Echoes of Elul, Day 5: It’s In Our Hands

By Bill Vaughter

I’m standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before me. I find this phrase to be an inspiration as well as a responsibility.

Our friend’s father died just hours before our oldest son, Jordan, was born. His son, Fred, always felt a special bond with Jordan. He saw Jordan as a connection to his father and the next generation of the Jewish people. Fred, in turn became a role model to Jordan. Fred’s motto was: “Do the right thing. “
One year later, after Fred passed away, we sat with his widow at High Holy Day services. When it came time for the mourners Kaddish, Cameron our younger son, got up, sat next to her, and wrapped her in his Tallit with him. Fred would have been proud.

Our nephew, Zach got engaged on the July 4th this year. The day was even more meaningful to us as we helped plan and prepare for the big day. We all wanted to make the day special for the couple. Sadly, Marla’s Uncle Richie died earlier that day. Family was everything to Uncle Richie. His children did not live nearby so his nieces and nephews were children by proxy. His eyes would always light up when we were together. Family life cycle events were joyous occasions for him. Uncle Richie would have been proud and delighted that our family was adding to its future.

Marla and I welcomed our first grandchild, Jackson, last August. Cameron and Carly are both very committed to raising their son in a Jewish home. In fact, they sing the Shema to Jackson each night before he goes to sleep. Their son will continue the legacy of the Jewish people.

The Vaughter family has been the recipient of the wisdom of two very special men. We stand on the shoulders of Fred and Uncle Richie. The members of Temple Beth Sholom are the beneficiaries of the love and devotion of past and present temple members. We find ourselves at a temple crossroad with an opportunity to pay it forward. As Rabbi Lipper said at services, the future of the temple is in our hands. “Let’s do the right thing” and work together to rebuild and strengthen our temple family.

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