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Parashat Va-era 12-Jan-13

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Candle lighting time for Friday, January 11, 2013, 4:52 p.m.


 Parashat Va-era
Rosh Hodesh

1 Shevat, 5773 / January 12, 2013
Triennial Cycle III: Exodus 8:16-9:35
Humash Etz Hayim, page 362
Maftir: Numbers 28:9-15, page 930
Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24, page 1219


  1. (8:16-28) The fourth plague: Beasts.
  2. (9:1-7) The Fifth Plague: a disease affecting all the livestock of Egypt, but sparing the Israelites’ animals.
  3. (9:8-15) The Sixth Plague: Boils on man and beast.
  4. (9:16-21) Moses confronts Pharaoh and renews God’s demand: “Let My people go to worship me!” Moses warns Pharaoh and the court about the seventh plague, Hail, which destroys crops (except those in Goshen).
  5. (9:22-35) Pharaoh sends for Moses and Aaron and begs for relief. However, once the hail stops, he reneges on his promise.

From Hardening Our Hearts to Opening Them
Rabbi Philip Ohriner

Exodus 9:7—After the plague of pestilence (#4)
When Pharaoh inquired, he found that not a head of the livestock of Israel had died; yet Pharaoh remained stubborn, and he would not let the people go.

Exodus 9:12—After the plague of boils (#5)
But the Lord stiffened the heart of Pharaoh, and he would not heed them, just as the Lord had told Moses.

Exodus Rabbah 13:3
Reish Lakish said…when God warns someone once, twice, and even a third time, and that person does not repent, then (and only then) does God close his heart against repentance and exact punishment from him for his sins. Thus it was with wicked Pharaoh. Since God approached him five times and he took no notice, God then said (in effect) “You have stiffened your neck and hardened your heart; well, I will add impurity to your impurity”. Thus God tells Moses, “For I have hardened (hikhbaditi) his heart” (Exodus 10:1). What does it mean that God “hikhbad” the heart of pharoah? It means that God created his heart to become like a liver (kaved) into which no juices can enter, even if boiled a second time. Thus, the heart of Pharaoh became like a liver, and he did not receive the words of God.

Ibn Ezra on Exodus 7:3 (a synthesis of his short and long commentary)
Many have wondered in surprise how Pharaoh can be considered to have sinned if God hardened his heart. Some great minds reply that what God did was to strengthen Pharaoh’s ability to bear his troubles. My answer is that God gives man wisdom and plants within his heart the intelligence to receive a higher power that enables him to increase his goodness or lessen his evil.

From the petition (now with close to 16,000 signature)
We will not allow the intense emotion we feel now to return to a place of complacency where we become desensitized to the atrocities that unfold around us daily. We must come together to build a society worthy of those lost and a culture that represents our best virtues.

Rabbi Hillel Silverman, From Week to Week
Every time we disobey the voice of conscience it becomes fainter and feebler and the human heart becomes harder to reach and move.


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Mitzvah (MLK) Day

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Women’s Havurah for Women over 65 and Older

Minyan – Sunday 9:30 am & Monday – Thursday 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, January 12: Book Discussion Group – After Shabbat Kiddush Lunch (about 1:30 p.m.)

Sunday, January 13: Come Join Z’havah! – 10:15 a.m.

Sunday, January 13: Rewritings of the Bible: The Culture of Hellenistic Judaism – 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Monday, January 14: Share Your Business Expertise – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Monday, January 14: Louis Chevlen Memorial Blood Drive – 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 17: Connecting to Core Components of Kabbalah with Rabbi Ohriner – 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 19: Sisterhood Shabbat – 9:30

Saturday, January 19: Mussar Matters with Rabbi Pressman – 1:30 – 2:30

Saturday, January 19: Kadima Gets Creative at Petroglyph – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 23: CBD General Board Meeting – 7:45 – 9:45 p.m.

Friday, January 25: Potluck Shabbat with Jews’ Next Dor – 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Friday, January 25: Cantorial Shabbat with Rabbi Ohriner – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 26: Tu B’Shvat Seders – After Torah Service (about 11:15 a.m.)

Tuesday, January 29: Conversations in Jewish Learning: Nature and Environment in Israel – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Friday, February 1: Hagigat Noar – Celebration of Youth – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 2: Building Blocks of Jewish Prayer with Rabbi Orhiner – After Shabbat Kiddush Lunch (about 1:30 p.m.)

Saturday, February 9: Jews’ Next Dor Lunch and Learn – 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 16: Founders and Past President Shabbat – 9:30 a.m.

Saturday, March 2: 2nd Annual Hamantaschen Ball – 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, April 7: Celebrating Beth David at 50: Milestones and Memories – 1:00 p.m.


Sunday, January 13: Open House at Kehillah Jewish High School – 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 27: Preschool Open House – South Peninsula Hebrew Day School – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 27: Jewbilee – 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 26: Havdalah, Wine Tasting, and Folk Dancing for Singles ages 40-70 – 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 29: The Origins of American Jewish Politics:  General Grant and the Jews in 1868 – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 17: 2013 Pillars of the Community – 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m