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Shabbat and Candle Lighting  
for Friday, August 2, 2019 / 2 Av 5779  
 
Light Shabbat candles at 7:09 p.m.
 
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Dear Co ngregation Kehillah and Friends,
Rabbi Sharfman
     
I hope that you have been enjoying your summer and that it has been restful and restorative, and hope that you   enjoy these Shabbat candle lighting reminders and their messages, as well as the beauty that Shabbat itself   brings. There is nothing quite like taking a moment from the hectic pace of life to catch our breath, to show   appreciation for the many gifts that have been given us, to reconnect with our loved ones (whether they are far   away or nearby), and to do our part to (literally) bring some more light into the world!
 
It's all about the journey...
 
This week's double Torah portion is Mattot-Masei, which means "journeys." The reading enumerates the 42   different stages in the journey of the newborn Jewish nation from the land of Egypt until its entry into the   Land of Israel. The Baal Shem Tov (founder of Chasidism) taught that these 42 stages in our people's journey   are mirrored in the life of every individual as we proceed from birth (our personal "exodus from Egypt")   through "the Land of Life."
 
 
Here is a kavannah (a focused intention/meditation) which I hope will enhance your candle lighting experience this Shabbat:
 
Please be with me Adonai on my journey this week. Guide me and be my compass so that I might be an instrument of goodness and kindness and love, bringing light and blessing to Your world.
 

Thank you for being part of our collective journey in building this kehillah (community). May the path ahead lead to   growth and be a source of inspiration, compassion, love and blessing.   
  
I look forward to welcoming you back next Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat on August 9 th   at the earlier-than-usual time   of 7:00 p.m. The High Holy Days season starts with a meaningful and thought-provoking Selichot program on Saturday   night, September 21 st . Please check Kehillah Connections for more information. 
  
Read on to learn more about the Hebrew month of Av... 
  
  
Next Saturday night (August 10 th ) marks the 9 th   day of the Hebrew month of Av.   
  
Av contains both the 'high point' and the 'low point' of the annual Jewish calendar with themes of destruction and   renewal. The first days of the month (which starts this year on Friday) leading up to the 9th day of Av (Tisha B'Av,   this year, Saturday night the 10 th   and Sunday the 11 th ) are the 'low': in different years (but this same date in   Jewish history), both the First Temple (built by King Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians) and the Second Temple   (built by the Jews returning from Babylonia, completed by Herod, destroyed by the Romans) were lost to us and our   people were sent into exile. It is an emotional day of mourning established by second-century rabbis, observed with a   full fast and the reading of the Book of Lamentations. Additional tragedies on this date in history include the   expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 and Ferdinand and Isabella's expulsion of our people from Spain in 1492.   A tradition has it that the messiah will be born on this day. Some feel that, since the creation of the State of   Israel, it is no longer necessary to observe Tisha B'Av in this way. 
  
The mood shifts dramatically to one of hope on the Shabbat that follows, known as Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath   of Comfort and Consolation (from the Haftarah from the Prophet Isaiah that begins "Be comforted, My people"). In   the shtetls of Europe, it was a popular time for weddings! The high point is the 15th day of Av, Tu B'Av, known as   "Jewish love day"! Why did we ever lose that practice??? The Mishna teaches that it was one of the happiest of   days when many would meet their beshert (their 'intended' soul mate) as the daughters of Israel went out in the   fields, followed by potential suitors. This year, Tu B'Av comes on Thursday night the 15 th   and Friday the 16 th   - what   a good day to rekindle sparks with a loved one (or close friends...). It's all good, or can be, if we make it so.
 
Shabbat Shalom,
 
Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman  
 
Congregation Kehillah
602-369-7667
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