A Message from our Esteemed Rabbi
Rabbi Chaim Marcus
We celebrate the holiday of Purim less than two weeks before our Annual Shul Dinner, and I recall one of the most famous and most important sections of dialogue in Megillas Esther, and arguably one of the most famous and important sections of dialogue in all of Nach. In chapter 4 of the Megillah, when Achashveirosh and Haman’s evil, genocidal plan comes to light, Mordechai and Queen Esther debate how to respond. Mordechai calls for a drastic course of action, whereas Esther argues for a more timid response, seemingly due to concerns for personal safety. In verse 14, Mordechai answers Esther’s plea for restraint with his own plea for action: “For if you persist in keeping silent at a time like this, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, while you and your father’s house will perish; and who knows whether it was just for such a time as this that you attained the royal position.” These words of Mordechai echo throughout our long, challenging history, asking individual members of our People to take a stand on behalf of the community.
At Congregation Israel’s 47th Annual Gala Dinner, our Shul unites to recognize and express gratitude to the exemplary individuals who have heeded this timeless call, tirelessly toiling to make our congregation a warm and outstanding center of religious life. Each is a person who personifies the values of arvus and achdus, responsibility and unity:
HARRY CZINN, Guest of Honor, Rabbi Israel Turner Memorial Award
CHANA and AKIVA HOROWITZ, Young Leadership Award
CLARA HARELIK, Aishet Chayil Award
LES MANDEL, Edward Konigsberg Memorial Award
ARIELLA KONIGSBERG, Joseph Tammam Memorial Youth Community Service Scholarship Award
May Hashem continue to grant our honorees and their families, and our entire Kehilla, the blessings and rewards that come from Divine and communal service.