Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
It was Geoffrey Chaucer who proclaimed, “Time and tide wait for no man.” And sure enough, just like that, Rosh Hashanah 5781 is upon us, whether we are ready for it or not. I will not bore you this week with a recap of all that went terribly wrong or even right this year. I will highlight a couple of high and low current events of this past week. That is what really has stood out for me this year. Rarely did a week go by that did not have some new wrinkle and usually of sizable proportions. Indeed, for better or for worse, we live in interesting times.
On the plus side, and this certainly is incredibly positive stuff, Bahrain and the UAE are the third and fourth Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. This includes direct commercial flights between Israel and the UAE. I make no political commentary here. I hope we all can acknowledge that these breakthroughs that are currently happening in the Middle East are breathtaking, long overdue and most welcome.
On the minus side, wildfires in California continue to burn and spread to Oregon and Washington. Ten Israeli firefighters joined teams in California to help battle fast growing wildfires that have forced mass evacuations. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been injured, those who have lost loved ones and those who have been displaced and lost property. So, during these final days of 5780, we can all use a little fun distraction!
Scottsdale Arts and Jewish Family & Children’s Service are teaming up on Sept. 22 to bring us the iconic Ed Asner in a short Zoom play called ‘Hunker Down’, about two older people trying to manage life in the pandemic. Funny, heart-warming and free. Ed will be joined on “stage” by Janet Arnold Rees, former director of the Arizona Jewish Theatre Co. Click here for more information, hope you can catch the show!
This week’s Torah portion, which is read on Rosh Hashanah, is from Genesis 21-22. G-d remembers Sarah and at the age of 90, gives her a son, Isaac. Hagar and Ishmael are banished from Abraham’s home but G-d hears the cries of Ishmael and saves his life by showing his mother a well. The Philistine King, Abimelech, makes a treaty with Abraham at Be’er Sheva. How Ironic that all these thousands of years later, the offspring of these biblical players are making peace and signing peace treaties just as we read this Parsha.
I wish all of you, your families and your loved ones, a Shana Tova U’metuka. A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Erev Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat begins at 6:12pm
Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 7:05pm
The Shofar is blown on Sunday night, signaling the end of Rosh Hashanah at 7:04pm
Shabbat Shalom and good yontif.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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