Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
At this writing, our Phoenix Suns have yet to have played game four of the NBA finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. By the time you read this Shabbat message, we will know if we are up 3-1 or if the series will be all locked up at 2-2. Fear the deer? I think not! After 53 years, it is our time and I refuse to think of it another way! It is amazing how this Valley is galvanizing around this really fun and exciting group of athletes. And how many people are now able to pronounce the Bucks star’s name… Giannis Antetokounmpo? Add me to the list.
Back to our Jewish community and world, the calendar is once again approaching the Fast of Tisha B’Av. I always find it quite interesting how few Jewish people know or have heard of this Fast day. In fact, I even had a few colleagues ask me, as invariably happens each year, what the holiday is and what restrictions they needed to consider for their programming on that day. It really is perhaps the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. The name translates to the Ninth of Av, which is the month it takes place (now) on the Jewish calendar. That date has been historically tragic for the Jewish world. In addition to other calamities, both the first and second Temples, first in 586BCE and then in 70 CE were destroyed on this very same date. Because the fast takes place in summer, when the days are long, it is the longest fast day of the Jewish year.
This week’s Torah portion is Devarim (Words), the first chapter in the fifth and final book in the Pentateuch, the Hebrew Bible. First off, this makes me realize that Rosh Hashanah is now actually in sight. That just seems so crazy to me. This week’s portion begins Moses’ retelling of all that has occurred since the Exodus. The book of Deuteronomy is told over a period of 37 days prior to Moses’ passing. In this portion, Moses sends a message to his successor, Joshua, “Fear them not for the Lord your G-d, he shall fight for you.”
Obviously, the Suns heading into battle against the Bucks pales in significance to the battles of our ancestors… at least to some? Will Devin Booker and company lead us to the NBA Promised Land?
We certainly will know soon enough.
Bryce Schotz and his father, Jeff, at Game 1 of the NBA Finals
Light candles Friday evening at 7:20pm.
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:20pm.
Fast begins at 7:38pm.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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