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Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:30pm and ends on Saturday at 8:31pm. The weekly Torah portion is Lech-Lecha.

Mincha at Ainsworth Property – 7/459 Collins St (North Tower) on Mon-Wed at 1.45pm using the WhatsApp group to confirm numbers.

Special lunch & shiur continues on Wed at 1.20pm at A-P 7/459 Collins – and via zoom, followed by mincha at 1.45pm. Current topic: joint venture terms. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Yehuda Gottleib.

In this week’s Torah reading of Lech Lecha, we have an interesting episode detailing the war of the four kings versus the five kings in a battle in the valley of Siddim. The Torah describes how the king of Sodom (one of the 5 kings) fled from Siddim after losing the battle. The verse describes that the land was full of bitumen pits and they fell into them, and yet he was able to escape and flee from war. The commentator Rashi quotes a midrash which states that these pits were like quicksand or clay, and yet G-d created a miracle on behalf of the king of Sodom to rescue him.

However, the midrash continues, the real reason this miracle was done was actually for Avram. This is because decades earlier Avram was thrown into a furnace at Ur Kasdim due to his belief in G-d, and he was also saved by a miracle. Since there were people doubting the miracle where Avram was saved, G-d created a miracle for the King of Sodom and saved him as well so people would believe the episode of Avram.

Unfortunately, many thousands of years of later, the doubters still exit. We only have to look at evidence of the past few weeks where we have documented evidence of atrocities and brutality against the Jewish people, and yet we have naysayers and sceptics amongst the nations of the world. In addition, even when there is evidence to the contrary, Jews are blamed and scapegoated to fit a predetermined narrative. As it existed in the days of Avram, so it exists today. The one constant is to maintain our faith and as G-d guided the world to see the truth in the days of Avram so may he do so for us in our times. 

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