Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Now that Memorial Day is behind us, we are officially navigating the summer months. I know I am entering my sixth summer in Arizona because 97 degrees is now my happy place. Let’s talk again once we start getting that steady diet of 100-115. I am used to it now, and really have come to love living in the desert. I began my summer by doing my every four-month Power Red blood donation. This one was of course different from all those in the past. I have been giving blood pretty consistently since I was 17 years old and a Yeshiva HS student. Never before did I give blood wearing a face mask. Not easy to drink the bottle of water they provide or eat the bag of chips while wearing the face mask…the challenges of our times. This one was a little more special for me. I felt the sense of urgency given all that’s going on in our world and I am pleased I was able to do my small part to make things better.
I am pleased to report that Vitalant has expressed interest in a second blood drive for our community. We are exploring logistics for this that might better accommodate those who could not make last month’s drive. I will keep you posted on our progress and hope that when and if the opportunity arises, that you will join me in giving this life saving resource so many of us are able to share with others.
As you read this message, many Jews all over the world are celebrating Shavuot. Because it occurs in the summertime, many Jews have lost the connection to this very important holiday. It is on Shavuot (weeks) that our people received the Torah and we literally count 50 days from the second Passover Seder until we get to Shavuot. Needless to say, the receiving and acceptance of the Torah is what, in so many ways, has defined the Jewish people over the past 3,500 years.
This week’s Torah portion for Shavuot comes from Exodus 19:1-20:23 and Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17. In it, the children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai where G-d tells them they are his chosen people, a Holy Nation, to serve as his kingdom of Priests. The people respond by saying “All that G-d has spoken, we will do.”
In a very small way, I feel that my donating blood regularly, and especially this week, keeps me connected to my commitment to be one of G-d’s lights. I hope many of you will join me when we host our next blood drive so that we may practice Tikkun Olam (improving the world) together.
Wishing you a good Yontif and a Shabbat Shalom.
Light candles on Friday at 7:13pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 8:14pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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