October 16, 2020
Have you ever found yourself trying to explain to someone unfamiliar with the Jewish holidays that the holiday’s eve begins the evening before the actual holy day? The discussion feels, and even sounds, like an offshoot of the classic Abbott and Costello comedy routine, “Who’s on first?”
Well, we can thank this week’s Torah portion, Bereisheet, for the explanation as to why we count the Hebrew calendar’s days with the evening first. It is because in this week’s Genesis story Gd concludes each day’s creation with the words, “there was evening and there was morning.”
However, under closer inquiry, we in fact discover that the creation story repeats the message of light coming from the dark, of the order coming from disorder, and of a “very good” day coming after the “good” days.
This week’s story of creation establishes the foundation for a tradition of optimism and hope in our Jewish faith.
As Jews, we have had plenty of, and unfortunately all too frequent, experiences of darkness, pain, and suffering. We are able to relate to the oppressed cultures, faiths, and ideologies around the world because we have been there time and time again. We believe in taking care of the poor, hungry, homeless, and downtrodden because we too have been there and thankfully found our way out.
As a Jewish community, we have built a tradition, peoplehood, a country, and even written a national anthem on the belief of “hope” and optimism. We deeply believe that the light will come from the darkness, that the morning sunrise will follow the evening sunset, and that the very good will come from the good.
Many of the Jewish agencies and organizations of our San Antonio Jewish community have experienced, and unfortunately are still experiencing, the darkness of the effects of a pandemic, of personal economic collapse, and of a community divided by an election that is polarizing neighbors and friends on issues that should be bringing us together to have civil discourse on important issues where agreeing to disagree is a viable answer.
And, in the midst of this tohu vavohu (chaos), the Jewish Federation is deep in our Annual Campaign, trying to raise over $1M to meet the needs of our San Antonio Jewish community!
The Jewish community needs your help, and our Jewish agencies need your help! Please consider contributing to the Annual Campaign at whatever level you can. The benefits of your contribution will go to serving those in need of:
- … mental health services;
- … immediate financial assistance;
- … social services for our community elders;
- … educational resources;
- … and much, much more.
Your contribution will also go towards securing our Jewish agencies from acts of anti-Semitism, as well as educating thousands of children in schools across the Greater San Antonio area on the Holocaust.
You are the light that will push out the darkness. You are the “very good” that will help our community meet our goal on the shoulders of the “good” that we have raised to date.
It is because of your direct support and generous contributions that the Jewish Federation is