Back from a Florida vacation, Rabbi Demant conducted services Friday, July 16 in full voice and with renewed vigor, His timely sermon stressed the inherent dangers of remaining silent in times of stress. Silence usually denotes assent, not always intended. Speak and act, if need be, to make your opinions known to the public.
Jerry Raymon presented and dedicated two coverlets for the bema prayer desk and Torah in honor of his parents, Ben and Dorothy Raymon, founding members of the OBJC. Ben held many offices and chaired numerous committees, as did Dorothy with the Sisterhood and women's groups.
The following morning, July 17, a baby-naming was scheduled for Sophia Hannah Gaffin, daughter of Jane and Neil Gaffin, granddaughter of Tema Ackerman, longtime congregant. July 31, we will celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Conor Sullivan, son of Yve and Tom Sullivan, in a traditional Havdullah, or late afternoon service.
Rabbi Demant affirmed our arrangements for High Holy Days cantorial services of Ilana Boim. President Ray Zukerman reported all going well with plans for the coming holidays and scheduling of regular services during the summer.
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The other day at our "Lunch Bunch" get-together, the subject of "Remembrance" came up. We agreed with Rabbi Demant, who stated that unless we remember our biblical and more recent events, tragedies such as September 11, 2001, December 7 and June 6, the needless deaths of those victims of terrorism in Israel and here and, of course, the Holocaust, we will lose forever the basis of our history and heritage.
Remembering deceased loved ones at special times in our services, takes on a strange aura of reverence and nostalgia that is difficult to ignore. Several of our holidays include prayers recalling the destruction of the two Temples in biblical times, under totalitarian regimes. Thankfully, the birth of the State of Israel has given rise to the promise of rebuilding and rededication of our historical past and helps to ensure a brighter future.
Unfortunately, much destruction is still going on in the Holy Land, with continued loss of lives on both sides. Fellow congregant Al Kuhn, paraphrased a well-known adage about "those who ignore the past may be destined to repeat it!" We sincerely hope that our future generations can look back on these times with more than just morbid curiosity and, hopefully, enjoy peace and freedom as a result of our efforts.