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Weekly Message 06.05.2020

Parashat Naso Numbers 4:21 - 7:89

This Shabbat, we read and study the portion of Nasso from the book of Bamidar (Numbers). For me, the most significant passage is the introduction of the priestly blessing which appears in our Amidah three times every day and which we bless our children and grandchildren at the Shabbat dinner table every week:

The Lord spoke to Moses asking him to speak to Aaron and his sons commanding them to repeat these words to the people of Israel:

May the Lord bless you and protect you!

May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you!

May the Lord bestow divine favor upon you and grant you peace!

One no longer has to be a priest to chant these blessings when in fact, we are all supposed to act as priests and don't need intermediaries to perform this deed and other ritual deeds and acts of kindness.

This portion of our Torah is especially relevant in this difficult time. As Shabbat approaches, we have a chance to reflect on one of the most difficult gut wrenching, and soul searching weeks in our collective memories. The pandemic continues its deadly plague even as we carefully open more of our societal life and acts of brutality and hatred continue to be a large part of our social conversation. At our annual Martin Luther King Day march and program in January, I reiterated why we cannot remain silent when evil acts abound in our midst. This week only added more weight to that thought and again we must choose ways to fight bigotry and replace acts of hatred with acts of kindness. Those acts can be manifested by continuing to support the efforts of those who are feeding the hungry in our midst and carefully supporting those who are peacefully speaking out at the rallies in every corner of the state and the nation.

I look forward to expanding on this theme at our Shabbat evening service which begins at 7:30 this evening and can be attended in person at the JCC or virtually through Zoom following the instructions below:

Beth Tefillah is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Beth Tefillah

Time: Jun 5, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 608 214 9425

Password: 2YcUE0

Regardless of how you participate, I look forward to seeing you and celebrating Shabbat evening with you.

Hoping that you are staying healthy and safe!

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader

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