Marty’s Shabbat Message – July 6, 2017

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th celebration. We the Jewish people should know as well as anyone how sweet freedom is and how much sacrifice it takes to earn it. Enough said.

Last week, I found myself shocked to be called an “old man.” What?! Like many of us, in my mind, while I’ve experienced life, I am in no way old. I suppose it is a matter of perspective, especially when conversing with members of younger generations, but I digress.

After swimming a few laps at the Valley of the Sun JCC, I was getting ready for the rest of my day in the locker room next to a gentleman and his two-year-old son. I was admiring the little boy’s sunglasses and I told him how cool they were. The little boy hid behind his daddy’s legs, pointed at me and said the words I likely never will recover from… “old man.”

Just an hour or so later, I headed over to the NowGen Men’s Hava-Tequila Tasting at a location generously made available by Josh Simon. With over 50 young Jewish men, the room felt full and bursting with energy. These successful young men enjoyed networking and camaraderie and, as importantly, they care about the future of their Jewish community. I got to speak for a few moments and told them the story of the little boy who referred to me as “old man.” As I relayed the story, I realized I was now the oldest man in the room-at the ripe old age of 53! But, this time it felt good knowing that our Jewish future was safe in the hands of this special group of young Jewish men and their generation.

This week’s Torah portion is Balak in the Book of Numbers. In it is one of the most beautiful phrases in the five books of Moses, Mah Tovu ohalecha Ya’akov mishkenotecha Yisroel (How good are the tents of Jacob the dwelling places of Israel). As I was in the room surrounded by these wonderful NowGenners, I could not help but to think that this saying is as true today as it was those thousands of years ago: How good are the tents of Jacob…and how bright is our future with this next generation.

Shabbat Shalom,

Marty Haberer
Executive Director