collins – and via zoom, hopefully followed by mincha at about 2.07pm. Current topic: claims & counter-claims.  Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Yudi New.

The end of the Torah reading of Mishpatim returns to describing the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  The verse describes Moshe telling the laws (“vayesaper“) to the people, although does not specify which ones. The commentators debate whether this “telling” preceded or followed the giving of the Torah. If before, which laws is it referring to and why the unusual expression (telling rather than speaking or commanding)?

The holy Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev derives a powerful insight about our relationship with G-d. These laws are selected commandments already taught as a prelude to Sinai which Moses did not need to repeat. Rather, he was describing to the Jews the incredible delight which G-d has when they do His commandments and fulfil His purpose of creation.Motivated by this insight and their power to elicit joy, the Jews asked Moses for more commandments (“all that he has said we will do“) so that they could bring even more pleasure to their Creator.

Sometimes we execute our Judaism out of rote or sense of duty. Reb Levi Yitzchak reminds us of the genuine joy we can generate for our Creator and His world. This message is especially timely as we head to the month of Adar where we increase our joy daily – particularly through commitment to our relationship to G-d as the Jews did in Shushan!

Blessing us all with insight, connectedness and true happiness. Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov! (with thanks to Rabbi Efrem Goldberg and his Parsha Insights for drawing my attention to this concept).

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