We gotta do what we gotta do!
The holidays are over. The weather is changing. The days seem shorter. But do we remember the messages we heard over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? Are we standing idly bye?
In this week’s Torah portion Vayeira, (Genesis: 18:1-22:24), Abraham argues with God to save the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. “Will you destroy the righteous with the wicked” he asks. “Will the judge of all the earth not do justice?” “If there are 50 righteous men will you spare them? 45…40..30..20..10?” When Abraham cannot find even 10 righteous men in the town, he retreats.
But Abraham had not stood idly bye. He had tried to make a difference. When Abraham admitted defeat, he “went back to his place.” He withdrew. “…his place” may mean that he simply gave up or maybe it means that he went back to his practice of defending the underdog, the needy, those in trouble. Maybe it means that, even though he lost this argument, he refused to become disillusioned but went back to the work that needed to be done.
How are we doing? Do we stand idly bye or do we reach out to make a statement about who we are and what we believe? Do we give up when the going gets tough?
I believe that Temple Emanu El is asking the questions and asking them of all of us. If we believe that a vibrant synagogue can make a difference in the lives of not only its members but in the lives of the whole Jewish community, then what are we doing to help make it so. How have we, how have you participated? How can you help?
How can you help? How about coming to Shabbat services with your whole family? Why not shop at the WOTEE Chanukah boutique or donate blood at the Brotherhood’s blood drive? How about volunteering on a committee, making spaghetti for the soup kitchen, bringing a meal to someone who is ill? How about a donation to the Friends of the Religious School, to the Chesed committee, to the Tikkun Olam committee, to any one of our Temple memorial funds in honor or in memory of someone dear?
How can you help? Make you contribution to the High Holy Day year End Drive.
In a commentary about this Torah portion, Yossi Goldman describes one particular Charlie Brown cartoon. “There is a storm raging outside and Charlie Brown is determined to go out to fly his kite. His friends tell him he must be crazy to attempt flying a kite in this weather; it’ll be destroyed by the wind in no time. But in the last frame we see Charlie, resolutely marching out the door, his kite firmly tucked under his arm, and the caption reads,’ A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.’
And so do we. We Jews gotta do what we Jews gotta do! We have to do it to preserve the future of Temple Emanu El. We have to do it because it is the right thing to do. We have to do it and not wait for someone else to “fly the kite for us.” We cannot stand idly by.
Judy Uram, President