Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Ain – July 7, 2017

Shabbat Shalom! This week we read from Parashat Balak. The story is really about Bilaam, a prophet who is hired to curse the Israelites by Balak, the Moabite king. Bilaam reaches his destination and opens his mouth to curse Israel. But instead of curses, words of blessing are spoken. This blessing (Ma Tovu) is now part of the daily morning service. At the end of the parashah, the Israelites get in trouble by consorting with foreign women and worshipping a foreign deity. Pinchas, Aaron’s grandson, known as a great zealot, appeases God’s anger over this idolatry by killing an Israelite who was flaunting his salacious activities with a Midianite woman.

Friday night services are at 6:15 tonight and Shabbat morning services begin at 9:15 am tomorrow morning. Candle lighting is at 8:11 pm.

Thought Question: This week’s parasha is filled with blessings when curses were the intent. How do we offer blessings and when? How do we make sure that even if we need to offer “curses” (constructive critique) they can be heard in a way that will be turned into a blessing for everyone?

HOT OFF THE PRESS: THE JULY/AUGUST BULLETIN CLICK HERE FOR IMPORTANT UPDATES ABOUT SPS

July Events at SPS

Let’s Play Bingo
Come to SPS Monday, July 17 at 7 pm
We’re going to play Bingo with number caller DAVID POCHAPIN!
Admission: $10 includes 2 cards (but you can buy more)
Lots of laughs – fun & surprises! Just be there & invite friends!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND – THEATRE HISTORIAN JOHN KENRICK
July 25 – Curtain Up! Light the Lights!: How New Musicals Get to Broadway
Ever wonder how some wonderful shows (and some awful ones) make it to the Broadway stage? John pulls back the curtain on how this process worked in the past, how it happens today, and what is likely in the years to come.

TISHA B’AV OBSERVANCE
Monday, July 31, 7:30 pm | Tuesday, August 1, 8 am
Tisha B’Av, is a period of lamentation and prayer to remember the destruction of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem. It is a sad day that observes other major disasters and tragedies that Jewish people experienced throughout history, including the expulsion from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492, as well as the mass deportation of Jewish people from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.
Let’s gather together on Monday evening, July 31st at 7:30 pm in the ballroom of the synagogue for a *pre-fast dinner and program in preparation for the High Holidays. The evening service and the reading of the Book of Lamentations will follow.
Tuesday morning August 1st, Shacharit services will begin at 8:00 am and will include the reading of Lamentations.
*Dinner is complimentary for members – $36 for guests. Reservations are required. Contact: 212-593-3300 or sps@spsnyc.org

SPS Women’s League is busy in July and gearing up for a wonderful year ahead! Check out THIS LINK to see everything going on, including how to order honey for the new year and sign up your children who are away at college!

SAVE THE DATE!
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
AS WE WELCOME EVERYONE TO “SAY CHAI TO SPS”

That afternoon there will be programming for people of all ages as we come together, reconnect, and introduce SPS to those looking for their Jewish community!

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ain