Shabbat Inspiration, Worship Schedule, and LifeCycle Notices
Friday, December 10, 2021 / 6 Tevet 5782
This week’s Torah portion, Vayigash, tells the story of two important milestones: the reunification of Jacob’s eleven sons with Joseph (their brother) and the establishment and security of Jacob’s family in Egypt and their successful survival from the famine. Here, Joseph arranges for people to exchange livestock for food and then land for food. Appointed by Pharaoh to serve as the ruler of the land, Joseph distributes seeds for planting with the agreement that the people will give one-fifth to Pharaoh and will keep four-fifths for themselves. While in last week’s parsha we read that Joseph recognized his brothers immediately while they did not recognize him, this week Joseph reveals himself to them in an emotional and memorable scene.  

I am particularly drawn to this scene as I think of families, who last year could only celebrate Chanukah by Zoom, and this year were able to come together in-person to light candles, enjoy latkes, and experience the pure joy of being with one another. Like the security that Joseph brought to his family through his actions, we too have taken actions to keep each other safe from the scourge of Covid. 

As we are so keenly aware, this pandemic is not over. The leadership of Beth Emet takes seriously our religious obligation of protecting one another and the health of the community, and we continue to be vigilant and are guided by science. It’s been so wonderful that we can hold in-person worship services, lifecycle events, youth group gatherings, and it’s been such a delight to see students in the classrooms. We also each have a responsibility to ensure the safety of one another when coming to the building. The blessing of vaccinations has certainly made this easier, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to get their vaccinations and boosters. Check out the recent Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) resolution in support of COVID vaccine mandates.

Nearly 22 months of not being able to come together as one large community in-person is mind-boggling. But, like Joseph, and his brothers I know that when that moment arrives, when the Sanctuary and the Crown Room can again be filled to capacity (think folding blue chairs!), it will be both emotional and one of pure joy. This is the moment that I hold in my heart with the hope that one day soon this will happen.  

May this Shabbat be soulful and one of rejuvenation.

Shabbat Shalom, 
Bekki Kaplan
Director of Congregational Engagement
Shabbat Ushers & Greeters Needed
We need of additional volunteers to usher for Kabbalat Shabbat services every Friday night. Please contact Shlomit if you are available and would like to learn more. 
Receive Yahrzeit Notifications by Email
With the recent updates to our database systems, we are taking this opportunity to find out if you wish to receive notifications by email. Please contact Shlomit and let us know. Notices are sent two weeks prior to the yahrzeit. If you would like to be notified on the Hebrew date, let us know this as well.
Worship Support
To access worship services virtually, please check the latest info/links on the online calendar. Please note that worship services are also posted on Facebook Live. Kabbalat Shabbat Livestream will include virtual t’filah to follow the service. If you don’t have a copy of Mishkan T’filah (siddur / prayerbook) at home for Kahal Shabbat morning services or Kabbalat Mitzvah services, you can get a free online flip book.