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Weekly Message 08.27.2021 Parashat KiTavo

Parashat KiTavo - (when you enter) Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8

HafTorah Isaiah 60:1 - 22



Dear friends,


With the High Holy Days only a little over a week away, we help prepare for them this very active and special Shabbat weekend with the reading and studying of the portion of

Ki Tavo from the book of Deuteronomy. Once again, we encounter blessings and curses that will result from our behavior. These resound to our day. Rather than lament over the curses, we should heed the words of Rabbi Lauren Werber of Temple B'Nai Abraham in Cleveland:


"What if these curses are not a warning from God, but rather an account of the plagues we create for ourselves when we act immorally?


The first category of curses is a devastated environment, including heat, drought, lack of rain, and damaged skies and earth. Is this not exactly the curse we are placing upon ourselves as we pollute our earth and face the disasters associated with global warming?


The second category is a lack of prosperity, including failed enterprises and hunger. Is this not a curse we place upon ourselves as we fail to train, employ, and pay living wages to many among us and as 14% of US households face food insecurity?


The third category is a hopeless future, including a lack of offspring. While average family size has decreased over time, we can also understand this curse to encompass ethnic and religious decline. When we fail to pass our values and practices on to future generations, do we not create the curse of a hopeless future?


The fourth category is illness, including epidemics, itch, and mental health crises. When cultural norms encourage obesity, stress, and a lack of self-care and when we fail to provide affordable medical care to those in need, do we not create the curse of increased illness?


Finally, the fifth category is political defeat, including conquest, exile, and captivity. Is this not a curse we place upon ourselves when we fail to protect and fight for democracy?


Too often, we are cursing ourselves and people throughout the world. We are, in many ways, creating the world about which Ki Tavo warns us. But there is hope. If we can create curses, we can also produce blessings. We can look to the 14 verses preceding the curses and create a world of blessing for all. This is the challenge of Ki Tavo. May we accept the task and build a better world."


As we approach the holiest of days, let's resolve to make 5782 a better year and avoid the curses that come with disrespect for people and the land.


This week's Haftorah is the sixth and next-to-last Haftorah of Consolation following the observance of Tisha B'Av. Once again, we learn from the Prophet Isaiah which contains the verses:

לֹא־יָב֥וֹא עוֹד֙ שִׁמְשֵׁ֔ךְ וִירֵחֵ֖ךְ לֹ֣א יֵֽאָסֵ֑ף כִּ֣י יְהֹוָ֗ה יִֽהְיֶה־לָּךְ֙ לְא֣וֹר עוֹלָ֔ם וְשָׁלְמ֖וּ יְמֵ֥י אֶבְלֵֽךְ׃

Your sun shall set no more, Your moon no more withdraw; For the LORD shall be a light to you forever, And your days of mourning shall be ended.


Please join us at services both in-person or on Zoom tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am as we prepare for the holidays and join in communal worship and study.


Tomorrow night, August 28th, we will gather in the Spigelman Room at 6:30 pm for a socially distanced community gathering prior to holding our Selichot service at 7:30 pm. Please join us in-person or on Zoom. If on Zoom, you will need to supply your own ice cream!


Then on the following day, Sunday, August 29th, please join us at one or more of the cemeteries (Beit Olam in Trinity at 11 am; Grace Memorial in Hudson at 12:15 pm; or the National Cemetery in Bushnell at 2 pm) to recite the Eil Molei Rachamim memorial prayer in memory of those family members and friends who came before us. You are welcome to attend regardless if you have a friend or relative buried there. We will recite memorial prayers for all who wish them!


Looking forward to seeing you all during this Shabbat weekend whether in-person or on Zoom!


Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader

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FRIDAY:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Aug 27, 2021 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 MORNING:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning Service

Time: Aug 28, 2021 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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SATURDAY EVENING:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Evening Selichot

Time: Aug 28, 2021 06:30 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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