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Shabbat E-mail

Parshat Vayishlach | December 9, 2022

Candle lighting: 4:38 pm | Havdalah: 5:46 pm
Shabbat with JFX!
8:45 am | Services
9:45 am | Narrated Torah service
10:15 am | Youth groups

10:30 am | Rabbi's sermon
10:45 am | Parsha class with Ruchi
11:15 am | Kiddush

To sponsor a Shabbat email please contact Batya

Daniel Kirvel, Rabbi Koval, Ori Malka

Keith and Loren Israelstam
Welcome back to Ruchi and all the women of the 2022 JFX/Momentum trip to Israel!

Pictured below:
Kathy Cohen, Sara Coven, Tina Ecker, Renee Goldfarb,
Becca Gruenspan, Shaynee Novak Sharon Rosky,
Jami Schaefer, Julie Soble, Bev Uria
At the top of Masada
On top of the AISH building looking of the Kotel plaza
With "Abraham" at "Genesis Land"
Enjoying camel riding
Monday, December 12th
10:00 am

"The Book of Proverbs" (Beachwood)

7:30 pm
"Living Each Day" (Live at JFX)

Tuesday, December 13th,
9:00 am

"Soul Construction" (Zoom)

Thursday, December 15th,
12:00 pm

"The Book of Proverbs" (Zoom)
Contact Rabbi Helman for date of next class
Sunday, December 18th 
(first night of Chanukah)
6-8 pm

Join us for an exciting night of latkas, lights, Steve the Amazing Mentalist and more!
Details and Registration here

Not a Bot


I’m not one to get easily insulted. I consider myself pretty laid back and even-keeled. But this week was different. I found myself thoroughly humiliated by a small, silver inanimate object. If you’ve ever tried to log on to certain secure websites, you have no doubt occasionally been a victim of the stress-inducing traumatic experience that is known simply as: CAPTCHA. 

I’ve been subjected to this ordeal before and I’m not ashamed to say I’m permanently, deeply and emotionally scarred from years of having to “check off all the boxes that have a crosswalk” every time I’m trying to login to my computer to access online banking or something like that. If you’re not familiar, CAPTCHA (which I’m pretty sure stands for a Completely Annoying and Pointless Test Causing Headaches and Anxiety) is a test the computer uses to determine whether you’re a human or a robot, but I wish there was a better way than using a grainy pixelated shot of the busiest intersection in Calcutta, India from 1973, then dividing that picture into 12 dimly lit squares and asking me to find the crosswalks. 

Granted, in most cases, it does work because the computer can usually determine with absolute certainty that you’re a human once you punch your fist through the computer screen in a fit of rage. But it just seems unnecessarily aggravating. 

Anyway, most of the time, I just put my face right up against the computer screen and if I squint hard enough, I can give it an honest try, say a little prayer, and manage to get most of the boxes correct. But this week was different. 

I was busy with a million things and as I logged on to pay my mortgage, I had no patience to try and determine exactly which squares had pineapples in them. I guess I was a little too rushed because that’s when it happened. My little 15” laptop had the absolute gall, the utter nerve, to question my humanity, straight to my face. 

Actually, had it only questioned my humanity, it would not have been so bad. But it was positive it had busted me. “Oops!” chirped the screen in front of me. “Looks like you’re a bot! Better luck next time.” And poof! The computer screen went blank. I was dumbfounded. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! “YOU’RE THE BOT!” I half screamed at the now blank screen as I not-so-gently closed the laptop. 

I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation. This computer, which has no brain cells of its own, was accusing me of being, of all things, a computer! Oh, the irony. 

But then it dawned on me. Too often, we really are “bots” or “robots” and the like. We live in a nonstop social media universe, a fast-paced world flooded with technology and automation and, if we’re not careful, we can zip right through our day completely on auto pilot. Do we stop, or even momentarily pause, to ever think about all the goodness that God has bestowed upon us? Do we ever give a moment’s thought to appreciate the fact that we woke up this morning walking, talking, breathing and a million other things that end in “-ing?” 

My 11th grade daughter, Sari, came home from school the other day and said something so powerful that she had heard from her teacher. Her teacher asked the class to close their eyes and consider the following question. “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” 

What a powerful and sobering thought! We are put on this world to live a life infused with meaning but in order to do that, we need to make a conscious effort to think on our own. It’s way too easy to fall into the trap of living life as a bot! I, for one, am grateful to my computer for giving me a not-so-subtle reminder that I’m a human. And I ought to make the most of my existence!  Now, I must run, because I still have a mortgage payment to make. Just as soon as I can locate which of these squares has a bicycle in them…

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Mo Koval

Sat, December 10 2022 16 Kislev 5783