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Rosh Hashana starts on Friday night at 5:52pm, and little else as important is happening tonight. On Saturday night, light candles after 6:50pm from a pre-existing flame. Holiday ends on Sunday at 6:51pm. Monday is Tzom Gedalia – fast begins 5:00am and ends at 6:44pm.

Pre-Rosh Hashana Lecture – Rabbi Yonason Johnson – This lecture is a timely and meaningful preparation for the High Holy Days, encouraging us to seek forgiveness, self-discovery, and spiritual growth as we approach the High Holydays. Listen to the lecture here.

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

Special lunch & shiur this Wed at 1.10pm at A-P 7/459 Collins – and via zoom, followed by mincha. Current topic: Sale and hire terms. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Levi Rosenbaum.

This Rosh Hashanah is special – more than usual. Even though the main mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is blowing the shofar, we do not do so on Shabbat. The reason is that both the shofar and Shabbat create a level of spiritual pleasure, but the pleasure of Shabbat is everlasting, so it overpowers that of the shofar.

When we had the Temple, the shofar was still blown even on Shabbat. What is different about blowing the shofar in the Temple? There are 2 parables which depict how blowing the shofar works to crown G-d as the king:

  1. A man once saved the king who was lost in the forest. Many years later, on death row, he asked the king for both of them to wear the same clothes they were wearing on that day in the forest. When the king saw the clothes, and felt gratitude and love for the man as he did many years earlier, he pardoned the man, simply because of the clothing.
  2. A prince who left his kingdom as a child for selfish reasons returned many years later. He no longer spoke his native language and the palace guards did not recognise him. When stopped at the palace gates, he let out a sincere cry of frustration. His father, the king, immediately recognised his son’s cry and brought him home.

These two stories show that the sound of the shofar can achieve effective communication between G-d and the Jews without words; all it needs is a simple sound or a triggered memory like the giving of the Torah. This level of communication is not openly observed in this physical world, only in a place of revealed G-dliness, like, is it seen. Therefore, the shofar in the Temple is blown on Shabbat as an addition to the spiritual pleasure of Shabbat, it also contains this element of inherent communication which results in G-d being crowned as our king.

Nowadays, we pray instead of observing the services in the Templeso our prayers about the shofar this Shabbat/Rosh Hashana are able to achieve this great connection that crowns G-d as king and sets us on the way for a great year.

May we merit the ultimate goal, to hear the shofar in the Temple this Shabbat and be signed and sealed for a happy sweet new year.

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