Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
By the time you are reading this, we will have just completed Simchat Torah and the Jewish High Holiday season. For me and my family, it truly has gone by in a blur. It is hard to believe but our attention will now turn to Thanksgiving and to Chanukah, which for those who remember Thanksgivukkah, having taken place on November 28th, 2013, returns in November once again.
Because we are still grappling with the pandemic, the holidays, for a second consecutive year, were somewhat compromised. Somehow, we made do once again. It is my hope that many of my family members and some friends will join us in our Scottsdale home for Thanksgiving this year.
For those of us full timers and for those returning for the “comfortable” months, you may want to take a ride to the Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center in Tucson. They will welcome back visitors, with advance registration, starting Oct. 6. Space is limited and COVID-19 health and safety protocols have been implemented. In addition, the Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center will hold a free virtual workshop for teachers, “Teaching the Holocaust: Spotlight on Southern Arizona Survivors” on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 4-7 p.m. The event will introduce new curricula for middle and high school with lessons built on topics and assets from the museum. It will include a virtual tour of the museum and a session with a local Holocaust survivor. The program is open to social studies and English/language arts teachers in grades 7-12. Participants will receive a certificate with their hours and three books. Register here.
This week’s Torah portion is…. Drum roll, please…. Bereshit (in the beginning). Whenever we start the Torah again, I always think of my second grade Yeshiva teacher, Mar Schechter, z”l, who required his students, me included, to memorize the opening sentences of Genesis, the first in the five books of Moses. And I carry those with me to this day. We really do owe so much to our dedicated teachers! We carry the good ones with us for a lifetime.
At the end of this most rich portion, Eve, the first woman, gives birth to three sons, Cain, who murders his brother Abel, and the third son, Seth. It is Seth’s eighth-generation descendent, Noah, who is the only righteous man in an otherwise corrupt world. I named my own son Noah, so that he too, could aspire to be a righteous man in his generation. It seems that after all, we have been through for two years of interrupted High Holidays and life in general, that we are once again, ready, willing, and hopefully most able to hit the restart button once again. This is the meaning of Simchat Torah. As we celebrate reading and studying the Torah for yet another cycle, we are eager to start learning it again with fresh eyes, ears, and an open heart… so that we can do even better this time around.
Light candles Friday evening at 5:54 pm
Shabbat ends on Saturday evening at 6:47 pm
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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