Condolences to Joe Azoulay and family on the passing of his father Meyer.

JBD – Jews of the Melbourne CBD is now on LinkedIn. Follow us here.

Shabbat starts on Friday at 5.19pm and ends on Saturday at 6.16pm. The weekly Torah portion is Achrei Mot-Kedoshim.

Mincha continues at Ainsworth Property – 7/459 Collins St (North Tower), at 1.00pm and we use the WhatsApp group to confirm numbers.

The weekly lunch & shiur continues on Wed at 1.10pm at A-P 7/459 Collins – and via zoom, followed by mincha. Current topic: disputes between buyers and sellers.  Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman.

This week’s double Torah reading opens with God speaking to Moshe in the aftermath of the death of Nadav and Avihu, who were killed for bringing an unauthorised offering. Their death demonstrates that unbridled passion in our service of G-d is unwelcome. However, which is worse – hot passion or cold apathy?

Let’s juxtapose the story of the spies who were sent to bring back a report on the land of Israel. According to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, “their sin was one of coldness and disillusionment, a lack of idealism, bordering on cynicism”. The consequences were not only punishment of the entire nation and 40 years in the desert (the ‘stalling’ of history) but also major tragedies throughout history.

Conversely, Nadav and Avihu, although paying with their lives, appear to have affected something positive and are described by God as “near to me” (Vayikra 10:3). Moreover, the punishment is wrought upon them only, in one moment, as opposed to on all of Israel for generations.

We should always strive for a measured approach, Rambam’s ‘Golden Mean’; however, this portion does seem to indicate that of the two extremes, the results of apathy are worse in the long-term.

To quote the Kotzker Rebbe: “Better a ‘hot’ misnaged than a ‘pareve’ hassid”!

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