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Weekly Message 03.08.2023 Parashat Vayakhel

Parashat Vayakhel (and he gathered) Exodus 35:1 - 38:20

HafTorah Kings II 11:17 - 12:17, Samuel I 20:18, Samuel I 20:42

Dear friends,

We are about to embark on the first of five special Sabbaths which take place between now and Passover. These are Shabbat Shekalim (March 8/9), Shabbat Zachor (March 22/23), Shabbat Parah (March 29/30), Shabbat HaChodesh (April 3/6), and Shabbat Hagadol (April 19/20). Shabbat Shakalim recalls the donation of a half-shekel in ancient times used for the repair of the Temple in Jerusalem, the roads leading to the city, and other critical needs in anticipation of the pilgrimage festival of Pesach. In addition to our regular weekly reading of the portion of Vayakhel in the Book Of Exodus, we read from Exodus Chapter 30, verses 11-16 from a second Torah to emphasize the importance of the need for us to support our own houses of worship during this important season leading up to the observance of Passover. The readings from both Torahs are connected in that financial support for the Mishkan (Tabernacle) is solicited from the Hebrew nation as they traveled with it in the wilderness. We also read a special Haftorah from the Book of Kings which recalls the repair and refurbishment of the Temple after years of neglect by King Jehoash and the Priest Jehoiada.

Please join me this evening at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am in-person or virtually on Zoom as we observe this first of the special Shabbatot as we begin our preparations for the festival of Passover.

Attached is the invitation flyer for the Naw-Ruz (Baha'i) new year celebration (including a vegetarian/dairy dinner, music, and inspirational readings) that we are hosting at the JCC on March 19th at 6:30 pm. This celebration continues our involvement in the interfaith community and highlights the Baha'i traditions. I have visited the Baha'i Temple and Gardens in Haifa as well as the Baha'i congregation in Pasco County where we have been their guests. They are a community of peace and have supported us in good and difficult times, so it is an honor to host this important event in their religious calendar. Let's have a huge turnout of our own membership to support our Baha'i friends. I hope that you can attend this joyous event and that you will "spread the word" among your friends and community.

Also in March, we are planning a special day to celebrate Purim and fulfil our obligation to feed the hungry on that day. As we are commanded as part of the observance of Purim, on Sunday, March 24th, we will gather at Hudson High School, 14410 Cobra Way in Hudson, FL at 9 am to volunteer with Metropolitan Ministries at their tent where we will distribute food and other necessities to the many people who desperately need it during these difficult times. We will assist that effort until around 12 noon. Please consider signing up to volunteer for this important cause. Just click on this link or paste it into your browser and then click on March 24th to sign up. And while you are there, please consider volunteering at our regular monthly gathering on April 25th at 10 am at Metropolitan Ministries Pasco headquarters at 3214 Highway 19 in Holiday, FL across the highway from Sun Toyota. We are there every month working in the kitchen, the food pantry, and the clothing pantry for a mid-day three hour shift and encourage all who are able to join us!

Then, fresh from our volunteer efforts in Hudson, we will gather at the synagogue to celebrate the joyous Purim holiday with a social hour beginning at 1 pm on March 24th with tasty Hamantaschen, ice cream, and other seasonal goodies followed by the reading of the Megillah Esther. Please feel free to come in costume (or not!) and be prepared to make lots of noise!

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 3/08/2024

Time: Mar 8, 2024, 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

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JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday, 03/09/2024 9:30 am

Time: Mar 9, 2024, 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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