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Weekly Message 02.12.2021 Parashat Mishpatim

Parashat Mishpatim (laws) Exodust 21:1 - 24:18

HafTorah II Kings 11:17-12:17, Isaiah 66:1, Isaiah 66:23-24



Dear friends,


Hope you had a good week and are ready for one of the special Shabbatot which prepares us for Purim and Passover. Not only is it Shabbat Shekalim, but also Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the month of Adar, the month in whcih we are commanded to "increase our joy". This year, it is a little more difficult to "increase our joy" due to the pandemic and its effects on many, but the lessons we learn in our Torah portion (Mishpatim in the Book of Exodus) will certainly help prepare us for better times to come while remembering all who have suffered during this especially difficult year.


Last Shabbat, we were introduced to the Ten Commandments and to the beginning of settling disputes through arbitration assisted by unbiased judges. This Shabbat, we learn many of the mitzvot that help build the Hebrew nation and prepare a population that only knew slavery for life as a free people. Among those mitzvot is the commandment to be kind to strangers and to those who are more vulnerable than us. Rabbi Matt Zerwekh explains it simply and succinctly:


Torah reminds us that while we should recall that we were once strangers in Egypt, the reminder of prior pain is only the beginning. We must take the pain in our history and use it to motivate us to action:

•to not only feel empathy for, but also work to protect the vulnerable,

•to not only to feel the pain, but also work to fix the pain in the world around us,

•to speak up for the voiceless,

•and to channel our empathy into compassion.

This small piece of guidance went very far to motivate the children of the Israel at Sinai and is not time bound as it serves as an inspiration to us all in 21st Century America.


Although due to the pandemic, we are not able to hold in-person services at this time, I am very much looking forward to seeing you all on my computer screen at our Shabbat services tonight at 7:30 pm and Saturday morning at 9:30 am. We will discuss our Torah portion in addition to the significance of Shabbat Shekalim and the new month of Adar. And on Saturday morning, we will sing the joyous hymns of praise, the Hallel. If we were at the synagogue, we would be reading from all three of our Torahs to mark the special Shabbat.


Shabbat Shalom! Ron


Ron Becker

Spiritual Leader

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Friday Zoom Link:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Feb 12, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4979030958?pwd=YXJPT2FGVTdzVVV2bVQ3c1ZnS1lMZz09


Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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Saturday Zoom Link:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning Service

Time: Feb 13, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4979030958?pwd=YXJPT2FGVTdzVVV2bVQ3c1ZnS1lMZz09


Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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