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Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:53pm and ends on Saturday at 8:57pm. The weekly Torah portion is Toldot.

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

Weekly 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 Geoffrey Bloch.

There is a grammatical oddity in the verse recording Yitzchak’s love for Eisav and Rivkah’s love for Yaakov. Yitzchak’s love for Eisav is cast in the past tense (vayeehav Yitzchak et Eisav ki tsayid b’phiv) whereas Rivkah’s love for Yaakov is cast in the present tense (v’Rivkah ohevet et Yaakov).

Because the Torah is an historical narrative in the past tense, it is extremely unusual to find any passage cast in the present tense. There must be a very good reason for the narrative switching tenses within the one verse.

Another oddity in the verse is that Yitzchak’s love for Eisav is expressed to be conditional (Eisav provided food for his father) whereas Rivkah’s love for Yaakov is unconditional.

Perhaps the Torah is teaching us about the power and enduring nature of unconditional love. A relationship based upon a reason or condition for affection to be maintained, is likely to be transient and soon to be spoken of in the past tense. But a relationship where affection is given and received unconditionally, is a relationship where love will forever be present and will endure.

Juxtaposed against the depraved violence perpetrated against Israel’s southern communities on Simchat Torah, we have witnessed an inspirational outpouring of ahavat chinam, of unconditional love, by Jews for each other, in Israel and in diaspora communities.

Just as a parent’s greatest joy is to see the fraternal love of children. May G-d celebrate the fraternal love of His children and deliver us from our darkest hour to happier times.

Am Yisrael Chai!

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