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Shabbat and Candle Lighting
Friday, March 2, 2018 / 16 Adar 5778
Light Shabbat candles at 6:08 p.m.

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Dear Congregation Kehillah and Friends, Rabbi Sharfman
Parashat Ki Tisa is best known for the story of the golden calf and Moses smashing the tablets with the Ten Commandments... a debacle in our early history. Toward the end of the  parasha, there is a beautiful section describing Moses' encounter with God; when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, we learn that his face shone as a result of his Divine encounter.
A kavannah for Shabbat Ki Tisa

May I learn to let my inner light extend outward into the world, shining brightly, illuminating pathways.... Thank you, Holy One, Source of all light.
I think it's meaningful and hope you do as well. But, there is something that resonates on a deeper level that I want to try to convey.

In  Parashat Ki Tisa, we learn that a very frustrated and angry Moses - not yet done receiving all of the Holy One's teaching - came down early from Mt. Sinai because our ancestors had built a golden calf. And once again, Moses pleaded with God to forgive our ancestors and give them one more chance.... 
Moses then uttered one of the shortest, simplest and most meaningful of prayers -   Hareini Na Kevodecha...three words in Hebrew - God, let me experience your glory, or, God, make me aware of Your presence! 
It's the prayer of someone who is weary, who is feeling overwhelmed, in need of support... and who wants to experience God, a God who hears and responds and cares.... particularly now, as many of us feel overwhelmed, anxious and on emotional overload, could this be our prayer as well? 
The power of prayer is not in how it affects the world around us (although there are some studies that seem to indicate that somehow praying for the health and healing of others does have a measurable effect) - the power of prayer lies in how it affects US. 
As long as we wake up in the morning, as long as we have breath, we have hope and opportunity - to celebrate, to grow, to learn from our mistakes, to improve; The Holy One provides us with the opportunity for 'another chance'. 
Jewish tradition encourages us to say these words first thing every morning -   "Modeh ani lifanecha meleh chai vekayam shehechezarta bee nishmati b'chemla raba emunatecha"   - loosely translated as: "I offer thanks to You, ever-living Sovereign, for giving me another day - what an amazing act of faith in me."

The power of prayer is the power of gratitude to transform our attitude about everything in our lives. Each day becomes a gift. Each moment becomes an affirmation of our inherent spiritual value and worth. 
Maybe that's the deeper message. After all,   Ki Tisa  means "when you raise yourself up..."

Ken Yehi. So may it be.

Please join us for Kabbalat Shabbat next Friday night, March 9th, at 7:30 p.m. when we will also celebrate March birthdays and anniversaries.
Chag Purim Sameach tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday night and Thursday), and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman 
Congregation Kehillah
info@congregationkehillah.org   |   congregationkehillah.org
5858 E. Dynamite Blvd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Mailing Address: 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Ste. 1630 #439, Phoenix, AZ 85050