Shabbat Inspiration, Worship Schedule, and LifeCycle Notices

Thursday, January 5, 2023 / 12 Tevet 5783

Since Simchat Torah, we have been reading the book of Genesis which contains the great stories of the world’s creation, our early patriarchs, and the journey towards Egypt. There are numerous significant "scenes" in this week's parsha, Vayechi, the final chapter of Genesis. Jacob blesses his grandsons, Ephraim and Menasha, something we carry on to this day when we bless our children. Jacob blesses his sons, although the blessing of Reuven, Shimon and Levi come with a significant amount of tension. And after the death of Jacob, the brothers ask Joseph to forgive them, which he does. One takeaway is that family is what matters, and the resolution of family tensions and disagreements is necessary before we can start the book of Exodus. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks eloquently points out, “(h)ow could they live together as people if they couldn’t even live together as a family?”

In Vayechi, the message is clear. Jacob blessed all of his sons, despite their transgressions. Joseph forgave his brothers for leaving him for dead, once they had demonstrated teshuvah (repentance). And by blessing his grandsons and effectively adopting them as his own, Jacob highlights the importance of family and of continuity through the generations. And so, it seems, the lasting lessons of Genesis are less about the creation of the world, and more about how to handle family conflict, and more broadly lays the ground of the Jewish ethos on how to handle conflict more broadly: To be open and honest with one another, to practice teshuvah, owning our mistakes, and to forgive others when there is genuine remorse. Let this serve as an inspiration as we enter into the new secular year, a renewed opportunity to improve our relationships with those closest to us. 

Another takeaway from Genesis is the importance of taking care of one another within a family, and certainly our community can be considered our own religious family. Our annual Mitzvah Appeal is one way in which we take care of our congregational family. This is the primary fundraising effort of voluntary giving and provides the single greatest source of non-membership income necessary to ensure the financial health of our community and to ensure that we can continue our mission of spiritual fulfillment, cultural enrichment, exceptional educational programming, and transformation in the way we experience Jewish life. If you have not yet contributed to this campaign, consider doing so. You can pledge and sign up for one (or both) events on our website. Here is one important way in which you can support our family.

Wishing you a new year filled with blessings, joy, and peace.

Bekki Kaplan,

Director of Congregational Engagement

Worship Schedule

Friday, January 6

6:30 pm

Kabbalat Shabbat Services Celebrating January Birthday Blessings

In-Person and Virtual (fusion worship)

As this is the first Friday of January, we will also be offering a birthday blessing to all those who celebrate this month! Here’s a list.

LiveControl Link

To listen to the service dial 847-869-4230 and press 7

Saturday, January 7

9:30 am

Kahal Shabbat Morning Service

In-Person and Virtual (fusion worship)

Zoom Link

Ph: 312-626-6799 | Meeting ID: 833 6362 0227 | Passcode: 1224

This Shabbat we will be reading:


Torah: Genesis 47:28-48:22,

p. 306, Follow Along Here

Haftarah: I Kings 2:1-12,

p. 323Follow Along Here

Sunday, January 8

9:00 am

Sunday Morning Minyan

Virtual on Zoom Only

Zoom Link

Ph: 312-626-6799- Meeting ID: 834 4048 4441 | Passcode: 1224

LifeCycle Notices

Want to receive lifecycle notices for all births, weddings & death announcements?  

You can sign up for the mailing list through MyBethEmet (our member portal) on your individual page or contact Bekki Kaplan.


Mark Blumenfeld died on Thursday, December 29. Mark was the son of the late Jerome "Jerry" and Roslyn Blumenfeld; brother of Barry (Elissa) Blumenfeld, Beth Raymond, and twin sister Susan Blumenfeld. Read more

Consider making a donation to Beth Emet in honor, or in memory, of a friend or a loved one. You can do so online or contact the office. Families will be notified of your contribution.

Next Weekend:

Martin Luther King Jr. Kabbalat Shabbat Services Featuring Robin Rue Simmons and Travel Blessing for Lila Selch

Friday, January 13 | 6:30 pm

State of the World Got Your Goat? Rise Above It! Come Party with Beth Emet and Support the Mitzvah Appeal

Saturday, January 14 | 7:00 pm

2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Community Worship Service

Sunday, January 15 | 3:00 pm

4th Annual Walk for Warmth with Interfaith Action of Evanston

Monday, January 16 | 11:00 am

The Big PayBack: A Documentary on Reparations

Monday, January 16 | 5:30 pm

For a Complete Listing of Services and Programs-

Check Out Our Website!

Worship Support

To access worship services virtually, please check the latest info/links on the online calendar. Kabbalat Shabbat services are also posted on Facebook Live and the livestream will include virtual t’filah to follow along with the service.