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Weekly Message 09.08.2023 Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelech

Parashat Nitzavim (standing) - Vayelech (and he went) Deuteronomy 29:9 - 31:30

HafTorah Isaiah - 61:10 -63:9

Dear friends,

As we begin this very busy Shabbat weekend prior to Rosh Hashanah we have our beloved president Eileen Hochstadt in our prayers and thoughts for a very quick recovery from hip surgery and a future completely free of pain and discomfort!

We have our usual Shabbat services tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am and then tomorrow (Saturday) evening, we gather at 6:30 pm for a social hour featuring snacks and conversation followed by Havdalah and the Selichot (prayers for forgiveness) service at 7:30 pm. All of these services and activities will be held in-person and virtually on Zoom.

Then on Sunday morning at 10:30 am we begin our annual cemetery visitations and memorial prayers at Beit Olam in Trinity, then proceeding at 12:30 pm at Grace Memorial in Hudson, and finally at 2 pm at the National Cemetery in Bushnell. Please select at least one or more and join us in remembering those family members and friends who came before us and shaped our lives and our values. You don't need to have someone buried there to join in a memorial prayer! Please let me know if you need a ride to any of these venues.

This week's Torah portion is the combined Sedrah of Nitzavim/Vayeilech in the Book of Deuteronomy (Devorim) followed by the 7th and final Haftorah of Consolation attributed to the prophet Isaiah. In our Torah reading, Moses completes his final discourse and reiterates that the children of Israel who will be led by Joshua have free will and must choose to follow the mitzvot and lead moral lives.

As I have indicated previously, I am participating in 40 Days of Prayer sponsored by Live Tampa Bay in which 40 different spiritual leaders representing all faiths will be offering prayers at 7 pm each evening at The prayers will remain at this site for the community to view at any time. My prayer will be offered at 7 pm on Sunday evening and will be in honor of Grandparents Day. Below is the text of my prayer:

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader

I am the Spiritual Leader of the Jewish Community Center of West Pasco, Congregation Beth Tefillah and offer you my prayer for 40 Days of Prayer.

Blessed are You, Our God, Spirit of the Universe

Who fulfills the words of the Psalmist: “And may

you live to see your children’s children …” [Psalm 128]

During this season as we prepare for the Jewish High Holy Days we begin with the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. One of the themes of this holiday and this season is called Zichronot in Hebrew. It means “remembrance” in English. It is during this season that we remember those who came before us and helped shape our personalities and our faith. Thus, our generations are linked one to another. Coincidentally, this season coincides with Grandparents Day—how appropriate as we recognize the importance of grandparents in our lives and pray that we learn from them and help them in their own times of need. God, we remember and emulate the grandparents that are no longer with us and think about how they remain a part of us always and they live on through us. For those grandparents still with us, we pray that they are spared the worst of the infirmities (medically, mentally and spiritually) that come with age and that we do more than just pray for them and keep them in our hearts. We can combat some of the infirmities, especially that of physical pain, loneliness, depression, and isolation through visitation, phone calls, and including grandparents in our activities.

And for those who are grandparents like myself, take advantage of your age and your knowledge and guide the younger generations who face challenges unheard of in our youth. Drugs, violence, severe climate change and so many other factors play a critical role in their lives; factors that we rarely if ever faced in our younger years. In my family’s case, we are raising grandchildren due to the mother’s battle with drug addiction. Let the children know that you are sympathetic and instead of lecturing and sermonizing, be a shining example to them and lend an ear that they can count on for its sincerity and love. Be a safe haven for them to confide in, and love them for who they are, not for who you want them to be.

Dearest God, bless grandparents with the ability to harness the wisdom and experienced gathered in their lives to impart their faith and values to the younger generations. Dearest God, bless grandchildren to support their grandparents struggles in experiencing senior years with all of the trials inherent in them, bless children without grandparents with elder friends and family to experience the love, support and faith that they can provide, and bless grandchildren whose grandparents have died with consolation and precious memories. Let us look to a future of love and faith and as we say in Hebrew L’dor v’dor meaning from one generation to the next.

I close with the benediction that has been said on the Sabbath from grandparents to grandchildren since ancient times from the Torah’s Book of Numbers, Chapter 6, Verses 24-26:

May the Lord Bless You and Guard You

May the Lord Show You Favor and be Gracious to You

May the Lord Show You Kindness and Grant You Peace



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Friday, Shabbat Service 09/08/2023 7:30 pm

Time: Sep 8, 2023 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


SATURDAY Morning and Evening:

JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday, 09/09/2023 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Time: Sep 9, 2023 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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