Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
This week I was blessed to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary with Lori. We spent a wonderful weekend in Flagstaff with two of our favorite couples. As we sat by the fire enjoying the silent snowfall and good conversation, I was reminded of a quote from my favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, “No man is poor who has friends,” and reflected that Lori and I are very rich indeed.
Where we meet our spouses and where we meet our life-long friends comes from opportunities to gather, to meet one another and to develop connections. Our community has a wonderful opportunity to do just that over Shabbat this month. Last year, more than one million Jews kept Shabbat together on Oct. 26 in over 1416 cities across 97 countries on six continents. I invite you to join Lori and me at this year’s Shabbat Project.
For years, women and their daughters have enjoyed The Great AZ Challah Bake, preparing challah for the next day’s worldwide Shabbat. Now men also have their own event filled with great discussion and comradery. The men’s event is Mon., Oct. 22, 6-8pm and the Great AZ Challah Bake featuring celebrity Chef Jamie Geller is on Thurs., Oct. 25, 5-8pm. For more information and to sign up for all the great events, please visit shabbatprojectaz.org.
This week’s Torah portion is Noach (Noah) in Genesis. It is particularly meaningful to me as I named my only son Noah. In doing so, I was very aware, thanks to my 2nd-grade teacher at Yeshiva Soloveichik, Mr. Schechter, z”l, that Noah was a righteous man in his generation. This is what I wished and continue to wish for my now 22-year-old son—for him to be a mensch (a good person). Shabbat, regardless of how one observes it, helps get us to menchlechkite. It is the recognition of the importance of having the peace and silence to contemplate whom we are and whom we want to be. It is critical to us as a Jewish people.
As I get older, I continue to grow my appreciation for our day of rest. So on this Erev Shabbat Noach, I wish each of you a very special Shabbat Shalom.
Chief Executive Officer
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