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Shabbat and Candle Lighting  
for Friday, May 14, 2021 / 4 Sivan 5781

Day 48 in the Omer count
 Light Shabbat candles at 7:03 p.m.
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Dear Congregation Kehillah and Friends,

Bamidbar, meaning 'in the desert', is the name of the fourth book of the Torah detailing the next 38 years of our ancestors' wanderings. It is also the name of its first parasha. The English name, Numbers, comes from the commandment in the opening verses to take a census prior to their conquest of the land of Israel. The Hebrew language of this command, se'u et rosh kol adat b'nai Yisra'el, literally means "Raise/lift up the heads of the entire community of Israel." 
There are two ways to count people - individually and collectively. The interesting language of 'raising/lifting up the heads' seems to suggest to us a reminder that while census taking is concerned with reaching an aggregate number, we need to do so cognizant of the uniqueness of each individual and his/her special attributes, needs and concerns.  And, in this COVID-era, it is a reminder that our actions and choices directly impact the lives of those around us, so wear those masks when you are around others for shmirat ha-nefesh (the Jewish value of protecting life).
This is what we seek to do in Congregation Kehillah, fulfilling the commandment to 'raise/lift up' the heads, hearts and souls of the kehillah (community) both individually and collectively, making us stronger, healthier and more whole.
Shavuot starts Sunday May 16th and lasts one or two days, depending on your practice. Be sure to join us 'at Sinai' Monday morning, May 17th  at 10:00 a.m. for a brief service with the Reading of the Ten Commandments and Yizkor.  Light your yizkor candle before lighting the Shavuot festival candles (7:05 p.m.) on Sunday. We're sending again a flier for the Board of Rabbis' community Tikkun Leil Shavuot program Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. - see below.

A kavannah before candlelighting for Shabbat Bamidbar

Dear God, please 'raise up my head' so that I may see the good in others and cherish them for the Divine spark they hold within (even as they differ from me in ways I may not fully understand), and help others to both see and acknowledge the special person I am, too. Please help me to celebrate my own uniqueness and special attributes, knowing that I, too, have been created in Your image! 

Looking forward to sharing Torah Talk with you this Shabbat morning at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom (RSVP and receive link before Shabbat) and Kabbalat Shabbat with you next Friday night, the 21st of May. 

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman  

To register, please click on this linkhttps://tinyurl.com/r8jz3d9t 


We are heartbroken over the struggles facing our beloved Israel and offer heartfelt prayers for the safety and security of all of her citizens. These are difficult and challenging times for Israel and for those who love her. 
Earlier this week we sent out a lengthy email with resources to help you gain a better understanding of the complexities on the ground in Israel. 
Here are some things to know - again, the media gets this wrong:
Israel is not targeting civilians; they are doing targeted attacks on Hamas installations, which, oftentimes, intentionally by Hamas, are placed underneath hospitals, public spaces, etc, endangering first and foremost their own people. Some of their rockets land in their own territory in Gaza and injure/kill their own people as they explode on the Gaza side of the border.
Israel warns civilians beforehand via text message, via projection and via pamphlet one hour before, 55 minutes before, and again five minutes before an attack. A nation would not do this if they weren't concerned about life! Hamas is attacking Israeli citizens and population centers. Hamas set Temple Mount on fire, not Israel. 
Hamas has a new strategy: to get past Iron Dome, they send off larger barrages; Iron Dome intercepts about 90%, but with more rockets, more escape detection by Iron Dome; Hamas is also packing these rockets with more potent material.
Why is Hamas engaging? Perhaps they are seeking to gain traction and support to control the PA/West Bank with an election that has been postponed for 11 years now.
Israel needs to respond not just to Hamas, but to Hezbollah (in the north), an Iranian proxy, with a much greater capacity to harm Israel.
More another time if you want to learn more. Let us know if you want to participate in a Zoom session. We would want to encourage adult congregants of all ages to be part.
Israelis are resilient. Let's help them by correcting misinformation out there and supporting organizations, such as Leket, below.



Dear Friends,
Emerging from the pandemic, Israel finds itself under attack again. At Leket Israel, we are reacting to the ever changing situation and are:
  • In contact with our partner agencies from Tel Aviv to the south to assess their immediate, emergency food needs.
  • Preparing to support local businesses through the purchase of dry goods from small groceries and prepared meals from industrial caterers for delivery to the NPOs and the homebound.  
Nobody can predict how long this situation will continue, however, we are ready to address the needs resulting from an extended conflict, if necessary.
Please consider helping Leket Israel in these trying times.

Hoping for better days soon,
Joseph Gitler
Founder and Chairman

Congregation Kehillah
info@congregationkehillah.org   |   congregationkehillah.org
Mailing Address: 21001 N.Tatum Blvd., Ste 1630, #439, Phoenix AZ 85050 
Physical Address: 5858 E. Dynamite Blvd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331
(Please note that no mail is received at this address.)