Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
We are now officially experiencing the 10 days of awe or the 10 days of repentance that begin with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur. I hope you all had a meaningful Rosh Hashanah. For me, in recent years, the act of Tashlich (casting off), which takes place the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, has become particularly meaningful. This year my wife Lori and I found ourselves casting off our sins in the Verde River. Once again, it was a powerful, and I hope memorable, experience.
This Shabbat falls on the 20th anniversary of September 11th, which also happens to be the same day (different year) as my daughter Danielle’s birthday. With all that has occurred so recently and continues to occur in Afghanistan, it is impossible not to recall so many lives lost tragically both during 911, as well as the servicemen who have died defending all of us from terror in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq.
While things are still not “normal” here at home, one of the silver linings is the Virtual Center for Senior Enrichment (CSE) from Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS). Each Friday morning, CSE offers Welcome Shabbat at 11am, which is a chance to slow down, relax, reflect and prepare to welcome in the Sabbath. I am looking forward to being the leader of the program on September 10th. All of the programs from the CSE are free and open to any older adult. You can find them all at: www.jfcsaz.org/events
This week’s Torah portion is Vayeilech (And He Went) in the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Five Books of Moses. In it, the Parsha recounts the last days of Moses’ earthly life. “I am 120 years old today.” He transfers leadership to Joshua.
As we head toward Yom Kippur during these “Yomim Noraim (Days of Awe),” may we all reflect on this past year and how we can do better and be the change we wish to see. Like Moses, may we learn from the experiences we have had in our lives and may we forgive each other and especially ourselves. If I have done wrong or offended any of you this past year, or ever for that matter, I truly and deeply apologize and hope you will forgive me. I will strive to do better in 5782.
Wishing each of you an easy and meaningful fast on Yom Kippur. For those who don’t fast, may you find meaning in however you choose to experience the holiday.
Light candles Friday evening at 6:23p.m
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:17pm
G’mar Chatima Tova!
President & Chief Executive Officer
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