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Weekly Message 06.30.2023 Parashat Chukat-Balak

Parashat Chukat (Statute) Balak (King of Moab) Numbers 19:1 - 25:9

HafTorah - Micah 5:6 - 6:8



Dear friends,


As we enter the new month of July and celebrate Independence Day, we reflect on how many of the freedoms, principles, and laws by which we are governed and motivated are based on scripture. An example from Deuteronomy 16:20 "Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive in the land" and from Leviticus 25:10 "proclaim liberty throughout the land for all of its inhabitants". Many of the mitzvot that we learn throughout our reading and studying of the Torah are reflected in our nation's constitution and judicial system.


This Shabbat, we read the action-packed double portion of Chukat and Balak. Chukat (which is also read on Shabbat Parah prior to Passover) introduces the sacrifice of purification, the deaths of Aaron and Miriam, and the striking of the rock by Moses which ultimately results in his prohibition to enter the Promised Land with his people. Then, in Balak, we read about the origin of the beautiful Ma Tovu song which we recite as we enter the synagogue.


Mah tovu ohaleicha ya'akov mishkenoteicha yisrael.


Va'ani berov chasdecha avo beitecha, eshtachaveh el heichal kodesheca beyiratecha.

מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ, יַעֲקֹב; מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל.


וַאֲנִי בְּרב חַסְדְּךָ אָבא בֵיתֶךָ אֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֶל הֵיכַל קָדְשְׁךָ בְּיִרְאָתֶךָ.


Translation:

How lovely are your dwellings, people of Jacob, your sanctuaries, descendants of Israel.

As for me, Your great love inspires me to enter Your house, to worship in Your holy sanctuary, filled with awe for You.


There are many beautiful renditions of this powerful prayer on You Tube and we will be playing it as you enter the sanctuary tonight for our 7:30 pm Shabbat service. Then at the end of the portion of Balak, we are introduced to Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron who slays the "man of Israel" and his Midianite lover. We will discuss the concept of zealotry and its place in modern society as part of our Torah study.


Again, please join us this evening at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am in prayer and study in-person and virtually on Zoom.


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Reminders

Please let me know ASAP if you are planning to attend Jewish Community Day at the Trop as the Rays play the Yankees on Sunday afternoon, August 27th. The discounted cost is $35/person for a field level seat and commemorative baseball cap. And the time is drawing near to get your registration in for the trip to Israel. If we reach the minimum goal of participants, we will be able to confidentially subsidize those who are not able to afford the journey. Please contact me or Eileen if you need assistance to cover the trip.


For those on vacation, please travel safely and feel free to Zoom in to our Shabbat services!


Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leade

________________________________________________________________

FRIDAY:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 06/30/2023 7:30 pm

Time: Jun 30, 2023 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

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SATURDAY:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Service, 07/01/2023 9:30 am

Time: Jul 1, 2023 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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