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Weekly Message 12.08.2023 Parashat Vayeshev


Parashat Vayeshev (and he dwelt) Genesis 37:1 - 40:23

2nd Torah - Numbers7:18-23

HafTorah - Zachariah 2:14 - 4:7

Greetings on this first full day of Hanukkah!

I hope you and your families enjoyed the 1st evening and I look forward to sharing our Shabbat/Hanukkah events with you this weekend.

We launch Shabbat this evening as we gather at the synagogue (and virtually on Zoom) at 6:30 pm (an hour earlier than usual) beginning with the lighting of the 2nd Hanukkah candle followed by an abbreviated Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv Service. We then celebrate this special Shabbat with "home ritual", candle lighting, blessing the children (we are all someone's child!), chanting Eshet Chayil (woman of valor), Shalom Aleichem, and Yedid Nefesh. Then it's on to Kiddush and Motsei and our delicious Shabbat/Hanukkah deli dinner complete with latkes and other Hanukkah delights. We will complete the evening with Birkat and song!

Tomorrow morning, we will hold our special Shabbat Hanukkah service complete with Hallel and a special Maftir and Haftorah reading emphasizing the holiday. Our weekly Torah reading will be Chapter 38 of the Book of Bereshit (Genesis) which tells of the saga of Judah and his three sons and Tamar who becomes a widow after brief marriages to Judah's older sons. We learn of the obligation of the next oldest son to marry the widow of his older brother to ensure continuation of the family, but also, perhaps more importantly, to "protect the orphans and widows in our midst". If there is no sibling available, then the closest kin are sought. There is continued trickery and deceit in the family in a script made for Hollywood, but very important lessons are learned. Today, this practice seems archaic, sexist, etc. but the need to protect those who are most vulnerable in our midst still exists and is more urgent than ever.

Thus, I urge all to join us in our attempt to bring our community together in service to others. On Sunday, December 10th we will visit the Trinity Place Assisted Living Center after closing the gift shop (which will be open from 11 am until 12:45 pm) at 1:15 pm to help the residents celebrate Hanukkah with candle lighting, blessings, latkes, sufganyot, and song. We do this every year and are heartened by the response of those who are unable to leave the facility and often don't have relatives visiting. Please help us bring cheer to those who really need it by joining us there. Rides will be provided from the synagogue at 12:45 pm.

In our continuing efforts to respond to the needs of our community, we will once again volunteer at Metropolitan Ministries on Thursday, December 21st. Many thanks to all who volunteered last month and to all who signed up for this month. Also, thanks to all who attended our interfaith gatherings at our synagogue and elsewhere as we respond to the conflicts in Israel/Gaza and throughout the world with peace fostering activities at home.

The next event:

The History and Legend of Hanukkah:

Songs and Stories of Joy and Gratitude

with Joy Katzen-Guthrie

Tuesday December 12 at 6:30pm

At Unity of Port Richey

11122 US Highway 19, Port Richey 34668

Joy Katzen-Guthrie shares songs and tales of freedom, faith, heritage, and the events of that time that make today’s celebration of Hanukkah so significant—and that give us so many reasons to express our gratitude. Joy's vibrant music and one-of-a-kind performances inspire and uplift with a message of insight, life experience, and worldwide unity and harmony from generation to generation. Composer-Lyricist, Pianist, Vocalist, Producer-Arranger, Cantorial Leader, Speaker, and Educator — Joy uniquely weaves history and storytelling with traditional, contemporary, and original songs from pop, stage, film, and world genres that celebrate the human spirit and truly bring joy.

I am looking forward to spending Shabbat and all of our Hanukkah and community outreach activities with you and wish you all a wonderful holiday.

See you in shul!

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 12/8/23 6:30 pm

Time: Dec 8, 2023 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Service, 12/09/23, 9:30 am

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

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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