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Weekly Message 03.04.2022 Parashat Pekudei

Parashat _ Pekudei ("amounts of") Exodus 38:21 - 40:38

HafTorah - Kings I 7:51 - 8:21

Dear friends,

I hope you had a pleasant week in the Florida sunshine! With our spectacular weather, it is easy to overlook the crises facing our community and our world. We pray that the devastating war in Ukraine will end immediately with a Russian withdrawal. The suffering is already acute with over a million refugees, and many killed and wounded. Our Jewish Federation and others are organizing relief efforts.

Closer to home, a group of us attended the 50th anniversary event for volunteers and donors of Metropolitan Ministries at the Straz Center in Tampa on Tuesday evening. It was a spectacular evening of music and inspirational stories from families who have been assisted through the organization's food and housing programs. As I have indicated from my experience as a volunteer and a member of the Pasco County Food Policy Board, there is so much that needs to still be done to alleviate the suffering in our midst. These staggering numbers tell only a small part of the story: During its existence, Metropolitan Ministries has served 43,370,752 meals, provided 1,336,302 safe shelter nights for the homeless, impacted over 2,000,000 children, and logged 2,053,466 volunteer hours. And this organization is one of many that have this mission. The number is multiplied many times over when you add in the efforts of Feeding Tampa Bay, The Volunteer Way and others in our community. I will bring copies of the brochure created for the event to services tonight and welcome you to take one and to consider joining fellow congregants in distributing food at the center at Holiday and/or donating food and funds. Our JCC of West Pasco is distributing the food that you drop off at the synagogue to that center.

This Shabbat, we conclude the reading of the Book of Exodus. Our portion of Pekudei describes the completion of the Mishkan that will accompany the children on Israel on their continuing journey towards the Promised Land. With the Mishkan and the consecration of the priests, they will be reminded of Hashem's presence at all times. As we know, the road ahead to freedom will not be easy, but they can be reassured that faith and morality will drive them in the proper direction. At the end of the Torah reading, we chant:

!חֲזַק חֲזַק וְנִתְּחַזֵּק Be Strong, Be Strong, and we will Strengthen One Another

This marks the celebration of completion of a book of the Torah. Next week, we begin the Book of Leviticus with a special Sabbath, the Shabbat of Remembrance שבת זכור always observed on the Shabbat before Purim..

In addition to our Shabbat services tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am both in-person and on zoom, we will be visiting our matriarch Mary Gaines to celebrate her 104th birthday on Sunday at 2 pm at Atria at Windsor Woods 13707 Dallas Dr in Hudson just past the Medical Center at Bayonet Point. Please join us in person or on zoom (yes, we will be zooming!) to wish Mary well on this wonderful occasion!

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Mar 4, 2022 07:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA



Topic: Saturday Service

Time: Mar 5, 2022 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA



Topic: Mary Gaines Birthday

Time: Mar 6, 2022 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


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