A Rabbi Needs A Community – Thank You For Being Mine!

thankful

Sunday is the big day! I am so touched and overwhelmed at how many of you will be celebrating with us. It is going to be an incredible afternoon/early evening.

Recently, I have used my weekly message to highlight people and moments that have defined my 13 years at Ramat Shalom. The fact is, I would not be the Rabbi I am today without every single one of you. The trust that you put in me to be your spiritual leader, your children who I am lucky enough to call my students, the insight and wisdom you share with me and your financial support of Ramat Shalom make it possible for me to be your Rabbi. I am so blessed to be a part of your families, to celebrate the highs, to help you through the lows and to learn with and from you. I am so grateful to the children, teens and young adults who inspire me on a regular basis. Just this past Saturday night, one of our college students who has been part of my life for 13 years, spent time with me on Facebook “chatting” about the current situation in Israel. Moments like this mean the world to me.

As a Rabbi, I tend to focus on the spiritual life of our community. However, I am well aware that without a strong financial foundation, it would be impossible for spiritual life at Ramat Shalom to thrive. Each of you has played a role in financially supporting our congregation and it has made a tremendous difference. Some of you have gone above and beyond. Our new sound system and other capital improvements, the Center for Jewish Life, our Chai Tech Online Learning Program and our Endowment Campaign would not be possible without the incredible support of some very special people whose generosity overwhelms me. Thank you all.

When I worked at my first congregation, Bet Am Shalom in Westchester, New York, the Cantor, Benjie Ellen Schiller, wrote a beautiful Mishebeirach/Blessing for the Community. As I have prepared for our celebration this Sunday, Benjie’s Mishebeirach has been playing in my head. It captures my feelings for all of you – for us – this holy congregation:

May the One who blessed our fathers,
May the One who blessed our mothers,
Bless us too, bless us too
This holy congregation.

Mishebeirach avoteinu
Mishebeirach imoteinu
Hu y’vareich, hu y’vareich et kol hakahal hakadosh hazeh.

The families gathered here today
Who make us what we are,
Those who give funds for heat and light,
Those who give help to the stranger and poor,
Your sons and your daughters,
Your families yet to be,
May you know the blessing of peace.

Mishebeirach avoteinu
Mishebeirach imoteinu
Hu y’vareich, hu y’vareich et kol hakahal hakadosh hazeh.

Forgive us and favor us O God.
Remember what we are.
Prosper our worthy endeavors.
Shower us all with good health and life.
Let us say Amen.

Mishebeirach avoteinu
Mishebeirach imoteinu
Hu y’vareich, hu y’vareich et kol hakahal hakadosh hazeh.

Thank you all for the love and support you continue to show me, Cheryl, Abigail and Jonah. Thank you for supporting our community. And thank you for the gift of being your Rabbi!

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