As I was about to take my leave from Israel, the very sad news of the passing on of our member and dear friend, Saul Aronow, reached me. It gave me the opportunity of reciting a memorial prayer for him in Jerusalem.
Saul had the distinction of being the most senior member of our congregation. But his membership was not merely a card-carrying one. For many decades, his help and know-how were crucial to the growth of the shul. He was a constant member of our Board of Directors and he was a past Treasurer. But perhaps his greatest contribution was his chairmanship of the Facilities Committee. He knew where all the wires, nuts and bolts, locks and screws were situated. In his quiet and amiable way, he sorted out all the physical problems which assailed our older building.
Modesty was the hallmark of his life. Everything he did was with a sense of love for the shul and his faith. There was always a smile of tolerance, understanding and light humor on his face. I always felt a sense of goodness when I was in his presence.Read more...
Although hard to believe, three quarters of my visit is about over. Every day seems to add new inspiration and excitement. I spent last Shabbat in Alon Shvut, where Nomi, my granddaughter, lives with her family. Alon Shvut is smaller than Efrat, but I was astonished at the huge building which is the main synagogue and its beauty.
On Friday night, we sat toward the back. Because of its huge size and noise in the lobby, it was hard to hear the cantor, so on Shabbat morning, we sat much further to the front. One of the people who received an aliya was an elderly man who had just moved to Israel. The rabbi made a special mi shebayrach for him and the whole congregation sang , “ … and the children shall return to their home.” I was assured that you can get that mi shebayrach, too!
Did you ever get TWO Aliyot on ONE Monday morning? I did and here is how it happened. Read more...
I think all will agree that last Shabbat was one which will stand out in our memories for a long time. I refer to the morning service, accompanied by the inspirational renditions of the South African choir. The evening program was a huge success with an extremely large congregation. It featured the sounding of the Shofar, Torah procession, beautiful music, and a spectacular collation.
It now becomes our responsibility, more than ever, to live up to all the declared intentions – in every detail – as our synagogue enters its second century.