JAN-Feb 2019.indd

“In These Times”

Tevet / Shevat / Adar - 5779

VOL. 51 NO. 7

JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019

Aliza Goland, Executive Director Marcy Goldberg, Director of Education Donna Becker, ECC Director

Sandy Greenstein, President Alan Greenbaum, Rabbi Emeritus

Barry Diamond, Rabbi David Shukiar, Cantor

From the Rabbi’s Desk This Too Shall Pass

This past December our Torah’s returned to our sanctuary. They were not alone. They were accompanied by over 350 of our members, squeezed into our sanctuary, newly cleaned after the fires. If Torahs could talk, I think they would be pleased that we came together to celebrate, give thanks, and reflect. It is the reflection that is most on my mind. As happy as we are to have returned to our synagogue, I am often caught short of breath when I hear how many people have not returned to their homes. It reminds me that our lives are never in the same place; while one person celebrates new life, another may be experiencing loss. As one person returns home, another person remains displaced. This realization, that we are all at different places along our personal paths, is one of the insights that lead to compassion for others and is a deep expression of Jewish wisdom. As we turn the corner of the secular New Year and work to place these challenging days behind us, I hope another seed of

Jewish wisdom begins to take root. It is based upon a folktale common throughout the Middle East. In our version of the story, King Solomon asks his general about a fabled magical ring that alters the wearer’s mood, rendering one sad when one is happy and then happy when one is sad. The general sent his men to find the ring. In time, the general returned with three letters engraved on it. When Solomon ask what they stand for, the general said, “This too shall pass.” The story teaches us that, at its most fundamental, the world is temporary, as are all of our joys and our sorrows. As elated as we were then the Torahs returned, we should not be surprised or disappointed when that feeling faded. That too, passed. And when we see the many people who have suffered through the fires or whatever suffering they are going through, that too shall pass as well. The heart of wisdom is embracing the temporary nature of life and finding joy and meaning in the small moments we share.

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