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Lessons Learned Along the Way

Well, the time has finally arrived, and we will be together very soon. Ellen and I are excited to join the Temple Shalom family. That is how we see ourselves, as one large extended family. We all come from somewhere else, and we “are” family. As a family, we support each other, we hurt for each other when we are in pain, and we rejoice with each other when we celebrate.

It is not always easy to be a family. There are often cliques which exclude others, there is sometimes gossip which hurts others, and we all make mistakes. But, at the same time, we have grown to trust each other and to support each other, and there is nothing better than that.

Here is a wonderful story for you to think about as we begin our journey together. Enjoy!

A famous family expert has said, “When you have a strong family life you receive the message that you are loved, that you are cared for, that you are important. The positive intake of love and affection and respect ... gives you inner resources to deal with life more successfully.”

Here is a family that shows us what it is like to receive the messages that you are loved and cared for and that you are important.

Once her kids were in school, one woman decided to go back to school for more education. After several years of hard work and late nights, she finally completed her Master’s Degree program.


Her husband planned a graduation party for her. He invited all of their friends to their home to congratulate his wife on her hard work.

But she turned the tables on him. She got a list of the invitees to her party and called each one. “I’d like to surprise my husband,” she told them. Then she explained what he sacrificed for her to go back to school. He supported her emotionally when she felt like quitting. Much like a single parent, he juggled his own work with picking the children up from school, caring for them in the evenings, shouldering much of the housework and preparing meals for the family. And besides, her education was expensive and the family needed to take out a student loan. “I’d like this to be a surprise party for him instead of a graduation party for me,” she told all of her guests.

So they came with cards and food, all of which he expected. But when he learned that it was all for him, he was stunned! And for her, it turned out to be the greatest graduation party ever.

He showed her by his actions and by his willingness to sacrifice that she knew she was loved, cared for, and important. And this gave her the courage to jump into a demanding program that others may never have attempted.

You are are cared are important. Where love exists there is warmth. Where everyone’s physical and emotional needs are met, there is safety and security. And where respect for one another is the norm, the mind and spirit can flourish.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

And that is why Ellen and I are joining you.

Here’s to families and synagogues and being together!

Rabbi Mel Glazer, D. Min.

Shalom and Blessings,
Rabbi Mel Glazer (call me “Rabbi Mel”)

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