Mazel Tov to Moishe & Leah Chaiton and families on the birth of their baby girl
Mazel Tov to Yaacov & Ronee Schachna and families on the birth of their baby boy

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

Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:45pm and ends on Saturday at 8:48pm. The weekly Torah portion is Chayei Sara and it’s Shabbat Mevarchim Kislev. Rosh Chodesh is on Tuesday. Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.

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 is on recess for next week and will resume on Wed 22/11 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 Annette Charak.

In an act of enormous faith, a young Abraham had left his home, his family, his homeland to travel to a land that God promised to show him. In this week’s Torah reading, Chayei Sarah, the fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham – of offspring and land – begins. The portion opens with Sarah’s death and Abraham’s consequent grief. But he does not wallow. To secure a burial place for Sarah, he negotiates the purchase of land from the Hittites, the first acquired land rights in this promised land.

Recognising his own mortality and wishing to ensure the continuity of the generations, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer back to Mesopotamia in search of a suitable wife for his son Isaac. Eliezer returns with the gracious and beautiful Rebecca.

Both Abraham’s careful negotiations with the Hittites for the burial plot and his desire that Isaac’s wife come from his original homeland and not from among the locals underscore Abraham as an outsider, as he himself says when seeking to buy the burial site for Sarah: “I am a resident alien among you”.

The narratives of Sarah’s death and Isaac’s betrothal highlight the tension between separation from other nations and openness to the stranger, between tribalism and universalism, a balancing act that has no clear resolution and that we continue to navigate.

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