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Weekly Message 06/26/2020 Parashat - Korach

Korach, Son Of Yitzhar, Son of Kehat, Son of Levi

Bamidbar (Numbers 16:1 - 18 32)

Dear friends,

First of all, many thanks to those who responded to our call to attend Sunday's funeral of Mel Finkelstein, beloved husband of Kay Finkelstein and a regular at our High Holy Day services. Kay and her family and friends really appreciated the outpouring of support from members of our synagogue. And personal thanks to all of you who attended the virtual services Wednesday evening and Thursday morning so that I could say Kaddish in memory of my father on his Yahrzeit. Normally, I would be taking you all out to breakfast at Panera's right after the service, but in these unusual times, I have to issue a "rain check" to be cashed in after the pandemic is behind us!

This week's Torah portion (Parashat Korach from the Book of Bamidar) and Haftorah (from the book of Samuel) are particularly relevant to what we are going through in modern times. The portion is all about rebellion and how the children of Israel react (or don't react) to it. To paraphrase Rabbi Roy A Walter, emeritus rabbi of Congregation Emanuel in Houston, Korach challenges Moses's leadership and he and all his followers are destroyed. However, the text doesn't in any way suggest that most of the people supported Korach, but they didn't oppose him, either They saw their community threatened, but they didn't want to get involved. Evil in a society or a nation endures when the people stand by and watch. By not condemning Korach and his followers, by their silence, the people of Israel condoned the former's actions. No less today, when we stand by and allow evil to go unchallenged, we share responsibility with those who are perpetrating it. The only way to prevent ourselves and our world from falling prey to the evil that others propose to do is to stand up against them with our words and our deeds. I'll have more to discuss on this theme at tonight's service.

The Haftorah concerns itself with the desire of the Hebrew nation to have a king over them and is the story of the ascent of King Saul, the first king's ascension to the throne. Again, the need for a strong leader in governance and other aspects of our lives and culture will be further discussed at tonight's Shabbat service either in person at the JCC or via Zoom at the following link:

JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Jun 26, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Password: 5QdVaA

Again thanks to all for continuing to keep our religious community alive and active during these trying times.

Shabbat Shalom!

Ron Becker

Spiritual Leader

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