Respectfully submitted by Andy Seltzer, Temple Member Since 1993 Andy read this at the Men's Club Shabbat Service on Friday, June 17, 2016
Andy Seltzer

Andy Seltzer

As we’ve been through a lot as a congregation during the past several months, I am reminded of a piece I wrote for a Men’s Club service four years ago about how vital the prefix “re” in all our holidays and occasions. If you’ll permit me, I’d like to emphasize that little prefix, ‘RE’, in my talk for dramatic effect.    Rosh Hashanah is about REpentance, REflecting, and making REsolutions. Yom Kippur concerns REconciliation between peoples and God and the REcording of deeds, during Sukkot we RElive our days in the desert, at Simchat Torah we REjoice and REturn to the beginning of Torah, Hannukah literally means REdedication of the temple, during Purim we REjoice and REenact the story, Passover is principally about REdemption, and Shavout, which we have just REcently celebrated, concerns REceiving the ten commandments. Why all this emphasis on that prefix, “re”? During these challenging times for our Temple, we must REmember that the imperative is not about REdoing something again and again. It is rather to REcall the past, but not to fixate on it, and then to push the REset button so that we have the opportunity to begin again such that all things are possible; we are not to REpeat the past but to REimagine the future. RE-examining and REflecting on the past allows us to improve ourselves which is the essence of what it is to be progressive rather than REgressive Jews. When we celebrate in our sanctuary the REturn of each annual and weekly festival, let’s hope it REinforces our identity as a congregation and RE-invigorates us to achieve even greater religious spiritual heights. "The following piece was written four years ago, in the year of celebration of our temple's sanctuary REnewal. It struck me that the idea of not being troubled so much about the past, but having the opportunity (moreover the duty and control) for a a fresh start (to reimagine the future) was appropriate . Obviously it's much harder than when things run smoothly. It's something I try to follow in my own personal philosophy (return to core principals and reboot oneself and never hold grudges) like what we're supposed to do during the High Holy Days." - Andy Seltzer   Watch the replay of the service: