Honorable Mensch-ion

May We Remember

The sociologist Erich Fromm taught, “We all have an overpowering urge to leave our mark on the world and to change it.” The Torah tells us, shenei chayei Sarah, these are the years of our mother, Sarah. Sarah lived 120 years, during which every minute blended the physical and the spiritual in the service of God. The eleven lives cut short this past weekend were trying to do just that- live both a physical and a spiritual life. The Rosenthal brothers, both with the genetic condition of Fragile X, were found each week in the back of the synagogue, greeting, smiling, praying and creating sacred community. Mel Wax, 87, would park several blocks from the synagogue to leave space for those who needed it more than him. Bernice and Sylvan Simon were married in 1956 in the same sanctuary where their lives were taken.

Each one of us not only identifies with the unique stories, but we recognize those same individuals in our own sacred congregations- the ones who arrive early and stay late, the ones who are pillars of spiritual life, the ones who, without them, we cannot survive.

And yet, the message of our tradition is that we must survive and continue to thrive.

Rabbi Israel Bornstein writes that we often live as if we have eternity ahead of us. We can fill this time with mitzvot, or good deeds, or we can waste it with matters of naught or little value.

This Shabbat, synagogues will be filled with people. Jews and non-Jews, young and old, family and friends will #showupforshabbat. We will cry and we will laugh, we will mourn victims and we will celebrate B’nai Mitzvah. Wherever you live, east or west, or anywhere in between, give yourself the gift of Shabbat this week. Pray not alone, but with others. Sing the prayers of our tradition and heed the words of our Torah so that one day we will live with eternal blessing.

Oseh Shalom Bimromav, may God who grants peace until heaven, bring peace unto all of us who mourn these sacred lives.

Rose Mallinger, 97
Joyce Fienberg, 75
Irving Younger, 69
Richard Gottfried, 65
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Cecil Rosenthal, 59
David Rosenthal, 54
Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 84 and 86
Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 87

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