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Weekly Message 03.19.2021 Parashah Vayikra

Parashah Vayikra (and He called) Leviticus 1:1 - 5:25

HafTorah Isaiah 43:21 - 44:23

Dear friends,

Only a week until Passover and despite this being the year of the pandemic, we have much to look forward to.

We received our stimulus check in our bank account and can now donate it to the three major charities that are providing food for the hungry in our region: Feeding Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries, and The Volunteer Way. I hope that many of us who have the resources will consider making a gift as Passover approaches and so many remain unemployed and hungry. You'll find the addresses of each at the end of this message.

Also, I am happy to report that many of us have now been vaccinated and it is likely that all of us will have the opportunity to be inoculated soon. Here are the instructions that we and many others have used to sign up at 2 pm on Sunday:

Sears Auto Center at Gulf View Square Mall

Location: 9409 U.S. 19 in Port Richey

Eligible: Florida residents 60 and older; health care workers with direct patient contact; law enforcement, firefighters and K-12 school employees aged 50 and older; medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor

Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; appointment required

Appointments: Register at; appointments open each Sunday at 2 p.m. Contact CDR Maguire at 1-844-770-8548 for assistance.

Required documents: ID and/or proof of employment, as well as proof of appointment

More information:

This Shabbat, we continue our preparations for Passover by reading the first portion of the book of Vayikra (Leviticus). For many, this book of the Torah is less inspiring and certainly contains less action than the ones preceding (Genesis and Exodus) and the ones succeeding it (Numbers and Deuteronomy). However, the detailed descriptions of the sacrifices and other rituals of ancient times can easily be transferred to our modern time.

Rather than sacrificing animals in a tabernacle and later Temple setting, we now have synagogues for prayer and sacrifice for Tsedaka (charity) instead. As we approach the Passover festival week, let's be as generous with our sacrifices as we can and support those who are feeding the hungry to the best of our abilities. Thus we will be in tune with Leviticus in our own 21st century fashion and derive much more meaning from this important holiday and the Korban Pesach (the Passover sacrifice).

We will have our usual Shabbat services on Zoom at 7:30 pm tonight and 9:30 am tomorrow morning. In addition to studying the first portion of Leviticus, we will be chanting one of the most powerful portions (chapters 43 and 44) of the Prophet Isaiah's writings, so prominant that we repeat it in Psalm 115 when we sing the Hallel at every festival. Isaiah refers to false gods (idols) who have ears but cannot hear; eyes but cannot see; a heart but cannot discern, etc.much like we worship false gods today (wealth, power, envy, etc.). Isaiah's words were addressed to the remnant of the Jewish people in exile in Babylon who were no longer worshiping Adonai, but false gods instead.

The Zoom instructions are below and I will look forward to seeing you on my screen!

A reminder: so that you will be better prepared for our Zoom seder on March 27th at 5:30 pm, please visit the synagogue next week from Monday through Thursday to pick up the appropirate Hagaddah, a Likrat Shabbat prayer book if you don't already have one, and purchase a Havdalah candle. Marie is in the office until 1 pm each day.



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Services

Time: Mar 19, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning Service

Time: Mar 20, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


Feeding Tampa Bay

4702 Transport Dr. Building 6

Tampa, FL 33605-9947


Metropolitan Ministries

3214 US-19

Holiday, FL 34691


The Volunteer Way

8061 Congress St.

Port Richey, FL 34668


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