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Marty’s Shabbat Message – December 3, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

Well, it is hard to believe that I am writing this message to you on the first day of December 2020. In a presidential election year that has been overshadowed by a pandemic for at least 10 of the 12 months of the year, we have somehow gotten through the Jewish High Holidays and just last week, Thanksgiving. With Chanukah on the horizon next week, we will have navigated our way through the entire calendar year in the “new normal.”

Today also happens to be Giving Tuesday. Just like you, my email has been bombarded with dozens of requests for financial support. Of course, one of those was from our very own Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.

If you have not yet made your gift to the 2020 Federation annual campaign, please consider doing so. If you have given, thank you so very much. We appreciate each of you. It really does take a village! Somehow, even through this most challenging year, with your generosity, we have raised over $3.1 million to date with this critical last month of the year left to build on that number. We also raised just shy of $200,000 for our COVID-19 Emergency Campaign.

This week’s Torah portion is Vayishlach (Sent) in Genesis, the first of the Five Books of Moses. In it is the monumental moment when Jacob wrestles the “image” of his brother Essau, who he vanquishes. Jacob asks for a blessing from the vanquished angel that embodies Essau’s spirit but the angel will only bless Jacob (which means sneak heal) with the new name of Israel (which means to wrestle with G-d). This is a critical moment for Jacob, and for us, his descendants.

We learn from this that though we all come into this world with certain characteristics, we can change. In Jacob’s case, he changed from seemingly always chasing things attributed to his brother, to becoming a wrestler and one who prevailed over the divine. So, we too can grow into something better and finer than we are today. Individually and as a community. One way we do that is through tzedakah (justice/righteousness).

Light candles Friday evening at 5:02pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6pm

Wishing each of you a Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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