Thursday, June 05, 2008

Establish the work of our hands...

No time for blogging lately b/c work is insane, AND this weekend we make our official move to our NEW SYNAGOGUE BUILDING!

I'm not quite ready to leave the old one; Erev Shabbos, our last evening service in the old building, will be hard. They've removed the menorahs and sconces from the old sanctuary walls to the new upstairs chapel/library in the new, bigger building. Ditto the stained glass windows. They couldn't move the Bauhaus painted beams - Thank G-d, they're the ugliest things in the old building - despite lots of creative thinking from the elderly members about how to transfer them.

And on Sunday, we have our Torah Procession, to escort our Sifrei Torah from the old building to the new one - about a 20 minute walk through a park and up a hill.

Cross you fingers for us that it doesn't rain!

Boy, it's hard to believe that only a few months ago, the site looked like this:


Blogger azh said...

You asked for sunny thoughts. This song makes me cry every time a Torah is put in a new home:

"I was made way back in 1842
By a humble man, a real G-d fearing Jew
Who did his work with honesty, feeling, and with pride
He was known in Kiev as Yankele the scribe
With loving care, his hands so sure and still
He formed me with some parchment, ink, and quill
Each day he'd slowly add to me just a few more lines
With words to last until the end of time

And on the day that I was finally complete
The whole town came and filled the narrow street
And they sang and danced and held me high and carried me away
To the little, wooden shul where I would stay
And then the Rabbi held me close against his chest
He spoke out loud and clear to all the rest
He said, 'No matter if you're very young, or even if you're old
Live by the words you'll find inside this scroll'

Three days a week, they read from me out-loud
It filled my soul with joy -it made me proud
They followed each and every verse with fire in their eyes
The words that told them how to live their lives
I watched the generations come and go
I saw the old men die, the children grow
But never in a century, did I miss my turn once
For the fathers -they had left me with their sons

But the hatred from the west came to Kiev
And they rounded up the Jews who had not fled
But Moishele the shammos, he was brave, and he was bold
He hid me in his cellar dark and cold
And for years and years, I waited all alone
For the people of my town to take me home
And they'd sing and dance and hold me high when they carried me away
To the little wooden shul where I would stay

But it was someone else who found my hiding place
And to America, he sent me in a crate
And the men who took me off the boat, they said I was a prize
But they were Jews I did not recognize
And in a case of glass they put me on display
Where visitors would look at me and say
'How very nice how beautiful, a stunning work of art'
But they knew not what was inside my heart
And across the room, I saw upon the shelf
Some old friends of mine who lived back in Kiev
A silver pair of candlesticks, a menorah made of brass
We'd all become mere echoes of the past

So if you hear my voice, why don't you come along
And take me to the place where I belong
And maybe even sing and dance when you carry me away
To some little wooden shul where I could stay
And as the Rabbi holds me close against his chest
He'll speak out loud and clear to all the rest
He'll say 'No matter if you're very young, or even if you're old
Live by the words you'll find inside this scroll'

Live by the words you'll find inside my soul

6/06/2008 12:27 AM  
Blogger The Bray of Fundie said...

A house is not a home and a synagogue is not a Beis Medrash. It's not about the architechture or the square and cubic footage.

Infuse the place with love and fire and you and yours will, reciprocally, be enlightened warmed and beloved.

Also take a cautionary tale from Jewish communities across the land over the last 75 years. The ones that were Shul-centirc withered and died, the ones that were Yeshiva/education-centric grew and flourished.

If you don't have one already work b'mesirus nefesh to esatblish a day school, if you do work to strengthen, enrich and expand it.

6/06/2008 9:29 AM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Thanks for the comments. azh - hadn't heard that song before. Our Torahs will definitely get lots of use. :)

Chaim - Bad Cohen says your comment made him laugh. Our community is unlikely to get a day school together. We've got excellent public schools and a pretty solid preschool/Hebrew School/Shalhevet program for our own congregants. The Hebrew School, in particular, is much improved with this move, going from a few cramped classrooms to eight or nine, I think, so we can run all age groups concurrently instead of consecutively.

It also looks like we've got b'nei mitzvah every Shabbos morning for the whole summer, which will be great.

6/06/2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger The Bray of Fundie said...

Funny how whenever I try to induce tears in my reders laughs result...and vice versa ;)

6/06/2008 11:48 AM  
Blogger The Bray of Fundie said...


I'm being deadly serious about the Shul vs. School centricity debate.

It's a matter of historical record. You can look it up.

6/06/2008 11:49 AM  
Blogger ProfK said...

As an Oregonian in exile, which shul specifically was replaced with the new building? In Portland? SW or NW or the suburbs? Wouldn't be the old Mead Street shul would it?

Just as a note, there once was a very solid day school in Portland, Torah Umesorah affiliated with the teachers coming from the Eastern Seaboard. I know because my parents and my aunt and uncle put up their homes as collateral against the school when it first opened and were the guiding force for getting it started. After our families left town, mine in 1965, my aunt in the mid 70s, things apparently started to fall apart.

Congratulations if yiddishkeit is once again starting to flourish.

6/06/2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

ProfK - Eugene, not Portland.

Bray - I believe you, but you go to shul with the Jews you got, not the Jews you would wish to have. ;)

6/06/2008 3:08 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Mazal Tov on the new building.

6/13/2008 2:14 AM  

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