Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley: July 15-20, 2022

By Rabbi Alicia Magal

Shalom and greetings from the Rabbi, Board of Directors, and congregation of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.

All the services, classes, and programs are listed on the synagogue website.

Come join us either in person or online. See for instructions to register for in-person services or online links. Visitors are welcome to attend services.

On Friday, July 15, a Friday evening Erev Shabbat service, led by Joe Berger, VP of the Religious Affairs Committee, begins at 5:30 pm both in person and on Zoom, and livestreamed for members and their invitees. Congregants participate by lighting candles, doing a reading, or having an Aliyah for the Torah service. Verses from the Torah portion will be chanted: Balak (Numbers 22:2 - 25:9), relating the confrontation between the Children of Israel and the king of Moab, Balak, who strives to overcome Israel, not through battle, but by ordering Balaam who had the power to curse and bless, to curse Israel. What unfolds is the story of Balaam's donkey trying to give the message that an angel was barring the way, but the one who was supposed to have the gift of vision was blind to what the donkey saw! In the end, Balaam can only say the words that come through him as true, and he ends up offering not a curse but a blessing to the Israelites camped around the Tabernacle: "How goodly are your tents O Jacob; your dwelling place, O Israel!" That phrase has become part of the liturgy as the prayer offered in the morning service upon entering the sanctuary. Blessings for those who are ill and a Mazal Tov for those celebrating a birthday or anniversary will be offered. Kaddish, the Mourner's prayer, will be recited in memory of those who passed away either recently or at this time in past years. Shabbat offers a time out from work and worry, an opportunity to be grateful for our lives and the bounty with which we are blessed.

Wednesday morning minyan begins at 8:30 a.m. on July 20 on zoom. Join the group to offer healing prayers, and to support those saying the mourner's prayer, Kaddish, for a loved one who has passed away. Every person counts and is needed!

On Wednesday at 4:00 pm Rosalie Malter will lead a class on Jewish meditation on Zoom. Each session focuses on a different tool or aspect of Jewish meditation practices.

On Thursday, July 21, at 4:00 pm, Torah study, led by Anita Rosenfield, will be held on Zoom. The Torah portion for that week is Pinchas (Numbers 25:10 - 20:1) in which the grandson of Aaron puts to death a sinful man to prevent further immorality. Although he is rewarded with the High Priesthood, it is made clear that his kind of punitive action outside of the court system is not the norm to be followed. Women's right of inheritance is affirmed when the daughters of Zelophechad are allowed to inherit the land rights of their father. The precedent is set that if a man left no sons but was survived by daughters, they could inherit their father's possessions. Moses goes up to Mt. Abarim to get a good view of the Promised Land although he will not be permitted to cross over into it. He appoints Joshua as his successor to the leadership of Israel.

The Social Action Committee is continuing to collect food for the local Sedona food pantry. Please drop of cans or boxes of non-perishable foods in the bin outside the lower level parking lot entrance to the synagogue.

The Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, located at 100 Meadow Lark Drive off Route 179 in Sedona, is a welcoming, egalitarian, inclusive congregation dedicated to building a link from the past to the future by providing religious, educational, social and cultural experiences. Messages to the office telephone at 928 204-1286 will be answered during the week. Updated information is available on the synagogue website -

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