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Marty’s Shabbat Message – November 26, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

You will be receiving this Shabbat message this week, just as you are likely settling into dessert during your Thanksgiving feast. For many of us, myself included, Thanksgiving will look and feel very different this year. In my case, last year, my mother, mother-in-law, daughter, son-in-law, brother and sister-in-law, niece, son, father-in-law, close friends and my wife Lori, of course, were all together at our home in Scottsdale. It was very special and memorable. This year, my house will again host Thanksgiving however, the guest list is quite small — me, Lori and our son Noah. What a difference a year can make. And yet, I am so grateful for all we have. Our continuing good health, G-d willing, our continuing employment and good fortune. So, there continues to be so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is a great time for those who appreciate their good fortune to give back to those who are in need. In the coming week, there will be many opportunities to express our philanthropic giving, especially on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020. One way to express your philanthropy is to give to our Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.

Please consider making a gift to Federation on #GivingTuesday, on December 1, to help our community when they need it most. All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of funds go directly to those in need.

This week’s Torah portion is Vayetze (Went) in the Book of Genesis, the first of the five Books of Moses. It is a very eventful portion and one of the highlights is Jacob dreaming of a ladder that connects heaven and earth with angels climbing up and down the ladder. This reminds me of the story of the difference between hell and heaven. Hell is a place with a long dining room table. Everyone is seated with a bowl of hot soup in front of them. But the people have no elbows so they can’t feed themselves and they are starving! Heaven is the exact same scene, and the people even continue to have no elbows. The difference is, in heaven, they know to feed each other with their elbow-less arms and spoons.

That subtle difference can be applied to the way we embrace this year’s Thanksgiving during this unprecedented pandemic. Let’s be grateful and let’s remember to feed and to take care of each other. If we do that, life will truly be heaven on earth.

Light candles Friday evening at 5:03pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6pm

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy & healthy Thanksgiving!
Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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