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Weekly Message 01.26.2024 Parashat Beshalach

Parashat Beshalach (When he sent) Exodus 13:17 -17:16

Judges 4:4 - 5:31

Dear friends,

We have just completed our celebration of Tu B'Shevat (15th day of the month of Shevat) often referred to as the new year for trees and a festival that has morphed into a kind of ecological awareness day similar to Earth Day. On this holiday, we put together a special seder which includes fruits, nuts, and other delectable foods that until now were "out of season" in the land of Israel. In addition to our tasting red and white wines (or grape juice). these include figs, dates, apricots, grapes, olives, etc. In addition to the traditional challah and wine, we'll have a seder plate available at services tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am.

Dried fruit and almonds traditionally eaten on Tu B'Shevat

In addition to closely following Tu B'Shevat, this Shabbat is a very special one named Shabbat Shira as we read of the miracle at the Sea of Reeds as the Hebrew nation fled from Egyptian bondage and began their sojourn in the wilderness. Our trienniel reading includes the Song at the Sea, but ends on a more troubled note as the children of Israel continue their incessant complaining to Moses and Aaron and indicate a desire to return to Egypt and to slavery. Again and again, miracles are performed for them, in this case that of providing manna from the sky. As we learn all too well, you can lead the people out of slavery, but it is most difficult to take the slavery out of people's psyche. Until the generation that knew slavery gave way to a new generation, the complaints and rebellious acts were destined to continue regardless of the miracles that had been bestowed on them. To this day, we tend to lack faith and often complain (qvetch in Yiddish) about things that in the larger context are meaningless.

Let's learn a lesson from our ancestors as they begin to live a life of freedom and not be slaves to petty things.

And to add to this special Shabbat, we will hear a Haftorah from the Book of Judges that features one of our trandition's great judge and prophetess, Deborah. Just as Chapter 15 of the Book of Exodus is presented to us as a song, so is Chapter 5 of the Book of Judges.

Many thanks to the Cohen family for sponsoring last Shabbat's delightful Kiddush luncheon in honor of Gregory's Bar Mitzvah anniversary. It was wonderful to spend time and a meal with our congregational family and I hope this serves as an inspiration for all to share their simchas in this fashion. Just as we come together to help those in difficult and sad times, we must do the same to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other happy occasions.

With that in mind, Chris and I are sponsoring a luncheon on February 17th to celebrate my Bar Mitzvah anniversary and our birthdays. Please join us then and every Shabbat and consider sponsorship of a celebratory meal for any occasion or just for the fun of it!

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 01/26/2024 7:30 pm

Time: Jan 26, 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, 01/27/2024 9:30 am

Time: Jan 27, 2024 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

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