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

Shabbat starts on Friday at 5.28pm and ends on Saturday at 6.27pm. The weekly Torah portion is Shoftim.

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: Daneli’s meat lunch to mark starting a new chapter on sale and hire terms. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Michelle Coleman.

No kingdom can endure two kings, goes the saying. We, the Jewish people, have just one king: the ultimate ‘king of kings’ or, as we will say during the high holy days, Hamelech – THE king.

It’s a bit puzzling, then, that in this week’s Torah reading we are told that when the children of Israel enter the land of Israel after wandering in the desert, they are told to “set over you a king whom the Lord your G-d chooses”. Rambam counts this as one of the 613 commandments, thereby indicating that having a king is a good thing.

However, later in our history, the prophet Shmuel is angry with us for demanding a king, viewing it as a rejection of G-d’s kingship over us.

So is having a king a good or bad thing? Like just about every question a Jew asks, the answer is not a simple yes or no but a rather ambivalent yes and no. What we do have clarity on, however, are the rules that any Jewish king must follow, so that a Jewish king is a far cry from the all-potent and unaccountable individuals we have seen throughout history. On the contrary, a Jewish king’s role is to serve (G-d and the people) – and not to be served.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *