Message from the Rabbi
Among the first words of ‘Torah’ that I presented almost 35 years ago to our congregation were not in fact Hebrew words. Instead, I chose to share three Latin words. They are the words that in 1897 formed the motto of the City College of New York. Here they are: Respice, Adspice, Prospice. The words mean - look behind you to the past, look before you to the present, gaze in front of you to the future.
These words of course have their Hebrew and Jewish equivalents, reminding us of our place in the flow of time.
At the time I presented those words and that D’var Torah, I meant it as a vision and a challenge to our congregation. Looking back now, I now understand that I meant it as a guide for me in leading our congregation. How could I know then that this journey would be a journey together of all these years?
In these years, I have looked to the past as the foundation of our congregation and of our Jewish path. The past, which begins with our story in the Torah, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah and blossomed into the faith of the generations.
From that foundation I looked at the present, working with all of you to continuously build a Kehilah Kedoshah, a sacred community, serving us even as the world changed right before our eyes.
Standing in the present, on the shoulders of our past, has allowed us to peak with enthusiasm into the future.
For 35 years, serving as your Rabbi has been a joy, an honor and a privilege. The Rabbis say: I learn from all my students. We have shared happy moments, sad times and all that life brings us, and we have done this together.
I am thankful for the leadership of the congregation who have joined me on this journey.
I am grateful to my family for their support, love and understanding every step of the way.
I am grateful to G-d, who has kept me alive, sustained me and brought me to this moment of fulfillment.
I hope that you will join me the weekend of May 5-7, 2023, for a retirement weekend. Together we can look to the past, celebrate our present and gaze into our future.