Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I am sad to be writing this Shabbat message and about this week’s parsha in the wake of this latest conflict with Gaza. As someone who has visited Israel over 40 times, I continue to be amazed by how the people in southern Israel live under what seems to be constant threat to their land and to their very lives. Yet they thrive, they innovate and they persevere. I’m proud to be part of an organization that, through the collective power of our generous donors and our network of overseas partners, is ready to respond and to provide aid in times like these. For an update on what Federation is doing in response to the conflict, please click here.
This week’s Torah portion is Vayetze (Went Out) in Genesis. In it, Jacob leaves his home and travels to Charan. On the way, he sleeps and dreams of a ladder that connects Heaven and Earth with angels ascending and descending on it. G‑d appears to Jacob and promises that the land upon which he lies will be given to his descendants. The next morning, Jacob takes the stone upon which he laid his head and declared it an altar, promising that it will become the house of G-d.
As I mentioned, it is remarkable to me that all these thousands of years later, we as Jews continue to struggle to possess the land promised to Jacob and to Abraham and to Isaac. It is our birthright and it is a birthright we will never stop defending. The land of Israel is core to us as a Jewish people and to our covenant with G-d.
As our brothers and sisters once again needed to defend themselves this very week, let us all keep them in our thoughts and prayers and support them in any way we can. May next week be a peaceful one for all of us.
Chief Executive Officer
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