Parashat Vayyehi

Friday night services this week at 7:00 p.m

Shabbat morning Services – Saturday December 22 at 9 a.m. Torah service at around 9:45 a.m., with children’s services running concurrently. The lunch is generously sponsored by Javis (Sarah) and this week features super healthy salads in addition to cholent, homemade wholewheat challah, and delicious apple crisp for desert. Thank you Shabbat Chefs Claudia, Iris, Shereen and Miriam.

Please Mark Your Calendars!

January 10 Adult Chai Mitzvah Class at 7 PM

January 17 Sisterhood Mandala Painting & Meditation Class with Miriam at 7PM

January 20 Tu B’Shevat Seder at 4:00 PM with AIC

February 1 Friday Night Shabbat Dinner & Service at 6:30 PM

February 7 Chai Mitzvah Class at 7 PM

February 16 PJ Havdallah & Movie Night at 6 PM

February 28 Sisterhood: Book Night – The Boston Girl

March 1 Friday Night Shabbat Dinner & Service at 6:30 PM

March 14 Chai Mitzvah Class at 7 PM

March 17-18 Congregational Camping Trip at Tejas Park

March 20 Purim Party
Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message:

Our parshah, Vayyehi, concludes Sefer B’reshith, the Book of Genesis, with words of blessing-specifically the blessings of Ya’akov/Yisrael for his children (which are echoed in Moshe’s blessings for the People of Israel). Many of these blessings include comparisons of the sons to animals-Yoseph is a bull, and Asher is a snake, for example. Amusingly, the comparison of Benyamin to a wolf led to a legend in the Midrash that he was actually a werewolf. The most famous of these of course was the comparison of Yehudah to a lion. The Lion of Judah appears on the seal of the City of Jerusalem, and indeed on the mantles of our sifrei Torah. Our Sages used the lion as an exemplar of courage-“Be brave as a lion”,

“Be a lion’s tail rather than a fox’s head”. May the strength and courage of our ancestor Yehudah, who gave his name to the Yehudim, the Jews, reside in us as well, and let us live up to the words which we will chant on Shabbat at the conclusion of the reading of Sefer B’reshith-“Hazzak, hazzak v’nit’hazek”-Be strong, Be strong and we will strengthen each other. Shabbat Shalom.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting times are at 5:17 p.m.

Thank you Anat Inbar and Reagan De Marines for an amazing class this last Sunday. Anat taught us the most delicious burekas recipe and Reagan about the benefits of high quality oils, like Do Terra essential oils. We all made our own relaxation sprays or rollers and left feeling amazing.

Parashat Hashavua by Rabbi Dr. Peter Tarlow

This week, we conclude our yearly reading of the Book of Genesis with the parashah named Vayechi (Meaning: “He lived”). Just as in the case of the section called “Chayei-Sarah (Sarah’s Life) that tells of Sarah’s death, so too does this week’s parashah ironically called “He lived” speaks about Jacob’s death,

You will find this portion in Genesis chapter 47:28 – 50:24. The section is a summary of the Joseph stories, and also in a some sense, it functions as a summary of for the entire Book of Genesis.

Called “Vayechi” meaning “he lived” the parashah deals with Jacob’s death, the blessings of his (Jacob’s) sons and grandson’s (Joseph’s sons), the mourning period for Jacob, the reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers, and finally the death of Joseph.”

Genesis ends as it began. It is a book of wanderings. From Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden through Abraham’s journey to the land of Israel to Joseph’s death in a foreign land, the theme of wandering, both physical and psychological, is an ever-present constant. Genesis’ often unstated but always present, leitmotif is: how do we find order in a chaotic world?

Genesis is a realistic book open to a myriad of interpretations. One possible interpretation of the book is the notion that to live creatively is to realize , that life is a dynamic process always pushing us ahead.

This first book of Hebrew Scripture teaches us that for actions produce reactions, and to be alive is to struggle and to grow. Life’s successes come from our desire to push forward, never to be satisfied with our accomplishments but rather always to strive for more. Truly to be alive is to do no less.

Genesis argues that creation and creativity come from the depths of “tohu va’vohu” (total chaos). The book suggests that one way to understand the force that is G’d is by understanding the divine principle of: “reverse entropy.” Genesis teaches us that G-d is able to take the chaos that is life and create order from it.

The book then ends with the same question that it began: Are we so satisfied with our lot that we are afraid to move forward? How do we take the chaos out of our lives and turn that chaos into creative order? What do you do?

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