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Weekly Message 07.15.2022 Parashat Balak

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

HafTorah - Micah 5:6 - 6:8

Dear friends,

This Shabbat, we will read the portion of Balak in the Book of Bamidbar which contains the only prayer in our liturgy composed by a non-Jew, the diviner Balaam who is enjoined by Balak, the leader of the Moabite nation to curse the Hebrews, but due to the intervention of Hashem (and Balaam's own reluctance to comply with Balak), he instead chants this enduring prayer which we repeat daily whenever entering a house of worship and which you will hear sung:

מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ, יַעֲקֹב; מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ, יִשְׂרָאֵל ואני ברב חסדך, אבוא ביתך אשתחבה אל היכל קדשך, ביראתך ה' אהבתי מעון ביתך ומקום משכן כבודך ואני אשתחוה ואכרעה אברכה לפני ה' עשי ואני תפילתי לך ה' את רצון אלוקים ברב חסדך ענני באמת ישעך

How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!

As for me, through Your abundant grace, I enter your house to worship with awe in Your sacred place.

O Lord, I love the House where you dwell, and the place where your glory tabernacles.

I shall prostrate myself and bow; I shall kneel before the Lord my Maker.

To You, Eternal One, goes my prayer: may this be a time of your favor. In Your abundant love, O G-d, answer me with the Truth of Your salvation.

In the conclusion of this week's portion, we are introduced to Pinchas (Phineas) the son of Elazar (Eliezer) and grandson of Aaron and grand nephew of Moses and Miriam. He is a zealot who enforces the ban on cohabitation with the Moabites with violence. We will discuss whether this was justified how to come to grips with it.

We follow up our Torah reading with one of our litergy's most beautiful prophecies from the Prophet Micah who concludes with the words:

הִגִּ֥יד לְךָ֛ אָדָ֖ם מַה־טּ֑וֹב וּמָה־יְהֹוָ֞ה דּוֹרֵ֣שׁ מִמְּךָ֗ כִּ֣י

אִם־עֲשׂ֚וֹת מִשְׁפָּט֙ וְאַ֣הֲבַת חֶ֔סֶד וְהַצְנֵ֥עַ לֶ֖כֶת עִם־אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ

It has been told to you, what is good and what is required of you. Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your G-d.

I look forward to our coming together to worship and study this evening in-person or virftually on Zoom this evening at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am and wish you all a Shabbat Shalom!

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Jul 15, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 856 9485 9881

Passcode: 809570



Topic: Saturday Service

Time: Jul 16, 2022 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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