For the record, I am not a member of Barry’s congregation nor have I ever been a member of any congregation In spite of that fact, I have attended a handful of services in his L’Dor V-Dor and I have been delighted and moved by the brilliant and humane way that Rabbi Barry conducts his services. I would call them more celebrations than services. I feel welcome and included as the Rabbi makes his religion accessible, understandable, and downright hip.
January 6, 2017
Dear Rabbi Barry
I was in the audience on Wednesday evening when the Lakota Sioux group was here. Something in particular that you said during the course of the evening touched me. You were speaking about people who leave the temple because of some reason and then try to recapture whatever they feel they lost by becoming “spiritual”.
I am one of those people. I was a nice Jewish boy when I was 10 years old. My parents enrolled me in Hebrew School in Brooklyn in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah. I yearned for the opportunity to a) learn Hebrew and b) become a better Jew. My first hope was dashed quickly when I realized that he Hebrew school did not teach Hebrew. Oh yes, I learned to speak the language and read and write the language but about what I was speaking, I had no idea what most of the words meant. Expressing my disappointment to my teachers was met by a stern rebuke. (Shut up and sit down). Not to mention a slap across the face on another occasion.
After my bar mitzvah I basically gave up on being a good Jew but my thirst for the “truth’ continued. I read all of western philosophy, eastern philosophy, and whatever books I could find in my quest. In 1975 I discovered transcendental meditation and I have been practicing that technique and absorbing the philosophy ever since. Yes, I still felt Jewish but I did not attend synagogue in New York.
Then I came to Florida as a “snow bird” and met you. I came to your Temple on the recommendation of a friend and since then I have rarely missed a Friday evening service. Every week your sermons inspire me to be a better person and a better Jew. I am learning to blend my spirituality gained from my meditation practice with Judaism. And I feel good inside.
Thank-you so much for who you are as a person, as a teacher, as a great role model.
Dear Rabbi Silver,
I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the evening at Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor on December 28, 2016 when you hosted Eagle Man of the Oglala Lakota. It was so interesting to hear his stories of our indigenous Native Americans and how much we as a Jewish People share with them.
This information needs to be shared with everyone and I hope that it will be made more available in the near future.
Thank you so much for making this event happen.
(Guest at the event)