Mazal Tov to Avi & Sara Gordon on the birth of a daughter

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

Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:41pm and ends on Saturday at 8:38pm. The weekly Torah portion is Ki Tisa.

Mincha at Ainsworth Property – GF/459 Collins is in recess for the summer and will resume in March if we get numbers and if not, after DST ends. Join the WhatsApp group for updates.

Weekly sushi & shiur has resumed on Wed at 1.30pm at A-P GF/459 Collins – and via zoom. Current topic: adjoining property rights. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Gaby Silver.

What’s the definition of Chutzpah? Let’s try this one: The Supreme Master & Creator of the universe has called you to the mountaintop, where He gives you two tablets that He Himself has carved and engraved with His everlasting contract with your nation. When you get down the mountain, you see the mayhem and debauchery that kids get up to when their parents are away for 40 days. So what do you do? You hurl those tablets to the ground, smashing them to smithereens.

Now, THAT takes some gumption. Where did Moshe Rabbeinu get the gall to smash the Ten Commandments he had just been given? Our sages interpret the breaking of the tablets as a metaphor for the disintegration of our people’s relationship with G-d, and the source for all subsequent tragedies to befall our people. The Talmud in Eruvin boldly states “Had the first tablets not been broken, no nation could ever have subjugated the Jewish people.” Quite the legacy.

Yet, in his very last commentary on the final words of the Torah, Rashi cites a Midrash that states that G-d gave Moshe a hearty “Yashar Koyach” (“well done”) for breaking the tablets “before the eyes of all Israel”! How can we reconcile this?

There is a foundational Kabbalistic & Chassidic concept that in existential matters “the beginning is wedged in the end”. From this perspective, we can almost see the breaking of the tablets as a necessary precondition for the ultimate elevation to an even more meaningful relationship between G-d and the Jews. Perhaps our challenges are a necessary bump in the road actualising the true strength and unity inherent in our collective Jewish soul.

We don’t have to look far to see how tragedy brings our people together. May the incredible global cohesion that we’re experiencing in the face of our current challenges usher in an age of ultimate unity between our people and G-d speedily in our days.

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