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Weekly Message 11.18.2022 Parashat Chayei Sarah

Parashat Chayei Sarah (life of Sarah) Genesis 23:1 - 25:18

HafTorah Kings I 11:1 - 31

Dear friends,

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, which I hope will be a meaningful and joyous one for you and your families, we think of those less fortunate and do not take our blessings for granted. Beginning next Monday, our JCC volunteers will be distributing food and other necessities at Metropolitan Ministries. Please consider signing up to join us and/or donate whatever you can afford to the cause of fighting hunger, loneliness, and isolation.

If as we are, you are tired of relying on the availability of obtaining challah for your Shabbat dinner table at Publix, we now have another alternative. A new bakery in downtown New Port Richey (Railroad Square Bakery at 5732 Main Street) is baking two dozen challahs every Friday morning and making them available any time after 1 pm on Friday afternoons. We will try them out this evening and bring a couple loaves to services tonight and tomorrow morning.

This week's Torah portion from the Book of Bereshit (Genesis) is Chayei Sarah, literally the death of our matriarch Sarah. There are so many unanswered questions about Sarah whose life is much less documented than those of the patriarchs and also the matriarchs who followed her. We do know how much she cared for her son Isaac and how bitterly disappointed she must have been when learning of the near sacrifice, the Akeida. So, with beginning this portion (the only one named after a female) with death instead of life, we learn how one's legacy can be more important than one's actual years on earth, that we continue to contribute knowledge and direction to those who follow us after we are gone from the examples we set during our lifetime.

I am looking forward to sharing these and other thoughts with you tonight at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am in-person and on Zoom. Please try to attend our services to ensure that we have a minyan in order to read the Torah and for those in mourning, to say Kaddish. And best wishes for a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I leave you with this prayer of Thanksgiving composed by Rabbi Maralee Gordon from the McHenry County, Illinois Jewish Congregation:

Thanksgiving Prayer from Rabbi Maralee Gordon for your table:

In this moment, mindful of our many blessings,

may we form an intent to carry gratitude with us continually.

May we leave fear and jealousy by the wayside,

making room in our hearts for contentment, satisfaction and compassion.

May we start each day counting our blessings:

the blessing of being alive,

the many miracles of the living world we are one with,

the ability we possess to love and to be loved,

the many gifts and talents we have been graced with,

the support we receive

and the support we are able to extend.

May our gratitude lead to action:

May we express our gratitude.

May we smile when we encounter each other on the path,

may we seek opportunities to share our talents with others,

may we express our love to one another,

may we give with no expectation of receiving.

May we seek to repair what is broken.

May we end each day counting the day’s blessings,

those we have received and those we have bestowed.

May we be a blessing.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 11/18/2022, 7:30 pm

Time: Nov 18, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Time: Sat, November 19, 2022, 9:30 AM America/New_York(GMT-5:00)

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