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Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:21pm and ends on Saturday at 8:16pm. The weekly Torah portion is Pekudei and Chazak. It’s Ta’anit Esther on Thursday fast begins 6:06am and ends at 8:02pm.

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 is on recess this week because of the pre-Purim function at L1 and will resume next Wed at 1.30pm at A-P GF/459 Collins – and via zoom. Current topic: default terms for short/long term leases. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Levi Rosenbaum.

This Shabbat we finish the second book of the Torah, Shemos, and conclude the detailed chapter of the Tabernacle’s construction. Betzalel and Ohaliav managed the project, but everyone participated by donating their time, resources and skills to the cause. A true team effort.

Throughout the portion of Pekudei, the phrase “they did as G-d commanded” is read 18 times, corresponding to the 18 blessings in the Amida prayer. Prayer is like a ladder, ascending from earth to the heavens, rung by rung which requires effort and devotion to keep climbing. Since the Tabernacle used worldly resources and transformed them into absolute holiness, it is the perfect metaphor for prayer.

Interestingly, there is a 19th appearance of the phrase which is not counted. This occurs when only Betzalel’s name is mentioned, without Ohaliav.

The reason is that Betzalel came from the “great” tribe of Yehudah, while Ohaliav was from the “lower” tribe of Dan.The lesson here is that effective prayer requires purposeful devotion of our entire selves, especially our lower, more worldly parts.

Despite the significant teamwork and masterful organisation that went into each component, the Tabernacle’s completion could only occur through Moshe.

This teaches us that the first step in our connection is to work on ourselves and then recognise and extract the best qualities we each have to offer. But doing “as G-d commanded” alone is not enough. Utilising our connection to G-d through tzadikim allows us to truly unite as a community and create the ultimate dwelling place for G-d.

And what better month to merit this great simcha than the month of Adar!

Chazak Chazak Venischazek!

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