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Weekly Message 05.14.2021 Parashat BaMidbar

Parashat BaMidbar -In The Wilderness (Numbers 1:1- 4:20

HafTorah - Hosea 2:1- 22





Dear friends,


This Shabbat and Yom Tov weekend is full of beginnings and ends.


As we contemplate the summer ahead, we end our counting of the Omer and prepare for the beautiful festival of Shavuot. As we begin the Book of Bamidbar in the Torah, we contemplate what we hope will be the end of the pandemic which has so dominated our lives and pray for peace in Israel and throughout the world.


Having been introduced to many of the Mitzvot (commandments) that shape our existence as Jews in the Book of Leviticus, we now return to our existence in the wilderness. For the next 38 years, the Hebrew nation will wander there and prepare for its entrance to the holy land and self-governance. This Shabbat we read about the census which reveals over 600,000 men of military age in addition to all of the women and children. Ultimately, only those who entered the wilderness as young children and those who were born in there will be deemed qualified to enter the holy land.


As Rabbi Alan Henkin summarizes it "The wilderness" is a complex place for the Israelites. It is where they coalesce into a people, transform themselves from slaves to free people, rebel against and obey God, and receive the Torah as well as severe punishment. The wilderness experience is the crucible for Israel's self-consciousness as a people in covenant with G-d. Hence an intimate, powerful connection exists between the wilderness and Judaism."


We follow the Torah reading with our Haftorah from the Book of Hosea, chapter two. The prophet speaks of difficult and dark times such as he was experiencing in his own sad personal life but predicts future redemption just as the Israelites were redeemed from the wilderness. One of the most famous lines is found at the end of the chapter, so significant that every Jewish groom repeats it under the Chupah and every Jewish adult chants it upon donning the Tefillin on weekday mornings:


וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י לְעוֹלָ֑ם וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִי֙ בְּצֶ֣דֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּ֔ט וּבְחֶ֖סֶד וּֽבְרַחֲמִֽים׃ And I will espouse you forever: I will espouse you with righteousness and justice, And with goodness and mercy,




וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י בֶּאֱמוּנָ֑ה וְיָדַ֖עַתְּ אֶתAnd I will espouse you with faithfulness; Then you shbe־יְהוָֽה׃ devoted to the LORD.all



Our Shavuot service begins at 9:30 am on Monday, May 17th and includes the chanting of Hallel (psalms of praise), the reading of the Ten Commandments, the chanting of Ackdamut, the reading of excerpts from the beautiful Book of Ruth, and the chanting of Yizkor, the memorial service in memory of all our loved ones; family and friends. This will be the last chance to chant Yizkor until Yom Kippur.


If you participated in services last Shabbat weekend, you know that I am happy to report that our hybrid format with improvements to our Internet connection resulted in an equally good experience for all who attended, whether in-person our via Zoom. We will continue our services this weekend (tonight at 7:30 pm, tomorrow at 9:30 am, and Monday at 9:30 am) in both formats and hope that you will attend one, two, or all three services.


Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach (good yontif)! Ron


Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader

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Friday:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: May 14, 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

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Satirday:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning Service

Time: May 15, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

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

J

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monday:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shavuot

Time: May 17, 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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