This weeks E-blast

  • Friday, January 24, 6:00 pm. Family Shabbat Service preceded by a pizza dinner, led by Rabbi Yakar
  • Tuesday, January 28, 12:00 pm.  Men’s Club Luncheon at Jason’s
  • Tuesday, January 28, 4:00 pm.  Religious School
  • Wednesday, January 29, 12:00 pm. Mahjong
  • Wednesday, January 29, 6:30 pm. Session #2 Adult Education led by Rabbi Yakar.  Midrash and the Rabbinic Imagination
  • Friday, January 31, 7:00 pm.  Lay-led Shabbat Services
  • Saturday, February 1, 11:15 am. Sisterhood Birthday Luncheon at Spindleshanks

FRIDAY 1/24 at 6:00 PM

Join with Rabbi Yakar for a Family Shabbat Service preceded by a pizza dinner. Salads or fruit would be appreciated. Dinner will begin at 6:00 pm, Services at 6:45 pm.

This week we will discuss Parashat Va’eira, in which Moses confronts the Pharaoh to free the Israelites. This chapter forms the narrative for the Passover story of which we are all familiar. See you on Friday.


The story of the Exodus, which we are now engaged with, centers largely on the story of the plagues upon Egypt.  The plagues are equivocally made possible by the reality that God hardens Pharaohs heart.  We often read this passage and struggle with our own belief and our own ideas about free will.  We may ask the question:  If God harden Pharaoh’s heart, who is then responsible for the plagues?  Perhaps, though, we’re reading the ‘hardening of the heart’ in the wrong way.  Maimonides taught that, “[people] sin of their own free will, until they forfeit the opportunity to repent…To this end, Scripture states, ‘And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,’ He sinned, first of his own free will… until he forfeited the opportunity to repent.  As Rabbi Joel Simon, my chevruta partner, taught me, “At first we may see signs of our own faults, but if we ignore them, we risk losing the ability to see them.”

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, through this perspective, is less about God actively altering an outcome and more about the paths we choose as human beings.  Pharaoh, in our portion Vaera in the Book of Exodus, chooses not to listen to Moses.  From this moment, he is digging into his previous choice and will be less and less willing to heed the call to free the Hebrew slaves.  Torah is guiding us to understand, yes, the wickedness of Pharaoh.  Yet, Torah is also urging us towards heightening our self-awareness.  It is guiding us to pay attention to not only each choice we make, but also the path down which each choice leads.

As we move closer to this Shabbat and engage with the words of parashat Vaera in the Book of Exodus, may we not only see ourselves as if we went free from Egypt, but may we also see ourselves honestly and clearly, so that unlike Pharaoh, we may change in healthy ways.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Evon



Rabbi Yakar will resume adult education classes for the winter quarter with a series of two sessions on Midrash and The Rabbinic Imagination. These classes will be held on Wednesday evening, January 22 and 29, 6:30-8:00 pm.

After 13 years of dedicated service as our Temple Office Manager, Sheila Thompson
has announced her desire to retire at the end of January. We all certainly wish her
the best with deep appreciation for her excellent work. HOWEVER, we do not yet have a replacement and we need, collectively, to act in a job placement capacity. If anyone is interested, or can suggest someone who is interested in this position, please be In touch with Miles Adler (email: This is a salaried position, requiring basic computer and office skills, needing two weekday days of 5-6 hours per day. Sheila will train the new hire.

Friday, January 24, 6:00 pm Family Shabbat Services and PIZZA dinner
Friday, January 31, 7:00 pm Lay-lead Shabbat Services
Friday, February 7, 6:00 pm Chavurah Potluck dinner, brief Shabbat Service and speaker (to be announced)
Friday, February 14, 7:00 pm Shabbat Services with Rabbi Chayva Lehrman
Friday, February 21, 7:00 pm Shabbat Services with Rabbi Yakar
Friday, February 28, 7:00 pm Shabbat Services with Rabbi Yakar
Friday, March 6, 6:00 pm Chavurah hosted dinner, brief Shabbat Service and speaker (to be announced)

Friday, January 24
6:00 pm. Family Shabbat Services and pizza dinner, with Rabbi Yakar
Tuesday, January 28
12:00 pm. Men’s Club Luncheon at Jason’s
4:00 pm. Religious School
Wednesday, January 29
12:00 pm. Mahjong
Friday, January 31
7:00 pm. Lay-Led Shabbat Services
Saturday, February 1
11:15 am Sisterhood Birthday Luncheon at Spindleshanks
Tuesday, February 4
4:00 pm Religious School and Tu B’Shevat Seder
Wednesday, February 5
12:00 pm Mahjong
Friday, February 7
6:00 pm Chavurah hosted Shabbat dinner, brief Shabbat Service and speaker
Sunday, February 9
Sundown. Holiday of Tu B’Shevat begins
Tuesday, February 11
12:00 pm Men’s Club Luncheon at Jason’s
4:00 pm Religious School
6:15 pm Board of Directors Meeting.  All are invited to attend
Wednesday, February 12
12:00 pm Mahjong
Friday, February 14
7:00 pm Shabbat Services with Student Rabbi Lehrman
Saturday, February 15
10:00 am Sisterhood Book Club hosted by Vita Dworkin
Tuesday, February 18
Wednesday, February 19
12:00 pm Mahjong
Friday, February 21
7:00 pm Shabbat Services with Rabbi Yakar
Tuesday, February 25
8:15 am Torah and Ski. Meet at the Northstar gondola. Torah study 10:30 am
12:00 pm Men’s Club Luncheon at Jason’s
4:00 pm Religious School
Wednesday, February 26
12:00 pm Mahjong
Friday, February 28
7:00 pm Shabbat Services with Rabbi Yakar

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