Blog

233http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2015/06/RabbiLyonsBlog-06_05_2015
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 06_05_2015
06/04/2015 12:00 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
June 5, 2015

 

When two-hundred people arrive for dinner you better have enough food, place-settings, tables and chairs to accommodate them. That’s why Congregation Beth Israel was ready with everything, especially many volunteer hands and warm hearts. On Wednesday evening, June 3, 2015, a team of Beth Israel volunteers and staff welcomed flood-tired homeowners and apartment dwellers from across the neighborhood to come in for a terrific spaghetti dinner, tossed salad, Crave cupcakes, and sno-cones, plus take-home packages for tomorrow’s dinner, mosquito repellant, and extra cupcakes.

                With big hugs and smiles, we welcomed people we knew and also new friends into Wolff-Toomim Hall. As I welcomed families and individuals, young and old, I asked them how they were getting along. Their stories were told in inches; how high the water rose and how far they had to cut the drywall. No one was spared the frustration that came after the waters receded. Some people were living upstairs in their homes and others were in apartments or relatives’ homes. For all of them, it would be some time before they would come home to the familiar routine they once knew before the rains fell and the flood waters rose. Remarkably, all of them also said they found a silver lining: the waters could have risen higher, others had it worse than me, and “this too shall pass”, which was worn by many who slipped on the now familiar orange bracelet, a gift from us to them.

                As I approached a few tables, it was obvious that the diners were tired, really worn out. We talked a bit. When I saw that their cups were low on drink, I offered to fill them. They didn’t refuse my offer. It was such a pleasure to walk across the room to fill up their cups with lemonade and iced-tea. They came to sit and eat dinner in a caring community, and sometimes care comes in the form of small gestures. I don’t know how to fix a wall or tear out carpeting, though I could learn if I had to. But, I know a lot about reading people’s needs and aiming to fill them, even when it’s just a cup of lemonade.

                Near the end of the evening, I said to one of my colleagues that it was a real mitzvah to open our doors to the neighborhood. Almost all the food was gone with just enough to have lunch tomorrow for the staff who helped us serve. No reward was sought and no reward would have been welcomed. That’s a real mitzvah, when we do for others with no request for anything in return. We’d do it again if we had to, but I hope and pray that Houston will be spared this hurricane season. In the event that storms come again, please prepare your homes, listen to warning alerts, and don’t take chances.

                I’m very grateful to the team of volunteers and Temple staff who arrived in droves to help and serve. There’s nothing we can’t do, together. While our own spiritual home is still in need of repair in the sanctuary, there’s nothing wrong with our spiritual hearts and souls. Judaism is about much more than prayer; it’s about deeds. God revels in deeds we do for each other; and, though floods are a curse to us, they are overcome when we reach deeply within us to find that the blessing of the human spirit burns brightly and cannot be extinguished, even by rising waters. Evidence of it was seen tonight at Beth Israel, and more can be found at ERJCC, Houston Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Service.

                Let’s press on and encourage each other to do what we must. A Yiddish proverb teaches, “If you can’t go over the obstacle, then go around.” You understand. The obstacle remains but how we address it can change. Let’s join hands and strengthen each other to overcome what we can and go around all the rest.


You may contact Rabbi David Lyon here.


Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201806June2
June 2018 (2)
201805May3
May 2018 (3)
201804April4
April 2018 (4)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©