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Weekly Message 03.25.2022 Parashat Shemini

Parashat Shemino (eigth) Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47

Maftir Numbers 19:1 - 22

HafTorah Ezekiel 36:16 - 36

Dear friends,

I hope you have all had a good week.

For those who attended last week's Shabbat morning service, we enjoyed celebrating Aaron Epstein's birthday and look forward to the end of the pandemic and our observing many more life cycle events together. Aaron, who now resides in the Hyde Park section of Tampa reports that the Winn Dixie on Swann Avenue is completely stocked with "Kosher for Passover" products. We encourage you to shop early wherever you choose to purchase before supplies dwindle. And a reminder that we will be zooming the seder on Friday, April 15th at 6 pm and look forward to sharing the reading of the Haggadah with you. I will be selecting the edition that we will be using over the weekend and then making it available beginning next week to all either to be picked up at the synagogue if you are able to stop by, or by mail so that we will all be "on the same page" so to speak!

Now for this Shabbat! We will have services as always at 7:30 pm this evening and 9:30 am tomorrow morning both in person and virtually on zoom.

As we approach Passover, now only three weeks away, we embark on another special Shabbat to help us prepare--this is Shabbat Parah. We read from two Torahs and the special reading from the Book of Bamidbar (Numbers) chapter 19 which details

the parah adumah ("red heifer") in which the people purified themselves so that they would be ready ("pure") to sacrifice the korban Pesach on Passover.

In our weekly reading and study from the final triennial of the portion of Shemini in the Book of Leviticus, we begin to learn some of the basic instructions regarding Kashrut:

These are the instructions concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water, and all creatures that swarm on earth,

לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין הַטָּמֵ֖א וּבֵ֣ין הַטָּהֹ֑ר וּבֵ֤ין הַֽחַיָּה֙ הַֽנֶּאֱכֶ֔לֶת וּבֵין֙ הַֽחַיָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר לֹ֥א תֵאָכֵֽל׃

We have been discussing the background concerning kosher vs. non-kosher and the reasons to keep a kosher home many of which are practical---the healthfulness of kosher food, the concept of adding the discipline to our lives that keeping kosher demands, etc. However, the biblical roots are presented simply and succinctly in this week's Torah reading. We are commanded to be a holy people because our deity is holy, and what we consume enables us to experience that holiness. To quote from this week's reading and study:

כִּ֣י אֲנִ֣י יְהֹוָה֮ אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֒ וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם֙ וִהְיִיתֶ֣ם קְדֹשִׁ֔ים כִּ֥י קָד֖וֹשׁ אָ֑נִי

For I [/topics/the-tetragrammaton]יהוה am your God: you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am holy.

זֹ֣את תּוֹרַ֤ת הַבְּהֵמָה֙ וְהָע֔וֹף וְכֹל֙ נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַֽחַיָּ֔ה הָרֹמֶ֖שֶׂת בַּמָּ֑יִם וּלְכׇל־נֶ֖פֶשׁ הַשֹּׁרֶ֥צֶת עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

For I [/topics/the-tetragrammaton]יהוה am the One who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God: you shall be holy, for I am holy.

Chris and I are looking forward to continuing to share this wonderful holiday season with you.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Mar 25, 2022 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 Service

Time: Mar 26, 2022 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


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