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23http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2010/11/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---11_19_2010
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 11_19_2010
11/19/2010 09:57 AM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
November 19, 2010

                I was in New York City this past week. Not for long and only for meetings. But, the weather was mild and I had some time between commitments to walk around, look in stores and eat some New York fare. Like many of you, I love being in Manhattan for a few days. Its energy and constant motion resonate with my tendency to work too hard.

                In the morning, I took a taxi to 4th and Broadway, to HUC-JIR, our Reform seminary. I bumped into a colleague who had just finished teaching his morning class. We took the subway together uptown and caught up on Jewish news and updates on each other’s families. He departed at Union Station with instructions for me to ride on for two more stops to 59th. Those were his instructions to me so that I wouldn’t get lost on my way to my destination. I made it for lunch with a past president of Beth Israel, where we talked about the congregation and caught up on family news.

                Before meetings later in the day, I found my way to Rockefeller Center. There it was, the big tree still surrounded by scaffolding before its debut for Christmas. I sat on the bench across the street and watched the people streaming by and the limos pulling up to 30 Rock. Down the street and around a corner, I saw a brightly colored art store. I went in and found the most intriguing pieces of modern art. It turned out that all of it was done by a few Israeli artists. There was even a fanciful menorah that I thought I might buy for the Temple. It wasn’t too expensive, but it wasn’t necessary. I’m good at talking myself out of purchases like that. The day ended with productive meetings and a few small purchases for the family. On my way back to the hotel, I passed a busy street vendor. Feeling quite New Yorkish, my dinner was an inexpensive gyro. Next time, I’d gladly pay more for something from a menu at a table.

                When I arrived at the airport at the end of the next day, I was delighted and surprised to find no line at security, at 4:00 p.m. at LaGuardia. I thought I won the lottery. But, it wasn’t to last. Only 30 minutes before the plane was due to board, the airport’s fire alarm sounded, lights flashed, and recorded announcements were made. And, wouldn’t you know it, the crowd full of New Yorkers and stubborn passengers didn’t budge. Nobody moved from their seats. What does it take to raise the alarm and move people to safety? Well, they knew more than I did. In a matter of moments, the alarm was silenced and everybody returned to their routines talking on cell phones, listening to iPods, and lining up early to be called to board.

                I arrived home on time. New York is one of the best places on earth, but there is truly no place like home in Houston. We’re entering the best time of year for us and the holidays mark its beginning. Next week, as Thanksgiving comes for all Americans, be sure to pause with your family and friends to say thank you to everybody with you at the table and those whose memories your cherish dearly; tell the stories that everybody loves to hear, and thank God for the goodness that still fills your hearts and your homes when you can be together. Please don’t forget our servicemen overseas who serve our country; pray for their safety and the end to war that keeps them far from home. Pfc. Jacob Reiner, son of Esther and Ray, is serving in Afghanistan and he’s in my prayers this Thanksgiving. Keep him in yours, too.

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom and happy holidays next week.

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