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    Three tasks for Ellul – Shof’tim

    Chapter 20 of D’varim lists three people who are free from military service: the man who has built a new house and not occupied it; the man who has planted a vineyard and not enjoyed the crops; and the man who has betrothed a woman but not lived with her.

    The Talmud sees in this list an order of procedure – first acquire a house, then get a job, then marry.

    This is also a summary of the three things we must scrutinise during this pre-Rosh HaShanah month of Ellul – the quality of our home life, the ethics of our business or profession, and the quality of our personal relationships.

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