Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
It is hard to believe that by the time you have read this message, Pesach 2020 will already have come and gone. It certainly was different with social distancing being a term we likely never knew until a month ago, but is now one we also likely will never forget. Personally, I had the opportunity (and really the pleasure) to conduct my first “virtual” Seder via Zoom. My daughter and her husband joined us from St. Louis, my brother and his wife joined from Dallas, my niece via Seattle and my mother, aunt and father-in-law, were on via New York. My wife Lori and my son, Noah were with me in our home here in Scottsdale. It was very participatory and frankly very enjoyable for all of us to be able to be together, albeit in the “virtual” way. We ended with “L’shana Ha’ba’ah B’ Colorado” (next year in Colorado). My brother recently built a home there and we hope we will all be able to convene there physically together next year.
COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE: Speaking of ways we can do an actual, physical mitzvah, in a partnership between your Jewish Federation, the Martin Pear JCC and the JCRC, we will be conducting a vital blood drive at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus on Monday, April 20. As of yesterday, I am happy to report that the blood drive registration is completely FULL! We are looking at additional dates in the future due to the significant demand and will share these events as they are scheduled.
It’s been a trying month for all of us and therefore I offer you the Marty’s Shabbat message top 10 comical observations:
- 2019: stay away from negative people • 2020: stay away from positive people
- The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors…
- Do not call the police on suspicious looking people in your neighborhood. Those are your neighbors without makeup or their hair cut and colored…
- Who knew that not touching a person with a 6-foot pole was a real thing….
- I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone. He asked me what I was wearing…
- After 10 days at home the dog is looking at me like “see, this is why I chew on the furniture”…
- Me: Alexa, what’s the weather this weekend? Alexa: It doesn’t matter, you’re not going anywhere…
- I swear my fridge just said “what the heck do you want now?“
- Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?
- When this ends what meeting do I attend first, Weight Watchers or AA?
This week’s Torah portion is Shemini (the Eighth Day) in the book of Leviticus, the third book in the five books of Moses. In it, G-d commands the laws of Kashrut, identifying the animals permissible and forbidden to eat, including certain land animals as well as fish, birds and certain insects. While some of us continue the tradition of keeping Kosher, some do inside the house, and some not at all. Some choose simply not to eat pork products and certain kinds of foods such as shrimp, lobster, crab etc.
As we conclude the special dietary requirements of Passover, I personally find it spiritually enjoyable, for one week each year, to avoid eating bread products, cakes with yeast, pasta etc. I feel a sense of discipline I don’t feel the rest of the year. And I do have to admit that staying away from certain foods that are “not permitted” to eat during Passover, does make me feel closer to my peoplehood.
I hope each of you had a meaningful and enjoyable Passover and I hope as we count the Omer, the 50 days from the second night of Passover until Shavuot on May 28, that perhaps we are counting down the days when we can begin to return to “normal” with a new sense of appreciation for what that means.
Light candles on Friday at 6:42pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 7:40pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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