Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
We just concluded the Memorial Day weekend and I noticed more conversation than ever before on social media discussing the meaning of Memorial Day.
Many made mention of the fact that the meaning of this day, the solemn and important recognition of America’s fallen soldiers, has been lost over the decades having been hijacked by barbeques and long weekends. Is it appropriate to say “have a happy holiday”? Or “enjoy the long weekend”?
There was also mention of confusion between Memorial Day, which remembers those who have served in our military and have lost their lives to defend our country and our freedom, and Veteran’s Day, which is a recognition of those who have served in the United States Armed Forces but had not necessarily lost their lives in battle.
The holiday comes on the heels of the recent hostilities that took place in Israel after it was attacked with over 4,000 missiles fired into the country by the terrorist organization Hamas. Israel responded using their air force to destroy tunnels, targeting terrorists, missiles and the infrastructure used to launch those missiles. The resulting anti-Semitic acts that have emerged worldwide in recent days, including here in the United States, have been downright disturbing and disgusting. And we just learned that a coalition of Israeli political parties announced that they had agreed to a deal to form a new government, paving the way for the exit of Israel’s longest serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. A busy week to say the least!
Here at your Jewish Federation the NowGen Giving Circle Kick-Off was held on Tuesday at Risk Resource. Thank you to Ian Sachs for hosting this great event which attracted 30 young philanthropists. The application for the Giving Circle is live. If you’d like more information on joining this amazing group of young donors or you are a Jewish organization in search of a Giving Circle grant, please contact Shoshana Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Torah portion is Shelach (Send) in the Book of Numbers, the fourth book in the five books of Moses. This is the portion where Moses sends 12 spies into Canaan to determine if the land can be conquered as G-d has promised. Only Joshua and Caleb believe it can be conquered. As a result of the lack of faith, G-d delays the entry into the land by 40 years after the current generation will have died off.
Many, many brave soldiers have perished in American wars so that we Americans can live freely. In Israel, many soldiers have died so that the modern day State of Israel can exist for over seven million Jewish people and nine million Israelis. Here at home in the Valley, 30 young men and women continue to gather annually to raise and distribute tzedaka (charity/justice/righteousness) so that we can continue to maintain and grow a vibrant Jewish community. And as the George Michael’s song goes “Ya gotta have faith” or else end up like those in the desert that never made it into the Promised Land.
As we await the decisions about which direction the Israeli Government will go, we hope and pray for its continued strength and longevity. And we pray for the strength and longevity of these United States of America. The country my uncle, Martin Haberer, z”l, gave his life defending like so many other brave soldiers.
Light candles Friday evening at 7:17pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:19pm
I wish you all a Shabbat Mevarachim & Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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