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Weekly Message 07.24.2020 Parashat Devarim

Devarim - The Words Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22

Dear friends,

On this Shabbat, we begin reading and studying the Book of Deuteronomy (Devorim), the last of the five books of Moses as the children of Israel make their final preparations prior to entering the Promised Land.

In the first portion, Moses summarizes most of what has occurred in the nearly forty years since the multitude left Egypt and slavery on their journey to freedom in the land of Israel. By now, only he and Joshua and Caleb are the only ones still alive who were adults when leaving Egypt. Only those who left as children or were born in the wilderness will be entering, conquering, and settling in the new land. And of course, Moses will see the land from afar before he too perishes. Those who are left have learned the mitzvot, tasted military victories, and are not shackled with the memories of being enslaved. They are a free people nearly ready to proceed to an exciting new chapter in the history of our people. We too are suffering from a malaise that is keeping us from being completely free, a global pandemic. But we too, are being prepared for life after the pandemic, a new normal with new insights on the mitzvot and how we relate to each other and to preserve the good earth that we have been given.

As this is the last Shabbat prior to Tisha B'Av (the saddest day of the Jewish calendar year which occurs on Wednesday night July 29th and all day Thursday July 30th) our Haftorah will be the third and final Haftorah of Rebuke. We will read the admonitions by the young Prophet Isaiah from his first chapter as he observes immorality and disregard for the commandments and warns of the consequences, but provides a blueprint for ultimate redemption. After this week and for the following seven weeks, we will read the Haftorahs of Consolation which will set the mood and lead us directly to the High Holidays. Rosh Hashanah is less than two months away!

We will be holding our Shabbat service at 7:30 pm as usual this evening either in person at the synagogue or on Zoom following these instructions from your home computers or smart phones:

JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Jul 24, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

Looking forward to being with you and wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom!

Ron Becker

Spiritual Leader

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