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Weekly Message 09.24.2021 Parashat Vezot Hab'rachah Shabbat Chol HaMoed

Parashat Vezot Hab'Rachah (and this is the Blessing) Deuteronomy 33:1 - 34:12

HafTorah Joshua 1:1 - 18

Shabbat Chol HaMoed (week days of the festival) Exodus 33:12 34:26

HafTorah Ezekiel 38:18 - 39:16

Hi friends,

As you read this, we are in the midst of the intermediate days (Chol Hamoed) of Sukkot---the season of our joy!

Thanks to all who helped decorate and light up the beautiful Sukkah this year, and to all those who attended services during the first part of the holiday. Whether you have attended services or not, we have more in store for you during this special Shabbat weekend and beyond!

This Shabbat is called Shabbat Chol Hamoed, the Sabbath of the Intermediate Days of Sukkot. We read from the Book of Exodus that portion which details Hashem's forgiving the Hebrew nation for the Golden Calf and other transgressions, the presentation of the second tablets containing the Ten Commandments, and the 13 attributes of the Lord which we have chanted throughout the High Holy Day season:

“The Lord! The Lord! a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin".

On Shabbat, we do not take the Lulav and Etrog, but rather do the traditional Hoshanot (prayers set to poetry beseeching Hashem to save us and grant us a good life), chant the Hallel (psalms of praise) and read from the Book of Ecclesiates attributed to King Solomon which provide a framework for living a good life.

If you haven't had the opportunity to handle our beautiful Lulav and fragrant Etrog, you still have opportunities! I have a set at my home which you are welcome to visit today (Friday) and on Sunday. I will instruct you on this beautiful Mitzvah and help you with the appropriate prayers. Just send me an e-mail at or call 727-819-1278 ahead to make certain that I am home. And if you are not able to visit, please come to shul on Monday, September 27th at 9:30 am for the last day of Sukkot where we will take the Lulav and Etrog for the final time and then after the Hoshanot, we will remove the willow branches from the Lulav and beat them until all the leaves fall off. Just as throwing bread in the river symbolically casts our sins away, the fallling willow leaves symbolize the same and represent the "closing of the gates" and thus the end of the High Holy Days.

Then we will observe the holiday of Semini Atzeret on Tuesday morning, September 28th (again in-person and on zoom) at 9:30 am when we chant Hallel again and conduct the Yizkor (Memorial Service). This will be the last time to observe Yizkor in rembrance of relatives and friends who came before us and are no longer with us, until the last day of Passover in April so please don't miss this opportunity!

We end the holiday season that very evening, Tuesday, September 28th at 6:30 pm with another of our now renowned social distanced ice cream social! After an hour of being with friends both at the synagogue and on zoom (sorry zoomers, you will have to supply your own ice cream!), we will celebrate the most joy our of holidays, Simchat Torah when we complete the reading of the Torah to much fanfare and begin anew with the Book of Genesis.

With so much going on, I hope to see as many of you as possible to share this wonderful season!

Chag Sukkat Sameach!

Ron Becker

Spiritual Leader

Zoom Log ins for Shabbat evening and morning;

Hoshanah Rabbah morning; Shmini Atzeret morning, and Simchat Torah will follow in a separate email!



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service

Time: Sep 24, 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: Sep 25, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


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