Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I am writing this message from Tel Aviv, where at 8am this morning, loud sirens awakened me from my sleep. I extended my trip from the men’s mission which concluded on Sunday night, to spend a day with our women’s MOMentum mission. Unfortunately, the sites we were to visit, that our donor dollars support, were vulnerable to missile fire from Gaza, so we were unable to stick to our planned itinerary.
Before all this, as I was packing my bags to leave the David Citadel hotel in Jerusalem to come back to Tel Aviv, it dawned on me that several days before, I had left my fairly expensive headphones in the security safe in the hotel I was staying in previously. Our guide had warned our group that if “you leave anything in your room, you’re not going to get it back.”
Resigned to this notion, I tried to prepare myself for life after my headphones. Suddenly I was inspired to call, and after a bit of confusion, security confirmed they indeed had my headphones. On my way to the new hotel in Tel Aviv, I made a quick stop and retrieved the beloved headphones I was convinced I’d never see again.
After the sirens went off this morning I felt compelled to take a dip into the Mediterranean Sea. As I eased in, I was amazed at how great the water felt and how smooth the sand was underfoot. My eyes latched onto the Israeli flag and I felt an incredible sense of pride standing here in Israel with my brothers and sisters, even as things seemed “uncertain” after the Iron Dome defense system shot down a rocket from Gaza intended to strike Tel Aviv. As I exited the water, I stood for several moments, staring at four Israeli helicopters flying in a straight line overhead.
This weeks Torah portion is Vayera ( I Appear ) in the book of Genesis. In this very busy portion, Abraham is told to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah, as a test of his devotion. At the last moment, an angel calls it off and an animal offering is given to G-d in Isaac’s place. Our men’s group, just days ago stood on the Temple Mount, the very location where this incident is said to have occurred.
In John Lennon’s song “Nobody Told Me” the lyrics are “nobody told me there’d be days like these. Strange days indeed, most peculiar mama…” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Light candles on Friday at 5:07pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:03pm.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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