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Weekly Message 01.12.2024 Parashat Va'era

Parashat Va'era - (and I appeared) 6:2 - 9:35

HafTorah - Ezekiel 28:25 - 29:21

Dear friends,

I would like to begin this weekly message by thanking all who participated in our services last Shabbat as Chris and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. What better way to mark this special occasion than by being with our congregational family and sharing our worship services and a wonderful luncheon! I encourage you all to share your simchas in our synagogue as we support each other throughout our life cycles in good times and not-so-good times.

This Shabbat (tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am in-person and virtually on Zoom) we continue our reading and study of the Book of Exodus (Shemot) which we began last week with Chapter 7:8-8:15 in which Moses and Aaron begin their demonstrations of the might of Hashem with the first of the plagues, before Pharoh and his court. Despite the potential consequences, Pharoh "hardens his heart" and refuses to free the children of Israel. We will discuss our reading and try to come to grips with why we sometimes "harden our hearts" and become oblivious to suffering. This is especially relevant during this Martin Luther King weekend observance.

A reminder that we have two important events coming up this week. On Monday, January 15th, we will participate in the annual Martin Luther King Day march from the Union Missionary Baptist Church, 6235 Pine Hill Road to the historic Booker T. Washington School at 6105 Pine Hill Road, a short but significant walk. We will begin gathering at 10 am, the march commences at 10:30 am, and the program at the schoolhouse begins at 11 am. There will be talks (including one from me), music, performances, refreshments, and a chance to meet those in our interfaith community to continue our dialogs and friendships. Let's have a great JCC turnout!

Then on Wednesday, January 17th, we are hosting the Mental Health First Aid program beginning at 10 am in the synagogue. If you are interested, but have not yet registered, you must do so immediately so that you can complete the preliminary exercises before the session. You should have received the registration materials in our previous mailings, but if you need help registering, please call Joanna Corde at St. Petersburg College 727-341-3640. She will assist you in the registration process. Thanks to a grant, there is no charge for the program and refreshments and lunch are provided.

And mark your calendars for next Shabbat when we celebrate the Bar Mitzvah anniversary of Gregory Cohen, son of Paula and Barry Cohen who invite all to share this joyous occasion with a luncheon to follow our service on Saturday, January 20th.

And stay tuned for information on our future winter and spring events.

Let's fill the synagogue with prayer and celebration!

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 01/12/2024 7:30 pm

Time: Jan 12, 2024 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Service, 01/13/2024 9:30 am

Time: Jan 13, 2024 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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