A Word from The President
“Remember to brush your teeth. Remember to say thank you. Remember to call home. Remember your sister’s birthday.” We have all heard or said these at one time or another. Remembering keeps things alive. To tell someone to remember is a positive way of saying “don’t forget”. The dictionary describes “remember” as the following: a) when we recall to the mind by an act of memory; b) when we retain in the memory or keep in mind – remain aware of; c) when we bring something back into the mind again, or d) when we acknowledge someone or something with a tip, gift, or donation.
When I think back over this past month, there is quite a bit to recall! We have had 2 Davenology classes, 1 Drum Circle and Covered Dish; 1 Junior Congregation; 2 Teen Classes; 4 Sunday School gatherings; 4 Wednesday Hebrew Classes; 1 BOG meeting; 1 Rit-ual Committee meeting; 1 Ways and Means Committee meeting; 1 Rockin’ Shabbat; 1 Purim Revue; 2 Megillah readings; 1 Purim Carni-val and Lunch hosting TBI; 1 Havdalah gathering; 1 weekend visit from ISJL; 4 Thursday morning minyans; 4 Friday night Shabbat ser-vices; 5 Saturday morning Shabbat services; and 1 very successful Passover Candy sale. I am always amazed when I look back over our calendar to see what we have done. Thank you to everyone who continues to invest themselves in CSI’s planning and programming, as well as to everyone who shows support. Things don’t “just happen.” You all make things happen!
Even though we are just beginning the Jewish month of Nisan and the secular month of April, we can already anticipate that there is much to remember. For me personally, I shall remember the yarhzeits of my mother and father, and also of my maternal grandmother and grandfather. I will also remember Papa Arnold each Shabbat when we say Kaddish. For us, as a people, we shall recall the story of the Exodus as we celebrate Pesach. On the second night of Pesach we shall begin the 49 days until Shavuot, remembering to count the omer, recalling when the ancient Israelites thanked God for their barley harvest. At the end of the month we shall commemorate Yom HaShoah, remembering this painful period of The Holocaust, but at the same time honoring those that perished and our rich heritage and traditions that were once part of Eastern European Jewish life.
The importance of remembering is far reaching. Lesli Koppelman Ross, nationally acclaimed writer and artist, states: “Memory has brought us this far. It is memory that has allowed us to last through thousands of years of history. Our religion and our people are founded on the collective memory of revelation at Sinai. Scripture throughout commands us to remember: Remember the Sabbath Day (Exodus 20:8), observe the Sabbath as a reminder of the Creation (Exodus 20:11), and of the Exodus (Deuteronomy 5:15); remember continually, the Exodus; remember what the evil Amalek did (as there are “Amaleks” in every generation). All of these memories define us as Jews.”
We recall our own memories, in our own ways, but Judaism gives us ways to remember – there are traditions to acknowledge dates, honor people, celebrate holidays, mark days, and commemorate profound events - a framework that speaks to a wisdom that is thousands of years old.
When you sit at Seder with family and friends may you reflect on your own memories while you are creating new ones. Wishing you a memorable Pesach.