By January 24, 2019 Read More →

Shabbat Times & Happenings and Parsha thoughts from Brendan

Shabbat Times: In at 4. 31, Out at: 5.46.

Shabbat Happenings:

ELC, 64 Emek Refaim –

8:00 am – “Parsha & Hashkafa for Yitro: The Unique Status of the First Two Dibrot ” with Rabbi Azarya Berzon
8:45 am – Shacharit
10:30 am – Children’s service with Ronnit Goldfain
Followed by Kiddush

3:45 pm- Avot U’Banim
4:30 pm- Mincha
Followed by Seudat Shlishit
with Torah Thoughts from Ben Wittenberg

Eretz Chemdah, 2 Bruriya – Pre Shacharit shiur at 8am, Drasha before musaf.

Yakar – Parsha and Kidddush at 9.30am.

Ramban- Women’s shiur at 4, Rav Benny Lau at 5.

Nitzanim – Rav Shai Finklestein after mincha which is at 4.30.

Shir Chadash – 43 Emek Refaim, Shacharit at 9.15 followed by kiddush. Ohel Nechama minyan, Parsha at 8am followed by kiddush.

Daf Ha’Yomi – An hour before Shabbat out at the Katamon Shteiblech.

Parsha from Brendan Stern: Yitro – In It Together

The Gemara (Zevachim 116a) relates that as the Torah was given the sound of Hashem was heard throughout the world, and kings trembled from great fear. They sought counsel from Bilaam as to what the great commotion was about, fearing Hashem was about to destroy the world through another flood.

Bilaam advised that this was not the case, and rather Hashem was giving the Torah to His people. Upon hearing this the kings blessed Am Yisrael with “shalom”.

What made the kings think the world was coming to an end? And why, upon hearing the answer, did they bless Am Yisrael with peace – especially in light of the famous Rashi (Shemot 19:2) that the Jews already exhibited unity in advance of Matan Torah?

Peace can manifest in two forms. One is of the type demonstrated in Noach’s ark – where the animals lived side by side in harmony. The catalyst for this form of peace is the external danger that forces otherwise enemies into temporary peaceful coexistence. The other, as symbolised in Isaiah’s prophecy (11:6) of the wolf living with the sheep and the leopard with the kid, is not due to external stimuli but rather a miraculous synchronicity.

This, says Rav Meir Shapiro, was the fear of the nations. Upon seeing the unity of Am Yisrael they conjectured that this unity was precipitated by another impending calamity. Bilaam informed them that there is something else that brings unity, the Torah – providing a common goal and a shared mission. When the kings heard this they blessed Am Yisrael with peace – that the stimulant for their unity should forever remain of the “positive” kind!

Through recognition of our common purpose, each and every individual can uniquely contribute to the greater goal of perfecting the world. We are all in this together!

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