As the rabbi of this wonderful synagogue community, I often hear from members who tell me of the support they have received at challenging moments in their lives and how deeply appreciative they are of our kehillah–our community. That caring takes many forms: the beautiful blankets created by our Mitzvah Knitters, the meals cooked and delivered, the encouraging cards and messages, the rides to FJC or to important doctor appointments, the hugs and kisses that are often the perfect prescription, the donations made to honor lives lost but not forgotten.
I hear many such stories and I am always pleased to hear them for they reflect the manner in which a sacred community should function. It is a different, but no less powerful, experience to be on the receiving end of such expressions.
In November, within two days of each other, two of our family members died: my beloved sister-in-law, Sharon Lieberman, whose fight with Parkinson’s Disease began when she was twenty-five and ended thirty-seven years later, and Lori’s beloved father, Charles “Chuck” Feldman, who died of an aggressive melanoma at the age of 84. Two funerals in two states, three days apart. We made it back to the Cape just before Thanksgiving exhausted and grieving.
And, from this wonderful FJC family, the messages of concern, love and support, the donations memorializing our loved ones, came pouring in. Lori, I, Ben & Anna are deeply appreciative of all of these expressions of rachmanut– heartfelt compassion.
You have been there for us at the saddest of times as well as the most joyous. What an extraordinarily wonderful evening I experienced on Saturday night, December 7, when I held my CD Release Concert! Easily 75% of the 150 people attending that evening were my friends from FJC, there to cheer me on in celebration of my fulfilling this very personal dream.
As words from the siddur–the prayer-book–remind me, “Ashreynu, mah tov chelkeynu...” “How richly we are blessed, how great our good fortune”....
From our family, heartfelt thanks for your caring and your support!
Reb Elias & Lori Lieberman