Dear friends, We should be very proud of our Temple. Our holiday services were outstanding. The choir and Chazzan were the equal of anything you would hear in the New York area, and I am told that the sermons weren’t bad either. Our Sukkot services and the luncheon in the Sukkah were a delight, and those of us who were present on Simchat Torah enjoyed the Hakafot and the general merriment. We are a small Temple located in Port Richmond but when we are at our best we are truly in the big leagues. . Sometimes I hear people describe Temple Emanu-El as a family and that makes me really proud. I think, however, that like all families we could be an even stronger one. A Temple member recently remarked that everyone is very friendly when you see them but they don’t always keep you in mind when they don’t. What this means is that we should keep our eyes open. If someone who usually attends is not there do we make a phone call to find out why? If we notice someone who may have difficulty coming to services or events do we offer to take them with us? Most people will not ask us out of pride or perhaps not wanting to be a burden. It is up to us to take the initiative and offer our assistance. Even if our offer is refused it will be deeply appreciated. Many of us see each other primarily at services and Temple events. I want to suggest that we try to become closer to each other. Perhaps we may want to invite a Temple member over for dinner or a cup of coffee, and by doing this turn an acquaintance into a friend. Our age group, economic status or level of religiosity shouldn’t matter We live in a time when more and more people are alone and the social fabric that keeps society together is fraying. We therefore need each other all the more. I like to finish with a quote that was popular many years ago. Though it is often considered trite it still says a lot. “The family that prays together stays together”. Let us not only pray together let us stay together and try to be family to each other.
Rabbi Gerald Sussman