Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
What a beautiful spring day it is as I write this Shabbat message to you, which comes a bit early to honor Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Day of Remembrance. I wanted to send it in time to ask you to please join me tomorrow, April 17, at 6:30pm for a community observance of Yom Hazikaron hosted by our partner Israeli American Council-Arizona at Temple Chai, 4645 E. Marilyn Rd. in Phoenix. In addition to the remembrance ceremony, they have brought Raz Bodany, a high-ranking Israeli officer who was wounded twice in Operation Cast Lead to share his story of bravery and resilience.
Also, mark your calendar for IAC-Arizona’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration on Sunday, April 29, at OdySea. The fun includes live music, special guests, kosher food, interactive stations, prizes and games. Tickets are available at celebrateisraelfestival.org/arizona.
This week’s Torah portion is Tazrai-Metzora (Seed-Leper) in Leviticus. The combined parshiot (portions) discuss the laws of tumah v’taharah, ritual impurity and purity. It is interesting to me that these portions fall the week of Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. For me, it demonstrates the tenacity of our people and our ability to endure and indeed thrive. We go from the extreme sadness of the loss of those who fought and continue to fight for Israel to the ultimate happiness in celebrating Israel’s independence. We let these two significant days purify our resolve to remain steadfast in who we are.
For we cannot truly know or appreciate happiness without experiencing sadness. Which is why the one true dayan (judge) calls the shots and we do not. May this Yom Hazikaron bring comfort and peace to all of us and my this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th birthday, be the most joyous we have yet known.
Chief Executive Officer