Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
It is hard to believe I am experiencing my fourth May in the Valley and I must say that it is the nicest since I was blessed to come here. The weather is just beautiful and the cacti are flowering, making spring here simply exquisite.
It has also been a whirlwind month. I am heading out to my daughter’s graduation from law School in St. Louis (so many emotions, but I couldn’t be prouder). I also just returned from a mission in Israel and find myself reflecting on the country’s past 70 years. It has certainly been a landmark week in Israel’s history with its 70th anniversary and the American Embassy’s move to Jerusalem. These events were on my mind as I had the honor of speaking at the opening of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society’s new The Diverse Faces of Israel exhibit. What a poignant and timely exhibit it is!
This week’s Torah portion is Bamidbar (The Desert) in the book of Numbers. In the Valley, residents understand and live with the contradictions of desert life every day—the lack of rain, high temperatures and haboobs, but also low humidity, gorgeous winters and spectacular desert flowers. It is that sense of complexity with which I reflected about Israel this week. I shed tears more than once for Israel this week—tears of joy and excitement for acknowledging Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Tears of sadness at the loss of life.
The desert is a complicated place. So too is our beloved Israel.
Am Yisroel Chai, the people of Israel live!
Chief Executive Officer