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Through Iris's Eyes

Is it a JOY to attend services and events at Temple Shalom? Well, it should be. Think of all the friends, volunteers, ritual events, concerts, plays, dinners, fundraisers, and especially the services on Friday night. For me, temples are a JOY. I was raised that way. I was taught by my ultra orthodox Bubbe Bashka (I’ve mentioned her in a previous SHALOM) to espect the Temple and especially the Rabbi. In her mind, the Rabbi owned the place. He was in charge of the Bimah. Ah, the Bimah, a place of reverence. It was a place that women, and especially little girls, saw from a distance.

And no one dared question the Rabbi. He was the ultimate authority at the temple. Just ask my Zaide. He quoted the Rabbi almost every night at dinner. Because of his physical disabilities, Zaide prayed and studied most days with the Rabbi and the Chasidim.

He once was a plasterer, but that was back in the old country. I really don’t know what happened to my Zaide’s back, but I sure remember when he woke up, put on his black suit, ate oatmeal, and walked the few blocks to the shul. On certain days, my Bubbe would go to clean and prepare the food before the Oneg and Kiddish. I often went with her. I loved the Kiddish ladies. Talk about JOY! These ladies had it hard, but they had no idea. After much analysis through the teachings of feminism, many years later, we looked at their reality through a different lens.

But those days of being at the shul with my Bubbe gave me JOY and a foundation. That’s when I learned respect, adherence to rituals and Jewish traditions, loyalty, and to honor those who are older and in charge. Those values, morals, and ethics have stuck with me, and I couldn’t be more proud.

It’s time to feel the JOY again at Temple Shalom. I know the founders felt the JOY and were proud as peacocks when the Temple Shalom building was completed. I know they can remember back to that day over 16 years ago. I challenge you and everyone else to stop the negativity and reclaim the JOY! You’ll feel better. I promise.

See you in Shul,


Link to Presidents July 2017 Message

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