Posted on May 1, 2014
Ten years, a decade, is that a long time? When I was a child and a teenager, it was a big deal. Ten years covered such a great period of growth, change, and new experiences. I had a Bat Mitzvah, learned to drive, and went off to college. However, now that I’m in my 4th decade of life, ten years doesn’t seem quite so long. A lot happens in ten years to be sure but time seems to move quicker the older I am.
Even though ten years may not be a lot given that I hope to live well into old age, ten years is a significant amount of time. In Judaism, the number ten comes to be connected with a minyan. This is the number of Jewish adults required to publicly read the Torah, recite a full service, and say the mourner’s kaddish out loud. The number ten for Jews is the minimal number for community.
As I reflect on my ten years at Temple Beth David, I find myself marveling how I came to be part of our community. I arrived here with two toddlers. Gabriel was 3 and Shane was 1 ½. At services, Shane would race around the sanctuary, not able to sit for more than 3 minutes. My husband Paul would be sweating through his button down shirt from the exertion of preventing Shane from storming the bimah. We were new to California but it didn’t take long for us to appreciate the closeness of the ocean, mountains, and desert and gratefully, the lack of mosquitoes. At our synagogue, we found ourselves quickly making friends, arranging play dates, and sharing laughs with congregants.
As I look back over the ten years at Temple Beth David, it’s hard for me to recount all the experiences we have shared. We have learned words of Torah together in adult education classes, Torah studies, and Friday night discussions. We have experimented with novel ways to celebrate Shavuot, Selichot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, and Purim. We have celebrated the birth of children, their Bnei Mitzvah, and weddings. And we have sought strength in times of loss.
Over the past decade, I have witnessed the growth of our music program with volunteers overfilling our choir loft, the sweetness of our junior choir, and the talented musicians in our community. I see wonderful lay leaders of good hearts and minds responsibly lead our congregation. I rejoice with the success of our ECLC, i.e., our preschool. I marvel at all those who help out with programs, assist those in need, and make our Temple into a community. And I love that our community is truly intergenerational with toddlers, school age children, teenagers, young adults, couples, singles, and those wise with age.
I feel so proud of our synagogue and where we are today. I hope to continue to work towards making our community a stronger one infused with kedushah, holiness, as we continue to build for our future. In retrospect, ten years is indeed significant and I hope to continue to count our blessings as a community for many years to come.