Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Welcome to the Days of Awe, the 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This time in the Jewish calendar is an invitation to embrace curiosity and renew our purpose and vision. This Friday is also Shabbat Shuva the Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Like every Friday, this Shabbat calls for reflection and togetherness — but as Shabbat Shuvah approaches this week, I invite you to join me in reflecting on where you have come from this past year and where you would like to go in the new year, 5781, which has just begun. Have you set some goals and expectations for yourself in the coming year? Doing so provides some clarity and enables us to feel a sense of satisfaction in hitting the benchmarks that we set for ourselves.
On Rosh Hashanah, we were devastated to learn about the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an outstanding daughter of the Jewish people, who made an enduring contribution to human civilization. She was an example of talent and achievement, a source of inspiration not just for Jews but for people of all faiths and ethnicities across America. She will be sorely missed. Among Justice Ginsburg’s many legacies she leaves was her lifelong commitment to equal rights and her vigilance to ensure that the rights of all are upheld as core principles of the United States Constitution. May her memory be for a blessing.
This week’s Torah portion is Ha’azinu (Listen In) as we head toward the end of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book in the five Books of Moses. The Parsha concludes with G-d instructing Moses to climb to the summit of Mount Nebo, from which he will see the Promised Land but will not go there. Interestingly, I was once at the foot of Mount Nebo, while visiting Jordan, and had intended to climb to where Moses had passed. But duty called, as I was staffing a mission, and I did not get to go there. I guess the moral is that we get to experience many things in our lives and many things we simply never get to experience but so badly would have liked to. In the Notorious RBG’s case, she accomplished so much in her lifetime. And yet I have no doubt, she so badly would have wanted to hold onto life and her position on the Supreme Court just a little longer. May each of you experience many wonderful, meaningful and happy things in 5781.
I wish each of you and your loved ones a G’mar Chatima Tova. May you all be inscribed for a good year. For those who fast, may it go smoothly and be meaningful.
Light candles Friday evening at 6:02pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:55pm
Yom Kippur begins Sunday evening at 5:59pm
Shabbat Shalom and Good Yontif.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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