Dear Friends,  

Many years ago I read a book entitled “Life is With People.” The book described Jewish life in Eastern Europe, and focused upon how life was made rich and meaningful as people shared life.  Often living in small communities, they celebrated together, they mourned together, they laughed and they cried together.

Life has changed much throughout the generations. Families are often separated by thousands of miles, and many of us do not know our neighbors.  Yes, we can speak with and see our dear ones on our iPhones, iPads and computers, but it is far removed from the experience of being with each other. 

And that is one of the primary goals of our congregation: to be a setting of community. To be a setting wherein we share life together, with its joys and its ordeals.  To be a place where we are known and valued for our common humanity, and a place where our children feel welcome and affirmed because they are unique and precious beings. 

I consider how much of life I have shared with so many people of this congregation.  In truth, I do not know the number of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmations, Weddings and Baby Namings.  Nor can I tell you how many times I have stood at the cemetery with the people of our congregation as we remembered and said goodbye to loved ones.  But sure, after all of these years of sharing life with the people of our congregation, I know only too well that real and rich “life is with people.”

So do I hope that you will share with me and my family in one of those profound occasions of life.  At our service this evening, we will be blessing and giving a Hebrew name to my recently-born granddaughter, Harper Rae Schwartz.  She is being named in memory of my mother and her paternal great-grandmother.  Yes, such an occasion is all the more joyous and inspiring when shared with other people, and so I hope you will be with us for this event and our special “Friday Night Live” service.  I promise that you will enjoy it.

I love the quote:  “No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child.  (The challenge of life) should be to unlock that treasure.”  

                 Shabbat Shalom    


              Rabbi David Greenberg