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Weekly Message 06.25.2021 Parashat Balak

Parashat Balak (King of Moab) Numbers 22:2 - 25:9

HafTorah Micah 5:6 - 6:8

Dear friends,

I would like to invite you to one of our happiest life cycle events of the year as we bestow her Hebrew name on Aurora Saturn Shapiro-Reynolds, daughter of Marcy and Gary Shapiro-Reynolds and granddaughter of our long-time members Lucy and Elliot Shapiro.

As you know, Elliot has been the chazzan of our Shabbat morning services for many years. To name a Jewish child is a major step during life's journey. And in this case, it comes as we are emerging from such a difficult time. As we return to near-normal, we continue to hold services in-person and on zoom and to read and study the Torah each Shabbat.

This week's Torah portion is Balak when we hear the words that have been sung for millennia whenever we enter a house of study or worship or even our own homes which are sanctuaries in themselves.

Balak, the king of Moab, persuades the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites so that he can defeat them and drive them out of the region. However, Balaam blesses the Children of Israel instead and prophesies that Israel's enemies will be defeated.

מַה־טֹּ֥בוּ אֹהָלֶ֖יךָ יַעֲקֹ֑ב מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶ֖יךָ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ How fair are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel!

כִּנְחָלִ֣ים נִטָּ֔יוּ כְּגַנֹּ֖ת עֲלֵ֣י נָהָ֑ר כַּאֲהָלִים֙ נָטַ֣ע יְהֹוָ֔ה כַּאֲרָזִ֖ים עֲלֵי־מָֽיִם׃ Like palm-groves that stretch out, Like gardens beside a river, Like aloes planted by the LORD, Like cedars beside the water;

יִֽזַּל־מַ֙יִם֙ מִדָּ֣לְיָ֔ו וְזַרְע֖וֹ בְּמַ֣יִם רַבִּ֑ים וְיָרֹ֤ם מֵֽאֲגַג֙ מַלְכּ֔וֹ וְתִנַּשֵּׂ֖א מַלְכֻתֽוֹ׃ Their boughs drip with moisture, Their roots have abundant water.

One of the many lessons to be learned from this Torah portion is to think before we speak. When we are angry, frustrated, and/or depressed, we sometimes think negative thoughts. Before we put them into words, let's allow Hashem to transform those words into blessings.

We are also introduced to Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron who continues the tradition of the Kohanim (priests).

Our Haftorah is from the prophet Micah who we also read on Rosh Hashanah at Tashlich by the river and on Shabbat Shuva (the Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Haftorah ends with these immoral words:

"Hashem has told you what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice And to love goodness, And to walk modestly with your God".

Please join us on this particularly special and joyous Shabbat at our in-person and/or zoomed services at 7:30 pm tonight and for the Torah readings and baby naming at 9:30 am tomorrow morning.

Shabbat Shalom!

Ron Becker,

Spirtual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Jun 25, 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: Jun 26, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


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