Rabbi Egolf sent this letter to me by email last week. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to look at my email until after Saturday and so I did not have a chance to read it at our Shabbat service this past Friday.
Dear Temple Beth Shalom,
First, I would like to thank Temple Beth Shalom and Rabbi Ezring for a wonderful Second Seder during our April visit. I would also like to thank Stephani and Steve Carlson and Elisa and Melvin Gretta for hosting events during our visit, as well as all of you who attended and welcomed my family. It was very helpful for all of us to look forward as we are wrapping things up here. We, and especially my sons, began to imagine a next step in our family’s life and the adults and peers who they will know.
Second, I can only imagine that tonight holds special and sacred meaning for all of you. I wish we could be with you, and please know I miss not being there. Tonight must be filled with wonderful memories from the time when Temple Beth Shalom was just an idea, to this holy hour where you look at the congregation gathered in this synagogue. Pause, take yet another moment to breathe and appreciate the journey you have traveled together.
For those of you who hold all the years of TBS in your memory, thank you for your hard work, involvement, and vision. I can only wonder if you could have imagined a night like tonight in 1978. For all of you who have made Temple Beth Shalom your shul over these decades, you were and are the dream of those early founders. All of you are the blessings of their dreams.
We often say, ‘Mazel Tov’ when someone celebrates a special moment. We think it means ‘congratulations,’ and it does, yet in Hebrew the phrase means a little more. Mazel in Hebrew refers to a constellation and Tov is the Hebrew word for ‘good.’ When we say ‘Mazel Tov,’ in Hebrew, we actually wish and hope the stars are aligned for the recipient.
So, Mazel Tov to Temple Beth Shalom for the stars that aligned to bring everyone together on this Shabbat. In as much as those stars guided us to tonight, may they continue to point us to places of blessings in the future.
Mazel Tov and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jim Egolf