Rabbi Weisblum's Remarks from Shabbos Parsha Ki Tisa March 10, 2007 Honoring the Weisblum family for their 5th year at Congregation Kneseth Israel
Shabbat shalom everyone,
My family and I are deeply touched by this beautiful tribute here today in honor of us. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude and thanks for the many different ways you, my dear congregants have reached out to my family and I. Special thanks to those who spoke so eloquently: Rebbetzen Rosenblatt, Presidents Aronson and Exler, Dr. Krimins and Mr. Michael Adelstein.
Additionally, my family in Israel, my parents, my sisters and brothers asked me to extend their blessing to you for this extraordinary Shabbos. Your devotion to my family and I is profoundly appreciated. We feel that you are our extended family.
I want to take this opportunity to share with you some inspiring moments about this community. It is inspiring when I see the Bar / Bat mitzvah children study for months in order to connect with our Jewish inheritance… when I see Kneseth Israel members rehearsing and learning the Haftarah reading… when I see the Gabboim work hard to find the right aliyah for the right person… when I see the sisterhood preparing to make the kiddushim for all of us…. or the dedicated board members giving their time and wisdom and all of those who labor for the collective good for our synagogue. We are united in good times and simchas, as well as sad occasions. That’s what’s make me proud to be a part of this great and holy congregation.
Is it Bashert that today, the 21st day of the month of Adar, is also the Yahrzeit – Memorial Day - of my dear great grandfather, ben ahchar ben, the renowned Chassidic Master Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, who was one of the luminaries in the Chassidic world. Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, author of Noam Elimelech, who lived from 1717-1787. Coincidently today, the 21st day of the month of Adar, in 1939, my late grandfather Rabbi Ya’akov Yitzchak Weisblum established his shul in Hertzel Street in Haifa, Israel. On the 21st day of the month of Adar last year, the great synagogue named Rambam, in Haifa, honored and celebrated my father, Rabbi Chaim Naftali Weisblum’s 40th anniversary as Rabbi in that large shul. And yes, today, the 21st day of the month of Adar is a Kiddush in honor of the 5th anniversary of the Weisblum family at Kneseth Israel in Annapolis. By coincidence? I don’t think so…
Fortunately, we are a strong synagogue family. We are known locally, nationally and internationally as a caring, dynamic and hospitable center of Judaism. We are a community that loves and cares for everyone from the babies to the toddlers to the teens, to the young adult, to the newly married, to the adult, the families, and the elders. In our tradition, we also remember with dignity and honor those loved ones who are no longer with us, who came before us and contributed so much to our congregation. We shall always remember and honor them.
We are fulfilling our L’dor V’dor mission, recalling the past, living the present and planning for the future. It is so appropriate what we read in this week’s Torah portion Ki Tisah today. We learn that each person is vital to our survival. We learned from that that each person is very important individually and together.
My prayer and blessing, Avinu Shebashmayim, Our heavenly father, Ribono Shel Olam, give us the strength that we need to continue to serve as a lighthouse of faith and peace in Annapolis, with dedication and enthusiasm. May we perpetuate those values and dreams which have made us a strong congregation of klal Yisrael.
May we share many Simchas together. May everyone be blessed with good health and prosperity. It is good to see you all on this beautiful Shabbos and I look forward to seeing you on many Shabbatot to come. Thank you. Good Shabbos.