Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
We have now entered the month of March and spring is in the air. This can be confirmed by the green coming back to life in my yard. We are also now in the Hebrew month of Adar. For those who may be unaware, as Jews we live our American and worldwide lives on a solar calendar system while our ancient tradition operates on a Lunar calendar. That’s why holidays move around our solar calendar, because the two ways to measure time don’t match up.
“Mi shenichnas Adar, ma’arivim b’simcha” (when the month of Adar arrives, we should increase our joy). Next week we will be celebrating the Holiday of Purim (lots). We read the Megillah, eat hamentaschen and celebrate our victory over an enemy intent on destroying the Jewish people. Fun fact: Queen Esther’s name was actually Hadassah. Esther comes from the Hebrew word “to hide” (l’hastare) as, according to the Purim story, she hid her Jewish identity from the King for fear of her safety.
March is also incredibly active for our Jewish organizations here in the Valley. Congratulations to Jewish Free Loan, Jewish National Fund and to the Minkoff Center for Jewish Genetics. Each of these organizations had very successful fundraising events and there are more to come. In fact our Federation MEGA 2020 is taking place while you receive this Shabbat message on Thursday evening.
This week’s Torah portion is Tetzaveh (Command) Zachor (Remember) in the book of Exodus. In this double portion, G-d commands Moses to receive olive oil from the Israelites to feed the eternal flame of the menorah. This symbolism can be seen in most synagogues with a light that is always on in front of the Ark that holds the Torah scrolls.
The eternal flame represents the spirit of the Jewish people. “Netzach Yisroel lo yishaker” (the eternity of Israel will not lie).
Seeing and participating in all the wonderful, vibrant, well attended events taking place in this glorious month of Adar confirms that truth for me.
Light candles on Friday at 6:11pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 7:07pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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