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Shabbat starts on Friday at 4.56pm and ends on Saturday at 5.58pm. The weekly Torah portion is Pinchas. 

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 Jeremy Herz.

This week’s Torah reading of Pinchas discusses the daily offerings brought in the Tabernacle and the Temple.

The Ein Yaakov quotes a midrash which records a dispute between our sages as to which verse best reflects the essence of the Torah. Ben Zoma says “Shema Yisrael”. Ben Nanas says “Love your fellow as yourself”. Shimon Ben Pazi says “The first lamb you shall sacrifice in the morning and the second lamb you shall sacrifice in the evening.”

Counterintuitively, the midrash concludes that the law is in accordance with Shimon Ben Pazi. What about this esoteric verse captures the essence of Torah?

The Maharal of Prague explains that the verse teaches that consistency is the bedrock of Jewish practice. Although we may be inclined to see repetition as tiresome, the performance of ritual consistently is fundamental to a committed Jewish life.
This is why the suspension of the daily sacrifice is recorded as one of the five tragedies which befell the Jewish people on 17 Tammuz. Not only was a critical rite in the Temple ended; the symbolic essence of Jewish life had also been undermined.
May we use this period of the Three Weeks to elevate our spiritual lives through increased consistency and commitment.

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