Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I hope you all have been enjoying your Sukkot holiday. For my wife Lori and me, it represented one of the first times since the pandemic struck seven months ago, that we have ventured out to have live contact with friends. It was wonderful and special that it was in a Sukkah, where we dined with two of our good friends, socially distancing and wearing masks when we entered and exited the interior of their home. As a colleague said to me today, it is hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but our new normal becomes a little more natural with every day and every week that passes.
And as I have stated in previous messages, it seems that a week doesn’t go by without some major event or happening. This week it was the acknowledgement that President Trump and the First Lady and a number of the President’s inner circle had become infected with COVID-19. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are ill and I wish the President, the First Lady and all those around them, a refuah shelema, a speedy and complete recovery.
This week marks the end of the High Holiday season for the new year, 5781 with Simchat Torah being celebrated on Sunday. This means that we have once again completed the Torah cycle of the Five Books of Moses and begin anew with Bereishit next Shabbos. What better way to enter the new cycle than participating in the 7th Annual Great AZ Challah Bake? These past seven months have brought out the love of challah baking for many of us! This year’s event will be virtual and will take place on November 4, 2020 from 6pm-7pm MST. Free ingredient pickup is available and our Jewish Federation is proud to be a community partner. For more details click here or to register click here.
This week’s Torah portion is from Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17 and Numbers 29:35-39. The name “Shemini Atzeret” refers to the Eighth day, or the extra day, that brings the seven-day Sukkot period to a state of perfection. Rabbinic tradition teaches that Shemini Atzeret is the day when the world is judged for water, or rainfall in the upcoming year. May we have all the rain we need this year, as it takes water to make our challot as well. May the rain clean away the infection we have seen these past seven months and may it give us a fresh and clean perspective moving forward.
Light candles Friday evening at 5:43pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening and candles are lit for Simchat Torah at 6:37pm
Simchat Torah ends Sunday evening at 6:36pm
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
President & Chief Executive Officer
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