by Scott Singer
We’ve never been introduced. I know you see me. I know I see you. Every year I come to Temple Beth Sholom between Shavuot and Simchat Torah, and then I disappear for the remainder of the year. It’s nothing personal, it’s just my nature. But like a Phoenix, I return from the proverbial ashes the next year. If you embrace me, I’ll probably leave a mark on you for which I’m sorry, but I can’t help it. I think I’m sweet, but I’m not liked by everyone, and that’s ok. I’m still cared for and treated with love. I would say that I blush at all the attention, but I’m already there.
Every summer I get to experience magic. Whether that magic occurs for two hours once a week, or it’s witnessed through the laughter and joy of the TBS children, I have the best seat in the house. Each week I get to hear words of love and inspiration from our Rabbi. At the same time I get to hear the music of love and inspiration from our Cantor. And yes, I hear and see it all. I giggle when I get to see the parents running around trying to wrangle their children on the grass. I smile when I hear the congregant who is talking about his favorite baseball team during the Shabbat service. I see the sharing of apple slices and honey on Rosh Hashanah by Sisterhood. I see when the children of Camp Sholom return with their Camp Director from one of their field trips with that look of fulfillment on their faces. I see the wonder and hear the happiness of the Religious School and Preschool children with their respective directors, when they enter the Sukkah for the first time. I see and smell the BBQ by the Brotherhood. I see Beth-Shalomians do yoga, shoot hoops, and play soccer and Ga-Ga. I hear the praise and I hear the objections. I see the joy and I see the pain. I see the celebration and I see the grieving. And while I know there’s nothing I can physically do to help, in all situations I’m hoping that my beauty is a distraction and comfort.
Every year I come and go, but every year I’m privileged to witness firsthand what makes Temple Beth Sholom a special community. A community of love, friendship, education and comfort. Every year I hope to spend time in the Sukkah and every year I hope to be used to make people smile and fulfill their tastes. I have a simple life, but I definitely have a fulfilling life, and I look forward every year to sharing it with the good people of Temple Beth Sholom during the High Holy Day season.
Who or what am I? That’s for you to figure out but I know you see me every time you come to TBS during the summer and fall because I see you stop, look directly at me, and smile…….