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February 4, 2023 

13 Shevat, 5783

Candle Lighting: 5:05 pm

Havdalah: 6:11 pm

This Shabbat

Kiddush is sponsored by Phil and Holly Segel

in honor of their 40th Wedding Anniversary

Are you observing a yahrzeit in the month of Shevat?

 Are you interested in helping to sponsor kiddush on February 11 in honor of your loved one? 

To Help Sponsor Click Here
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This week we celebrate Shabbat Shirah, the Shabbat of song. As we make our way through Parashat Be-Shallakh, we’ll chant Shirat Ha-Yam, the song of the sea, and commemorate the escape of our ancestors from slavery in Egypt. The central event in this week’s parashah offers us a paradigm of the miraculous, of God’s intervention in history and nature: the splitting of the Red Sea. As the Torah’s account depicts events, B’nai Yisrael are passive while God acts.


As dramatic as this account is, we’re all aware of the fact that we no longer inhabit a world in which such obvious supernatural occurrences take place. For those of us who are believers, God’s presence in the world is subtle, mysterious, hidden…even absent. How can we make sense of what this dramatic story teaches us about God’s role in the world and human responsibility?


Our sages of blessed memory understood, even during Roman times, we no longer lived in a splitting-of-the-Red-Sea world. The age of divine interventions to rescue the people ended with the biblical period. But that didn’t prevent them from asserting that the Holy One still cared for the Jewish people and remained close to them, miracles or no miracles. As Rabbi Elie Kaunfer notes, they interpreted the line in our parashah, “And Moshe built an altar and named it Adonai-nissi/my miracle” (Exodus 17:15) to indicate that every time that a miracle occurred for the benefit of Israel, it was as if it was done for God’s benefit – God needed the miracle as much as the Israelites did! “When Israel has trouble, it is as if God has trouble,” Rabbi Elazar Ha-Moda’I teaches, “and when Israel has joy, it is as if God does as well.” Rabbi Akiva echoes this notion in his insistence that “every place that Israel was exiled, it as if God’s indwelling presence (Shekhinah) was exiled with them” (both from the midrashic collection Mikhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael).

While we may not be able to perceive miracles in the same way that our biblical ancestors did and therefore cannot see “evidence” of God’s active intervention in our lives through supernatural events like the splitting of the Red Sea, our tradition insists that the Divine accompanies us in this world and is near to us in joyful occasions and through devastating loss. That Comforting Presence may feel distant, even absent, a “still, small voice” that eludes our senses. It is up to us to do the hard work – through prayer, performing mitzvot with intentionality, and what Prof. Michael Fishbane describes as “sacred attunement” – of opening ourselves up and letting the Divine in. 

Shabbat Shalom,

P.S. In the same spirit as the article I recommended last week by Jeremy Kalmanofsky, I commend this excellent op-ed piece to you, written by Rabbi Daniel Gordis, Yossi Klein Ha-Levi and Matti Friedman in the Times of Israel. It’s an open letter to Jews in the Diaspora with the subtitle, “Diaspora Jews have both the right and the responsibility to speak out against a government that is undermining our society’s cohesion and its democratic ethos. Here’s the link:

Click Here 
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Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Adam Rubin

Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Morris J. Allen Chair in Rabbinics



Sunday, Feb. 5 @ 9 am in the Chapel

Join us for a special Sunday morning minyan at Beth Jacob prior to the pancake breakfast. Our sixth graders will experience wrapping tefillian for the first time as part of the Bnai Mitzvah preparation. Help us make this more special by making it an intergenerational experience so our teens can truly see the way this ritual passes from generation to generation.

BJUSY Pancake Breakfast

Sunday, February 5

9:30-11 am

Sponsored by the Minnesota Vikings and many others (maybe you; see below!), BJUSYers will be flipping pancakes to raise funds for programming. We strive to keep costs low and programming accessible for all, and this breakfast is one big way that we do that!

Come Sunday morning to enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, juice, and coffee & more!


February 11 – Carolyn Levy

Carolyn will use her play

"I Was a Stranger Too," about asylum seeker in the US,

to inform her Dvar Torah

(Mask-Optional Week)

Musaf Conversation with Darla Kashian: 

A discussion about her trip to

Kenya with the Center for the Victims of Torture

February 18 around 11:15 am

In Room 5

Mask-Required week

Darla Kashian recently returned from Nairobi, Kenya, where staff/clients from the Center for the Victims of Torture shared their knowledge and experience working in refugee camps and in Nairobi, serving primarily LGBTI refugees. Her trip included a visit to the Kakuma refugee camp in the Northwest corner of Kenya, which was established in 1992 to accommodate the “lost boys of Sudan,” and currently houses approximately 250,000 refugees, mostly from South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here is more information about the refugee camp

