Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
While I know I am a week early, I have Thanksgiving on the brain. Tomorrow evening my mother and my mother-in-law are arriving to my home from New York; and in the coming days my daughter and her husband will arrive from St. Louis, my brother and his wife from Dallas, my niece from Seattle and my father in law from New York. My son, who lives locally will also be with us, as will some friends. This is the first time in the five years we have been living in Arizona that we will celebrate Thanksgiving in Arizona – hosting this many family members and friends.
As my wife Lori and I have been readying the house for our guests, I have been filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude for the many blessings we have. Our good health and the blessings of grown children, loving parents, siblings and friends. We take none of this for granted. My father came to this country from Germany at the age of nine with his 14 year old brother and his parents. They came to this country with nothing and his brother Martin, for whom I am named, died in the battle of Bastogne at 19 years of age. My mother too, grew up with very few relatives as most were killed during the Holocaust. She came from very simple beginnings. Ours is the wonderful story of America, where people with simple beginnings chased dreams and are leading wonderful, blessed lives in this great country.
This week’s Torah portion is Chayei Sarah (the life of Sarah) in the book of Genesis. In it, Eliezer is sent to find Isaac a wife. G-d gives Eliezer a sign that when he asks for water, the right woman will be revealed when she not only gives him water but also gives his camels water to drink. That woman turns out to be Rebecca. We also recently learned of Abraham’s efforts to care for his guests (angels) while old and healing from his circumcision.
So this Thanksgiving, let’s make our guests feel very special. If we are the guests, let’s make our hosts aware of how grateful we are for their efforts on our behalf. Let’s remember what Thanksgiving is all about. Gratitude for the lives we have been blessed with. And let’s let that feeling of gratitude linger beyond the Thanksgiving holiday, for as long as we are able.
Light candles on Friday at 5:04pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:01pm.
I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom and a wonderful Thanksgiving.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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