So many times have I been asked: “Why did you become a rabbi?” I chose the rabbinate out of love for our Jewish heritage, and my desire to be involved with people as they mark the milestones of their lives. I chose to become a rabbi because I believe that our Jewish value system has much to say to us about the challenges and struggles of living, and because I have always found in Judaism a way of life that adds rich meaning to my own life.
Add to all of that, my belief that the temple has such an important role to play in educating and inspiring us to embrace and proudly live our Jewish heritage. A heritage rooted in the quest for justice, loving-kindness and peace. Ours, a religion so much concerned with bringing light and hope where there is darkness and brokenness.
I was young when I came here from California. I was all of twenty-seven and younger than all of the early members of this congregation. But together we had a vision of building something worthy and enduring. And as I look at our congregation today, I guess that you would have to say that that vision has been realized, as we have become a vibrant center of Jewish life, still committed to the ideals of being a warm and welcoming temple community. Yes, way back then, I imagined a congregation where people would feel valued, not because of how much money they contribute, much as we need that support. Rather, we most value people giving of themselves toward our collective well-being and the values for which we stand as a community.
I look back upon these years with great satisfaction, and with the knowing that we have built something very special here. Yes, we have a magnificent building and majestic grounds. But most of all, we are a congregation of people of all ages and backgrounds; all of us sharing a religious heritage that calls to us to cherish life, and to be holy in our actions and in our pursuits.
I am grateful for all that I have shared with you, and I look to our future with pride and confidence. As we welcome Rabbi David Wilfond as our Senior Rabbi, I look forward to a new era in the life of this congregation. It will be good, I believe. And I look forward to sharing more of life with you as I assume a new role in the congregation.
Thank you to all who have blessed my life.
Rabbi David Greenberg