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Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:23pm and ends on Saturday at 8:23pm. The weekly Torah portion is Noach.
Mincha at Ainsworth Property – 7/459 Collins St (North Tower) on Mon-Wed at 1.45pm using the WhatsApp group to confirm numbers.
Thought of the Week with thanks to Ya’akov Waller.
The wanton violence and murder which occurred in Israel two weeks ago, whose sadistic nature defies description, is reminiscent of the very worst episodes of Jewish history.
It is prescient, therefore, that the haftarah of this week’s Torah reading of Noach is a combination of two of the “shiva d’nechemta”, the seven prophesies of consolation that are read each year in the period after Tisha b’Av. The two which we read this week are found in chapter 54 of Isaiah. The first, known as “roni akara”, adopts the metaphor or barrenness to describe a sense of hopelessness for the future. The second, “aniyah so’arah”, describes Israel as poor and afflicted who cannot be comforted, emphasising the severe pain of the present.
Isaiah’s words constitute consolation because of what he prophesies God will say in the future:
- “For a tiny moment I abandoned you, but with great mercy will I bring you back.” (54:7)
- “For while mountains may move and hills may be shaken, my kindness will never move from you and my covenant of peace will not be shaken.” (54:9)
- “… you shall be safe from oppression, and you will have no fear, and ruin will never come close to you” (54:14)
- “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn…” (54:17)
While both forms of suffering described – the pain of a seemingly hopeless future and the pain of an inconsolable present – have come to pass in our day, let us hope and pray that so too will these promises of consolation and redemption.