Shabbat Ekev
July 30 & 31, 2021
(It's so important, we are repeating it this week!)

As we step away from Tisha B'Av and look forward to Rosh Hashanah, we are sobered by the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in Florida. As widely reported, these cases are primarily arising in unvaccinated individuals. There is a clear link between the recent surge in cases and a large unvaccinated community. In Florida, the rate of vaccination is around 50%, which is less than ideal in combating this pandemic. We highly recommend that each of us be vaccinated against COVID-19. It is the most effective preventative for this potent disease and helps to save lives.

Within our CSK community, we are bound by halakah, Jewish law. The CSK Covid-19 Task Force has met regularly during the past few months. Based on recommendations from medical professionals and in light of the increase in cases, we have determined that it is appropriate to return to certain of the stringencies previously observed. In particular, our religious services will be open only to those who are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, this policy excludes the children of our congregation. We are hopeful that the surge will soon abate so that religious services may be opened to all in our community. 

The phrase Achreiot Zeh al zeh B’Kehelah אחריות זה על זה בקהילה - We are each responsible to one another in the community - is apt for us today. A Responsa by Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin dated January 20, 2021, explains that there is a halakhic obligation for Jews to vaccinate themselves and their children unless their doctors determine that it is dangerous for that specific person to be vaccinated due to a pre-existing condition. Similarly, it is halakhically permissible for a school or a synagogue to enact a requirement that one must receive a vaccination and to prevent an unvaccinated person from entering a synagogue or a school. Recognizing the obligations of one to another in our CSK community, CSK now requires those who officiate and attend religious services to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 
We thank you for your understanding of this important step in our community. Please take care of yourself and our community by vaccinating against Covid-19.


Ariella Reback, Covid Task Force Chair
Martin Radnor, President
Rabbi David Baum
Shabbat Shalom! 

It’s been about a month since my last message, and while I will not be back from Camp Ramah Darom until the second week of August, I wanted to drop you all a postcard from camp and share some Torah with our community. 

I have checked in with all of our campers and staff from CSK, and all are doing well and having an incredible summer, despite a new normal of podding groups and Covid tests multiple times a week. The camp’s administration is doing a phenomenal job keeping our children safe. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we have not been able to gather together as a congregation just yet, but I hope we can soon! 

I took the picture above (the postcard from camp) this week after a tremendous rainstorm, and I promise you, I did not use a filter! It looked as if the sky was on fire on the left, and serene and blue on the right side. 

This contrasting image reminded me of something we read in this week’s parashah, Ekev, and what we have all gone through over this last year and a half, and continue to experience. 

וְזָכַרְתָּ אֶת־כׇּל־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הוֹלִיכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ זֶה אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בַּמִּדְבָּר לְמַעַן עַנֹּתְךָ לְנַסֹּתְךָ לָדַעַת אֶת־אֲשֶׁר בִּלְבָבְךָ הֲתִשְׁמֹר מִצְוֺתָו אִם־לֹא׃ 

Remember the long way that the LORD your God has made you travel in the wilderness these past forty years, that God might test you by hardships to learn what was in your hearts: whether you would keep God’s commandments or not. (Deuteronomy 8:2)
At a surface level, we could read that God brought our ancestor's trials and tribulations in order to test their hearts, but I believe we can read it in different ways. The trials and tribulations we go through can be looked at as things that happen to us, whether they are fair or not fair, deserved or undeserved. As we read these words, we can think of the arbitrary nature of life, the randomness that we sometimes feel as we experience our journeys, but it also leads us to reflect on our own experiences. What do we learn from our hardships and how do we grow from them? How did God help us grow during those hardships? That is the left side of the picture, the orange sky that looked like it was on fire, but the right side of the picture is blue and serene. 

Just a couple of lines later, God tells Bnai Israel about the goodness of the land that they are about to experience. Moses describes a land of streams, springs and fountains, bountiful foods like wheat and barley, grapes, figs pomegranates, olive trees, milk and honey. 

וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל־הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן־לָךְ׃ 

When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:10)

On the other hand, when we are in the blue and serene sky, in the good times, do we recognize God’s role in our lives? After we have experienced the bounties of the world, are we satisfied, and do we show gratitude for the gifts we’ve experienced? As Jews, we have a responsibility to enjoy the fruits of the world, to find satisfaction, and to give gratitude. 

This Shabbat, I hope we can all reflect on how we've grown through adversity, how we surprised even ourselves with our own strength, what gifts we have in our lives and how to show gratitude to God for them.

I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom and look forward to sharing our plans for the month of Elul next week! 


Rabbi David Baum
**Friday Morning Minyan and Pirkei Avot

**This class is on hiatus for the summer.
When we return in mid-August, we will return in person at 8:00 AM!
Services Led By Adam Dier
Friday, July 30, 2021
6:15 PM ET

Please join us for Shabbat services on Zoom.
Due to the new surge of Covid cases, we will resume
Devarim She’Bekedushah (Barchu, Kedushah, Kaddish) virtually.
Meeting ID: 882 0065 3129 Passcode: 910086
+13126266799,,88200653129#,,,,,,0#,,910086# US (Chicago)

In-Person (& on Zoom)
Shabbat Morning Services

Saturday, July 31, 2021
9:30 AM ET

VACCINATED Chaverim and Sacred Guests Welcome!

Vaccinations Required
Masks Required
Parashat Ekev
Saturday, July 31, 9:30 AM ET

D'var Torah by Rabbi Amy Grossblatt Pessah

Cantor Hadash - Deuteronomy 9:4-9:10
Bernie Grossman - Deuteronomy 9:11-9:14
Geil Bilu - Deuteronomy 9:15-9:21
Lenny Berkowitz - Deuteronomy 9:22-9:29
Matt Weiss - Deuteronomy 10:1-10:5
Matt Weiss - Deuteronomy 10:6-10:8
Jackie Klein - Deuteronomy 10:9-10:11
Jackie Klein - Deuteronomy Maftir - 10:9-10:11
Jackie Klein – Haftarah Isaiah 50:1-51:3
Meeting ID: 882 0065 3129 Passcode: 910086
+13126266799,,88200653129#,,,,,,0#,,910086# US (Chicago)

Virtual L’ Chaim Sponsors
Patty & Matt Weiss in honor of all the Torah & Haftarah Readers

Kemach Torah Nadiv Sponsors 5781
Rachel & Alexander Baum
Nan Berkowitz
Sue & Ben Eisenberg
Judi & Lewis Fogel
Diane & Robert Salamon
Susan & Lewis Witonsky