june, july & august 2015
Dear friends, summertime is a good time for reflection. We are usually not quite as busy as we are during the rest of the year so we perhaps have more time to think and ask ourselves some basic questions. Why do we need a synagogue? What is its mission? What purpose does it serve? For me, the purpose of a synagogue is to preserve our ancient heritage, faith and way of life and to project the vision that it teaches the world. In our synagogue, we maintain a whole culture that consists, along with belief, of art, music and literature. The words of the Biblical poets and of later authors are among the most profound and beautiful ever written. In the synagogue, we learn about our long and proud history; of the great contributions we have made and continue to make to civilization. It is the place where we learn of our history and how it shaped and continues to shape each of us. The synagogue is a place where we feel a sense of community because it is the place where we join together with those with whom we share so much. We share a faith with all of its practices and beliefs; whether we are more observant or less; whether we are believers or doubters; we deal with the same issues and that ties us together. We are connected to each other by a shared religion and a shared history. Our family stories are shaped by the fact that we are Jews. It is because of that reality, that our forebears came to these shores. This shared history goes back almost to the dawn of time and makes us who we are. Lastly, Judaism makes a statement to the world. It teaches that the purpose of life is not merely to live comfortable self-satisfied and secure lives. It is to work for the relief of poverty and suffering. It is to demonstrate that each human being is created in G-d's image. It is to see the holiness in all creation. Each one of us may have their own answers to these questions. I invite you to ask yourself the question so that our spirits and our purpose can be renewed. Have a great Summer,
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