Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
What a week this has been. After 20 years in Afghanistan, the last American troops left and came home. As we all know, the exit was both chaotic and deadly and much diplomacy will be needed to get the remaining Americans, Nationals, and Afghans who are in immediate danger under the Taliban rule, out of the country. Here in the States, we are also deeply concerned about the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Since Sunday, hurricane Ida, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States, has plunged large parts of Louisiana and Mississippi into darkness and destroyed many homes and businesses. On Monday, as Ida continued its destructive path as a tropical storm, communities began assessing the damage.
The conditions on the ground have made it difficult to see the full scope of the damage, but early indications make it clear that the Jewish communities and others will have significant needs. Hundreds are still stranded, evacuation orders in New Orleans remain in place, and towns along the Gulf Coast remain flooded. Jewish Federations are uniquely positioned to help at times of need such as these.
To bolster their efforts, the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix is collecting funds that will flow to the affected communities via the Jewish Federations of North America.
This week’s Torah portion is Nitzavim (Standing) in the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book in the five books of Moses. In it, G-d explains to the Israelites “Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life.” As we are set to celebrate Rosh Hashanah in a few short days, and we reassess who we are and where we are, both literally and metaphorically, may we take the opportunity to help our brothers and sisters who are in need, in Louisiana, in Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. We choose life!
Light candles Friday evening at 6:32pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:26pm
Wishing each of you and your families a Shana Tova U’metuka, a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year!
President & Chief Executive Officer
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