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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 22 Dec 2017 08:23 PM and ends Sat 23 Dec 2017 09:24 PM
כ"ג אב ה' אלפים תשס"ט
In this week's Torah reading, Re'eh, Moshe continues addressing Bnei Yishrael just before he passes away; before Bnei Yishrael (Children of Israel) cross the Jordan River and enter the land of Israel. Moses commands them to proclaim certain blessings and curses on Mount Grizzim and Mount Ebal after they enter the land and directs them to destroy all traces of idol worship and to designate a city (ie Jerusalem) where the Divine presence will dwell in the Holy Temple. Many laws are covered in this Parsha including sacrifices being forbidden elsewhere other than in the Holy Temple, the giving of tithes, the commandment to destroy false prophets ('even if they will show a sign or a wonder (Verse 2, Chapter 13 and Verse 4).. 'do not listen to that Prophet or dreamer'), the wayward city, tattoos, kashrut and signs for kosher aminals and fish, the Sabbatical Year, charity, and the three festivals - Pesach, Shavuot and Succot and to rejoice during these festivals and to come to Jerusalem during these times and bring offerings.
1st and 2nd Aliyot: Moshe instructs the Bnei Yishrael not to destroy all traces of idol workship. All offerings must be brought to the "Chosen" place, the Bet Hamikdash and warns against other forms of worship.
3rd, 4 and 5th Aliyot: Moshe warns against going after false prophets and the commandment to destroy them and their belongings. Not to deface or mutilate our bodies with tatoos, setting up cities of refuge and the laws and signs of kosher aminals and fish.
6th, and 7th Aliyot: The remainder of the Parsha, details those Mitzvos that set us apart from all other nations: Kashrus; Maasros - Tithes; the Shmitah - sabbatical year; the laws regarding lending money; the Eved Ivri - a Jew who is a slave; the consecration of the first born animal, and three festivals - Pesach, Shavuot and Succot and to rejoice during these festivals and to come to Jerusalem during these times and bring offerings.
Haftorah Re'eh Isaiah 54:11 - 55:5
This week's Haftorah is the third Haftorah of Consolation a series of seven "haftarot of Consolation." These seven haftarot commence on the Shabbat following Tisha b'Av and continue until Rosh Hashanah.
Prophet Yishyuhu describes the time of Mashiach when Jerusalem "who has not been comforted," will be restored to full her full glory. The foundation, walls and ground of Jerusalem will be laid with precious stones and Her children will be "disciples of the L-rd," and will enjoy abundant peace. Any weapon engineered against her will fail.
Money and other assumed values and goals will be replaced by the currency of Avodat Hashem (Service of Hashem) and Yirat Shamayim (Fear of Heaven)
The prophet then invites the thirsty to acquire "water," namely those who are thirsty for spirituality should study the quenching words of the Torah. He promises an everlasting covenant similar to that made with King David. This is also an allusion to the Messiah, David's descendant, who will be revered by all of the nations of the world.
G-d will be recognized by all as the ony Provider of sustanance in contrast to our present assumed self-sufficiency and independence.
The words of Yishyuhu offer us hope in knowing that closeness to Hashem and the end of Galus is up to us. All we have to do is trust the beginning words of the Parsha: "The Blessing: that you should listen to the commandments of Hashem…" .
The last Shabbat of each month -- which can be any day from 23rd of the month to the 29th -- is Shabbat Mevarchim HaChodesh, "the Shabbat that blesses the month." On this Shabbat, a special prayer is recited in the synagogue which names the coming month, identifies the day (or days) of Rosh Chodesh ("head of the month") and the time the new moon will appear which beseeches G-d to "renew it... for life and for peace, for gladness and for joy, for deliverance and for consolation."
Thus, the closing days of each month are a unique opportunity for us to re assess our relationship with G-d and Man: to reassess our past, and readjust, or even radically transform, our prior vision and approach to life.
A new year, new month, week, day, hour or moment provides us with a new understanding, a new feelings, a new opportunities for achievement, particularly as we about to enter the final month of the jewish year, the Month of Ellul, heralding with it the Day of Judgment - Rosh Hashana - the New Year.