Shabbat Parashat B’Midbar Shabbat Machar Chodesh Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh Preparing for Shavuot and for Confirmation! May 19, 2023 – 29 Iyyar 5783

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us for services this Friday night to celebrate our New Members and our Religious School Teachers and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutors!  Our Religious School Teachers and our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutors do such outstanding work with our youth!  Yasher koach to all of them!

This Shabbat morning we will be reciting the special prayer for the upcoming new Jewish month of Sivan.  Rosh Chodesh Sivan will be on Saturday night and Sunday.  May it be a month of joy and of blessing.

We will be preparing for Shavuot which will begin on Thursday night on this coming week.  The traditional preparations for Shavuot begin with Eruv Tavshilin.  When the holiday begins on Thursday night, we are permitted to cook on the holiday for that day, but not for Shabbat.  To prepare cooked food on Thursday night or Friday for Shabbat we begin the process on Thursday afternoon.  Before candle lighting on Thursday, we take two prepared foods, such as a hard boiled egg and a slice of challah, and recite the blessing:

Barukh attah Adonai, eloheynu melekh ha-olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al mitzvat eruv. 

Then, we add: “By means of this combining (eruv), we are permitted to bake, cook, warm, dindle lights, and make all the necessary preparations for Shabbat during the festival (yom tov), we and all who live in this city/locale.”

We set aside the two prepared foods for eating on Shabbat during the day.  Having done this, we may complete the cooking for Shabbat on the festival day.

We also need to prepare a flame in advance of the festival so that we use an existing fire for cooking or other purposes (such as candle lighting on Friday night) on the festival day.  To this end, we prepare a flame (candle or pilot light) that will be lit before candle lighting on Thursday night that will continue to burn until it is time to light candles on Friday night.

On Thursday and on Friday nights, two blessings are recited at candle lighting:

Barukh attah Adonai, eloheynu melekh ha-olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlike ner shel yom tov.

Barukh attah Adonai, eloheynu melekh ha-olam, shehecheyanu v’kiyemanu v’higianu lazeman ha-zeh.

Looking ahead, a week from now on Friday night, the second night of Shavuot, we will be celebrating not only Shabbat and Shavuot, but also Confirmation!  I hope you will all join us for that Friday night service as we celebrate with our two Confirmands, Brad Rubenstein and Reece David, and their families.  Mazal Tov to Brad and to Reece and to their families!

Moving toward Shavuot, we continue counting the Omer, and tonight we will count the beginning of the day which comes after day 43, in the Omer count.
Appreciating each day, and anticipating good days ahead – the counting of the Omer adds a wonderful dimension to our spiritual lives.  I look forward to counting together with you tonight.

May we enjoy our days and anticipate the satisfaction of lives well lived, as we move into the final week of the counting of the Omer!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror