Mazal tov! This weekend Congregation Emeth celebrates our 40th Anniversary. Our founder, Ellen Fuchs, tells us that when the congregation was formed, she used to go through the telephone books looking for Jewish sounding names to invite to join the temple. Our founding members struggled to grow on the one hand, and became a kehillah, a unified community, on the other.
There are few opportunities as satisfying as looking at the road traveled and feeling proud of the place where we arrived.
Reflecting on the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, whose philosophies and writings I’ve been sharing with you for the past few months, I am reminded of this saying of his: “Above all, remember that you must build your life as if it were a work of art.”
Our founders and long time members, our past presidents and leaders, designed the artistic rendering of our congregation. Our current members, including those who came before and are still involved (may God bless them!), continue to add their touches to the work of art. Each of us has his or her own special spark of color to add – we each bring unique talents and interests to the drawing board. It is a painting without completion, we pray. It is a work of art that expands and encompasses all of us and has no frames to limit it.
I am looking forward to celebrating this weekend with each of you, members young and old and in between. Siman tov and mazel tov – “It is a good and lucky sign for us” – and may our beautiful temple go from strength to strength, from one generation to another.
May you have a week of blessings and a Shabbat of celebration!
Rabbi Debbie Israel