Yarmulke Silk Ribbon Embroidery with Maxine Rosenthal

Sunday, February 26, 2022 | 10 am-12:00 pm

Many of us are familiar with thread & needle sewing, but what about using a thin 2mm or 7mm wide thread of silk ribbon in that needle. Suddenly you are creating flowers, roses, buds, tulips, forget-me-nots, leaves, and maybe even butterflies. Before you know it, a simple material is transformed with silk ribbon flowers and vines. In this hands-on workshop, Maxine Rosenthal will teach the basic stitches used for silk ribbon embroidery to show participants how to create something personal and wonderful. Individuals will start with a plain white linen kippah and will be provided with tools and materials to create a beautiful one of a kind kippah using silk ribbon embroidery techniques. Here is your chance to create a personalized kippah, one that you are proud to wear, not just because it is lovely, but because you made it. (Masks Optional)

Click Here to Register

We Jews love to say "from generation to generation" — "l'dor va-dor". What does this actually mean? What really takes place in a generational transmission of values and teachings? 

Rabbis Gordon and Ethan Tucker, father and son, have shaped the last 50 years of egalitarian Judaism. Their joint presentation will explore how the different landscapes that each encountered necessitated divergent paths toward the same ideological goals. Their story is our on-going story--and brings the words "l'dor va-dor" to life.


Click Here For Tickets

Shabbat Kitchen Crew & Greeters

Our shul runs smoothly due to the strong involvement from our lay leadership. As we're holding communal kiddush again, we are asking you to sign up to help on Shabbat. This is a mitzvah that we ask of all members of our community. We are looking for 6 people to help with Kitchen Crew and 4 Greeters each week!

Click Here to Sign up

Metro East Minyan

Monday-Friday @ 7:15 am | Holidays @ 8:30 am | Rosh Hodesh @ 7:00 am

Sunday Minyan at Temple of Aaron AND on Zoom @ 9 am

(Minyan on Sunday, February 5 will be at Beth Jacob at 9 am)

Join online at


The Minnesota legislature is back in Applications for the Jewish Summer Camp Scholarships for summer 2023 year are due by Tuesday February 7, 2023 We know the long-term impact that attending Jewish summer camp has on the cultivation of independence and identity and are happy to be partners in trying to ensure Beth Jacob youth have the opportunity to participate.

Click Here to Apply
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Camp Ramah Family Camp

Wed, Aug. 9 – Sun, Aug. 13, 2023

LIMITED TO 6 Beth Jacob Members

Family Camp offers an opportunity to experience the magic of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin together, as a family. Our five-day all-inclusive experience in the Northwoods of Wisconsin is filled with sports, art, singing around the campfire and so much more! 

Click Here to Register

Community Events

We are excited to learn more about Israeli food in this coming cooking class series hosted by the St. Paul community Israel Emissary (Shlicha), Shahar Cohen, who will share her grandmother's treasured recipes, provide tasty ingredients, and show the techniques in this hands-on culinary experience. This is a unique opportunity to connect to Israeli culture through food!

Cooking with Savta Sigla - Kubbeh

February 5, 2023 | 4-6 PM

Mount Zion Temple

Cooking with Savta Sigla - Kade

March 9, 2023 | 5-7 PM

Temple of Aaron

Cooking with Savta Sigla - Yaprach

April 16, 2023 | 11 AM-1 PM

Beth Jacob Congregation

Click Here to Register

Klezmer on Ice

February 2-5

Join us for Klezmer on Ice, the Twin Cities’ own wintertime Klezmer + Yiddish music festival!

The festival features a day of workshops for instrumentalists, singers, and non-musicians alike, as well as a headlining concert at the Cedar Cultural Center and several outdoor events celebrating the fusion of Jewish folk culture and Minnesota wintertime traditions. 

This year’s festival features keynote musicians and teachers Midwood (Jake Shulman-Ment, Eléonore Weill, Richie Barshay, and Yoshie Fruchter) from New York, and Rabbi Noam Lerman from Boston. It will also include Minnesota-based artists Di Bayke Klezmer Band, Lea Kalisch, Jewbalaya, Sarina Partridge, Sarah Larsson, Or Levinson, rafa kern, and others.

Click Here to Register

Modern Hebrew for Adults 2023

Talmud Torah of St. Paul

Modern Hebrew for Adults 2023. For serious learners who want to acquire the ability to speak, understand, read and write Modern Hebrew. These classes are lively, engaging and lots of fun.

Click Here to Sign Up


Vine Arts Center

2637 27th Avenue Minneapolis, MN 2nd Floor 

Saturday, 2/4 & 2/11 from 2 to 5 pm

Saturday, 2/18 from 4 to 9 pm

Closing party, 6 to 9 pm

Anita is a Documentary Artist who uses drawing to bear witness to her external and internal journeys. By leaning into difficult personal moments, Anita draws her way through, paying attention to facts, feelings, and what is said.

Anita illuminates the challenging moments and myriad facets of these different kinds of journeys. Over a lifetime of artwork - drawing, teaching, and documenting - Anita has manifested her artwork journey in many media and in many environments, but always with extreme compassion, care, humility, and humor. 

Beth Jacob Congregation
1179 Victoria Curve, Mendota Heights, MN 55118
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