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Kol HaChadoshot

What's news and 'nu' in the Beth David community

January 2018

From The Rabbi:

Two words speak volumes of praise - "Yasher Koach!"
Usually, the context of "Yasher Koach" is "congratulations" or "job well done". For the purposes of my comments this month, it means both and so much more.
     
The end of December, aside from its brutally cold temperatures and weekly snow falls, also brought sadness and sorrow to two families in our congregations. One was saddened by the passing of a mother who lived more than 101 years, the other was shaken by the passing of wife and mother who was taken one day shy of her fifty-eighth birthday.
     
Two funerals on one Sunday afternoon, two families sitting Shiva for the same week, two distinct needs of minyanim and chesed meals in the houses of mourning separated by miles, a mountain and town lines. Our congregation rose to the challenge, accepted the responsibilities imposed upon it by fate and destiny, and fulfilled its sacred duties to the mourners as well as to the memories of those being mourned. Fourteen times in five days, standing-room-only attendance provided much valued and appreciated support for Shacharit, Minchah and Maariv services allowing mourners to recite Kaddish in the comfort of their homes surrounded by family and friends.
     
As many people know, the mourner's prayer of Kaddish shares an etymological root with the word for holiness, "kedushah". Beth David as a congregation ascended the ladder of holiness as it fulfilled its obligations at a time of profound need. We were not praying in our chapel, but we were very much a holy congregation, a "kehillah kedoshah".
     
Two more words that also speak volumes are "Tizku l'Mitzvot", and they translate as "may you merit future opportunities to observe and fulfill additional mitzvot". Like "Yasher Koach", these words praise a person who has striven diligently to meet the challenge set for all generations by the prophet Micah (6:8), "... to act justly, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God". It is a praise appropriate for the men and women who drove through snow, endured sub-freezing temperatures, cooked and baked and delivered freshly prepared food on a daily basis, and provided company and conversation when all of these were needed.
     It was the worst of times for two families, but it was also a congregation at its best using tradition and love to mitigate pain. At one of the minyanim, I overheard two people, not Beth David members, talking softly to each other. One said to the other, "Beth David is more than a synagogue; it is a close community".


Yasher Koach.
Tizku l'Mitzvot.
Close community.

Six words that speak a library about who we are.

Wed, January 24 2018 8 Shevat 5778