Mazal Tov to Anton Block AM, Alan Schwartz AO and Alex Waislitz OAM for their King’s Birthday honours

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

Shabbat starts on Friday at 4.49pm and ends on Saturday at 5.51pm. The weekly Torah portion is Shlach. Shabbat Mevarchim Tammuz. Rosh Chodesh is on Monday & Tuesday.

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: default lease notice terms and rules for eviction.  Details here and on the WhatsApp group

Thought of the Week with thanks to Geoff Bloch.

A whole generation, deemed unworthy of participating in the conquest of Israel, perished in the wilderness for doubting the divine promise to give the holy land to them as an inheritance.

In the last section of this week’s Torah reading, we read of the ish mekoshesh eitzim byom hashabbat – the man stoned to death for collecting wood on Shabbat. According to the sages, that man was Tzelofchad.

In a few weeks’ time, in the portion Pinchas, we are introduced to the b’not Tzelofchad, the five daughters who survived their father. They asked Moshe to allocate to them the land which otherwise would have been allocated to their father.

Unlike virtually all other biblical characters who are introduced by their names and the names of their fathers, the b’not Tzelofchad are introduced by tracing their genealogy back 6 generations – all the way back to Yosef (Yaakov’s son). The obvious question is “Why?”

According to Rashi, the Torah mentions the daughters in the same sentence as Yosef to highlight a shared value. Yosef lived all but 17 years of his life in Egypt, but on his deathbed, made his brothers promise to take up his bones for ultimate burial in Israel. The b’not Tzelofchad inherited their ancestor’s love of the land. Their desire was to participate in its conquest and settlement.

Rashi’s answer remains relevant today, given the constant and intense pressure from “progressives” to disengage from Yehuda and Shomron.

If God frowned upon a generation which doubted its ability to conquer the land, then, how much more might He frown upon our generation who, already having possession of the land and the capacity to retain it, nevertheless considers voluntarily giving it away?

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