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Weekly Message 10.21.2022 Parashat Bereshit

Parashat - Bereshit (in the beginning) Genesis 1:1 - 6:8

HafTorah - Isaiah 42:5-21



Dear friends,


The holiday season is now behind us, and we are ready for new beginnings! But first, thanks again to all those from near and from far who made all of the holidays so special and so sweet. Kudos to those who attended our Hoshanah Rabbah and Shmini Atzeret services in-person and on zoom so that we could have a minyan to carry out all of the appropriate rituals for the holidays and especially so that we could conduct the Yizkor (memorial) service on Shmini Atzeret. And to Chris Becker who read from the first Torah portion of the Book of Genesis (Bereshit) on Simchat Torah. And to Aileen Spigelman for hosting our Simchat Torah social hour and providing us with sweet treats and great company. And to Barbara D. Johnson for making certain that all of our services were presented flawlessly on Zoom.


On this, perhaps the most joyous celebration of the year, we honored a Chatan (husband) Torah who receives the last Aliyah of the year from the end of Deuteronomy with great fanfare. It is said that this honoree is married to the Torah. Then we return that Torah and call the Kallah (bride) Torah for the first Aliyah from the Book of Genesis with the same great fanfare as the Chatan. This year's honorees were Barry Cohen and Aileen Spigelman. Barry is a long-time member and represents us on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Florida's Gulf Coast. Aileen is also a long-time member of the synagogue and editor of our bulletin, The Schreir. May their love of service to our community lead to a good year ahead.


Speaking of new beginnings, our Torah portion of Bereshit begins our reading anew. This year we read the first triennial of each Torah portion between this Shabbat and next Simchat Torah. Specifically, this Shabbat, we read about all of the days of creation. I am struck with the awesomeness of our earth in the middle of the vast universe with everything we need to sustain life provided. I am also struck with the notion that human beings don't make their first appearance until all the other parts of nature are in place. And of course, the lesson that this Sedrah teaches us is that we have been given a perfect world to live in and only we can harm that world. Sure enough, before the Sedrah ends, we are confronted with the seeds of the destruction of that earth. People are given choices and sometimes they choose evil---in this case, jealousy, murder, and greed. Let us all strive to make certain that we protect our earth so that it will be there for later generations to inhabit and prosper.


As you read this, I am at a conference in College Park, MD and will be traveling from there to a memorial service in New Jersey. I will also have an opportunity to see my son, my sister and other family. You will be in good hands at Shabbat services as Danielle Merkle chants the Hebrew portion on Friday night with Eilen Hochstadt providing her usual thought provoking and inspirational D'var Torah and leading the congregation in English responsive readings. She will also lead services on Saturday morning and will chant the Haftorah from the Prophet Isaiah. Chris Becker will chant the Torah readings which are the same as the ones she read on Simchat Torah.


So, I am wishing you a Shabbat Shalom from afar and look forward to rejoining you next week.


Shabbat Shalom,


Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader

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FIRDAY:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Services-Frisay 10/21/2022 7:30 pm

Time: Oct 21, 2022 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:


JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Morning Services-10/22/2022 9:30 am

Time: Oct 22, 2022 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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