Good morning friends!
As we entered the three weeks of semi-mourning culminating in Tisha B'Av on August 11th, the weather seems to have matched our spirits providing us with lots of rain and unsettled conditions. These unsettled conditions will be the theme of our Torah study this week as we read about the exploits of Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, and probably the first Hebrew zealot. This is followed by the instructions for the sacrifices during Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, and all the holidays. As we are now within the "three weeks", we will read the first Haftorah of Admonition or Rebuke by the prophet Jeremiah, where he warns the people what the consequences of immoral and uncaring behavior could be. I like to think of this period as one of reflection and resolve rather than simply mourning for the lost Temple in Jerusalem and other calamities that have befallen the Jewish people over these many years. If we understand the root causes of these calamities and strive to make this a better world, we can hope for a much better present and future. Please try to attend our services tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am to help make our minyan and participate in praying and studying together.
After Shabbat, I will be leaving on my annual vacation to the beach in Delaware where I and my family will meet with old college friends for the 49th consecutive year. I will be away the two Shabbatot after (August 2/3 and 9/10), but you will be in very good hands with Eileen and Elliot leading Shabbat services and study. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbat weekend and beyond and looking forward to seeing you in shul.
Ron Becker Spiritual Leader