In a couple days (Sunday), Jews around the world will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. It is a minor holiday, packed with major significance. The unification of Jerusalem in 1967 marked a euphoric moment in Jewish history as Jews reveled in our new-found access to our holiest city. Each year, no matter where we find ourselves on the political spectrum, we can take pride in this moment of unity and Jewish pride.
We all know that Jerusalem is much more than a city; it is a symbol, one which our shul’s name proudly reflects. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is the physical root of both. Moreover, unlike some, we are a synagogue, and not a temple. The Templehas only stood in Jerusalem and has become synonymous with that city. Of course, for us in the deep South, far from our Eternal City, our shul functions much like a little jerusalem. Beth Shalom stands strong and proud, an anchor of our Jewish presence, and a reflection of our pride.
But we cannot take this for granted. As we plan for 5780 (2019-20), we need folks to step up and help fuel this special shul. Our President, Mark Posner, will be making many calls in the coming weeks asking congregants to help lead various events. In the spirit of service and sacrifice, so nobly captured in the Memorial Day we just commemorated, we ask that this same spirit guide us all in service of this synagogue. We are a small, but mighty shul, one that punches way above its weight class in terms of presence and programming. This only happens with your help. For those of you who step up again and again, my eternal gratitude. For those of you who do not, please consider saying ”yes” when Mark asks you.
The ”ask” is not a huge one. Whether it be a holiday celebration or educational event, you and a partner would work alongside me to execute it. You would be reimbursed for any expenses. You would be sustaining this synagogue spiritually. Maximum, it would only be a few extra hours of your time. Please say ”yes.”
Jerusalem thrives because Jews imbued it with spiritual vigor for all those centuries of exile. It continues because we recognize its centrality in our People’s narrative and undeniable history. Our shul, our Beth Shalom/House of Peace, serves as the thread that unites us with that Eternal City, the City that houses the Eternal People. With your help, may it always be so.
Wishing you a Shabbat of blessings, and spiritual affirmation.