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Weekly Message 10.14.2022 Parashat V'Zot HaBerachah

Parashat V'Zot HaBerachah - Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, Genesis-1:1-2:3

2nd Torah - Simchat Torah - Numbers 29:35-30:1

HafTorah - Joshua 1:1-18

Dear friends,

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful holiday period and I give thanks to all that have helped decorate our beautiful community Sukkah and all who have partaken of our Sukkot services, taken up the Lulav and Etrog, and gathered in the Sukkah for great comradery/conversation and tasty treats! We have now come to Shabbat Chol HaMoed, or the Sabbath of the Intermediate Days of Sukkot.

One of the special customs of this Shabbat is the reading of excerpts from the Book of Ecclesiastes and discussing how these words can help shape a better life for us and those around us. We will also chant the praises of the Hallel portion of our festival service and read from the Book of Exodus, Chapters 33 and 34 where the thirteen attributes of Hashem are presented, that the Lord is slow to anger and quick to forgive, a constant theme during this Holy Days season. At our Saturday morning service, we will chant Hoshanot but without taking up the Lulav and Etrog in respect for Shabbat. Our Shabbat services will be held as usual on Friday evening at 7:30 pm and Saturday morning at 9:30 am.

I have been traveling with Lulav and Etrog while visiting those in assisted living and otherwise not able to take up this Mitzvah. I hope those who have not taken up the Lulav and Etrog yet will do so on Sunday, Hoshanah Rabbah at our service at 9:30 am. This will be the last opportunity to do so! At the conclusion of the Hoshanot at that service, we remove the willow leaves from our Lulav assembly and beat them until the leaves fall off, thus symbolizing the final casting off of our sins similar to the ritual of Tashlich where we cast our sins into a flowing body of water. It is said, on Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. But the gates are always open to us and on Hoshana Rabbah we are given the opportunity to repent anew as this is considered to be the final day of judgement and symbolically the last day of the season of reflection and repentance.

With the ending of Sukkot, we are not yet completed our holiday season. On Monday morning at 9:30 am we will gather for Shmini Atzeret services. On this day, we chant the Yizkor (Memorial) service for the last time until Passover and fulfill the requirement of Zichronot as we remember those who came before us and helped shape our lives and that of the community. We also chant the prayer for rain for the first time as this time of year launches the rainy season in Israel (but not in Florida!) and it is critical that the proper amount of rain falls to sustain life. This prayer is so important that I will be wearing the Kittel, the white gown that is worn exclusively on the High Holy Days.

Then on Monday evening, we re-gather at the synagogue at 5:30 pm for our annual ice cream social hour where we enjoy each other's company during this special season as well as a selection of ice cream and other treats. This is followed at 6:30 pm with one of the most joyous festivals of the year, that of Simchat Torah where we celebrate the conclusion of our reading and studying of the Torah with the last words of Devorim (Deuteronomy) and with another year of life's experiences behind us, begin reading anew with the first words of Bereshit (Genesis). Prior to the reading, we will sing and dance with our Torahs to celebrate this awesome event!

So, as you can see, this will be one of our most active Shabbat/Festival weekends of the year and I ask that you attend as many as you are able either in person or virtually on Zoom so that we will have a minyan at each and are enabled to participate in them fully!

See you in Shul! Chag Sukkot Sameach/Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday, 10/14 - 7:30 pm

Time: Oct 14, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning, 10/15 - 9:30 am

Time: Oct 15, 2022 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA


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