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Weekly Message 07.23.2021 Parashat Va'etchanan

Parashat Va'etchanan (and I pleaded) Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11

HafTorah Isaiah 30:1-26

Dear friends,

We are embarking on a special Shabbat weekend. We begin with Shabbat Nachamu (the Sabbath of Comfort) which always immediately follows the observance of Tisha B'Av. Thanks to all who attended (both in -person and virtually) our reading of the Book of Lamentations (Eicha) last Sunday.

Beginning this Shabbat, we chant the Haftorot of Consolation for the next 7 weeks leading directly to the High Holy Days. In this first and perhaps most quoted Haftorah of Consolation, we read Isaiah's words of comfort in chapter 40 of his prophesies. It begins with "Nachamu Nachamu" (Take Comfort, Take Comfort) and stresses Adonai's everlasting presence in our midst. We flourish like flowers in the field, and then we are gone. But Adonai is with us forever.

Our Torah portion is Va'etchanan, the second parashat of the Book of Deuteronomy (Devorim) in which Moses pleads his case to enter the promised land unsuccessfully. It appears that the punishment certainly does not fit the seemingly minor crime, and Moses is certainly extremely disappointed. However, instead of being resentful and spiteful, he continues to lead his people and implores on them to follow the Ten Commandments (which are repeated in this week's reading) and lead moral lives. Moses is truly an inspiration to us all. We all have great aspirations which for one reason or another remain unfulfilled. Instead of being resentful or jealous of others, we must continue our life's journeys with confidence and appreciation for what we have and how we can better impact those in our midst: our families, our friends, our communities, and our environment.

Finally, what makes this Shabbat weekend even more special is the celebration of Tu B'Av (the 15th day of the month of Menachim Av), the Jewish day of love sometimes referred to as the Hebrew Valentine's Day. Freed from the introspection and denials during the three weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av, we celebrate our love for humanity and for those closest to us. In Talmudic times, it marked the beginning of the grape harvest and the paring up of young maidens and their future spouses. Today, it is the ideal preferred time for Jewish marriages and true to course, two of the "regulars" at our Shabbat minyanim will be attending family weddings on this happy day!

Also, a reminder that our beloved congregant and friend Mary Gaines is residing at Atria Windsor Woods and very much in the need of visitors. What better way to spend Tu B'Av than to pay her a social call? Atria is located at 13707 Dallas Dr, Hudson, FL 34667.

And in closing, a reminder that I will be away for two Shabbat weekends (July 30/21 and August 6/7). Our beloved President Eileen Hochstadt and our chazzan Elliot Shapiro will very capably lead services at those times and I will return the following Shabbat weekend. So, I look forward to seeing you tonight (in person and virtually on Zoom) at 7:30 pm and tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9:30 am to celebrate Shabbat Nachamu and Tu B'Av together.

Til then, best wishes,

Ron Becker

Spiritual Leader

Ronald L. Becker

Professor Emeritus

Rutgers University Libraries

6822 Grand Boulevard

New Port Richey, FL 34652


813-585-2286 cell



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Jul 23, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

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JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning Service

Time: Jul 24, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

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