Remembering Rabbi | Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor - Boynton Beach Jewish Congregation

Remembering Rabbi

L’DOR VA-DOR MOURNS THE LOSS OF OUR DEAR BELOVED RABBI BARRY SILVER (z”l)

November 18, 1956 – March 21, 2024

To view the recording of the Celebration of Life for Rabbi Barry held on Sunday, March 24th, 2024:

Please CLICK HERE.

Please CLICK HERE to view the Memorial Booklet prepared to coincide with the Celebration of Life for Rabbi Barry Silver.

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Please CLICK HERE to read the announcement of Rabbi Barry’s passing.

Sharing a news clip from March 21, 2024 about the loss of this amazing man – CLICK HERE.

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REMEMBERING RABBI BARRY WITH LOVE – Sentiments from Friends

(1)

The world lost a wonderful person, Barry Silver. I go back many years with Barry and I sit here and recall the rabbi and the man. I remember him on a trampoline years ago teaching young teens he called the “Jew Crew” how to use it. I recall his creativity and love of music and his musical messages. I will always picture him with his bullhorn leading and speaking to crowds demonstrating for such things as clean air, water, the rights of women, and the harm of banning books. I recall sitting in a mosque with him at a time when Trump was verbally attacking Muslims and the mosque had been physically damaged. Barry brought together various groups and we learned from one another. We saw we had more in common than differences.

My last conversation with him he defined his role. You see I was always a believer in the separation of church and state while he defined his role as one to talk about human values and the need to protect the planet while advocating for the rights of all living things.

So we say goodbye to a kind of farmer. Not one that grew fruits and vegetables but one who planted the seeds of appropriate values in man. He fostered the germination of ideals that will grow after a period of dormancy. His legacy will lead many people in the future in helping our world to become a better place.

Barry, you did a good job as a writer, a speaker and a role model. In our hearts and minds you will forever live.

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(2)

Remembering…and Honoring, Barry!

Like everyone else who knew and loved him, as well as the world, I just lost a dear, dear friend, someone who I never met personally, but who my wife and I met online at the beginning of the pandemic. Barry was closer to me in practically all ways than anyone else I know. From the moment we met, Barry and I were connected on levels beyond what I could have imagined. Barry was someone I could always talk to openly and honestly, and we had such deep, meaningful conversations about life that I couldn’t speak the same way about with anyone else I know. And, remarkably enough, we agreed on almost everything! Truly amazing!

Barry taught me so much, both through our conversations, as well as his weekly insightful sharings on Shabbat and holidays. He was always providing mental stimulation, teaching and inspiring everyone relating to the most important aspects of Judaism and life. And, what a wonderful sense of humor he had. He was hilarious!

Our only real difference was on how we viewed the God/Energy Force! We both believed in an amazing, incredible, creative energy, but I believe this Force has intelligence! This led to some definitely challenging discussions, but it didn’t affect our friendship.

Barry lived the Shema, loving the all that Is with the best of who he was. He was always involved with so many great causes, and I was so proud of him for all he did.

I especially felt honored that with all he had going on, that he would regularly take the time for me. Meant so very much! And we both shared such a great love for Israel and our Judaism.

His energy has now transitioned into the Cosmic Judaism that he loved, but from my perspective, I genuinely hope that the “GodForce” will recognize how special Barry, Baruch Moshe Ben Shlomo, was, and will bless him with all the best on his journey for all the good he did for so many!

His memory will definitely be for a blessing! Goodbye dear friend…for now!

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(3)

Longtime reproductive rights and interfaith activist Rabbi Barry Silver has died.

An attorney, and Rabbi to Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor in Boynton Beach, for many years Barry combined his skills in the service of human rights, particularly reproductive rights.  He was friends with leaders of other faiths with whom he worked for peace, and for an end to gun violence. In 2022, Barry and the Congregation sued the State of Florida for its restrictive abortion laws on the grounds of freedom of religion. The National Council of Jewish Women now includes this discussion as an advocacy resource. Barry was known for his sense of humor and for randomly breaking into song on any occasion. He appeared in the Sundance nominated film “Under G-d.”

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(4)

What a loss, a hero, and our humanitarian North Star.

What fun he had with words and song.

I feel so blessed to have known him this short time.

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(5)  An original poem, by Jacqueline Alperin

Rabbi Barry Silver always fought the good fight;
He stood up against injustice to make the wrong right.

He saved and protected the Ag Reserve with great success;
The environment and human rights are two key areas he did address.

He fought for peace, the county, state, and a better planet;
He had plans for implementing them, much better than those who ran it.

When Florida passed the 15 week abortion ban, he sued DeSantis and the state;
He rallied against misogyny, cruelty of any kind, religious persecution,  and hate.

Barry Silver was Inspirational, Educational, Confrontational, and Truly SENSATIONAL!
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(6) Celebration of Life for Rabbi Barry Silver

As a young Lutheran Pastor with German roots, I slowly began to realize there was a huge wall between Christians and Jews.

I knew a wall was destructive to the human family, so I decided to take it down.  It resulted in three heresy trials.

After coming to Florida, I met Rabbi Silver at an interfaith conference.  He was also about taking down religious walls.  We had an immediate common goal.

Rabbi Silver had a dream of a Temple of Understanding where all religions would unite all people together as one family and would bind us together with the highest ideals of our faith.

In memory of Rabbi Barry Silver, I will continue his dream  of tearing down the wall between Christians and Jews.  Rabbi Silver was not only about equal civil rights but equal spiritual rights in this world and the next.

I would like to share a reading that I am confident Rabbi Silver would agree with.  It is by Martin Buber, a famous Jewish philosopher:

“I do not accept any absolute formulas for living.  No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man’s life.  As we live, we grow and our beliefs change.  They must change.  So I think we should live with this constant discovery.  We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living.  We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.

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(7) Poem – Anonymous

We are all molded and remolded by those who have loved us and though that love may pass we remain, nonetheless, their work.

No love, no friendship can ever cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark upon it forever.

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(8) Barry Well Spoken, by Daniel C. Silver, brother

As a bouncing, bounding, boy, big brother Barry was lots of pun
Our interests intertwined; no quarrels or quibbles
After trying tricks on the tramp in the hot sun
We’d frequent friendly’s for refreshing fribbles

A fork in the road on his life’s journey
Presaged a pair of alternative courts
He wisely elected to become an attorney
And forwent tennis as a professional sport

As a vegetarian, he harms no living creatures
And protects those species endangered to perish
Barry’s never been one to sit on the bleachers
Spreading his message that all life be cherished

Stepping up to the plate for those in need
Leveling the field is Barry’s assignment
He takes a swing at corruption and greed
While going to bat for the environment

This songsmith’s been known to wax parodic
Shrewdly lampooning a son of a bush
The ballads are hilarious as well as melodic
While still delivering a kick in the tush

Barry’s command of the language is quite superb
He’s never been one whose prone to babble
His letter juggling is out of this word
Making him tough to lick at boggle or scrabble

Barry utilizes both sides of his brain
Espousing logic, while being creative
An ear for accents helps to explain
How he can speak any language just like a native

He has bestowed upon Ari and Brandon
A father tongue at their control
For English parlance Barry abandoned
Hablando solamente en espanol

Barry is certainly no Fred Astaire
Sidesteppin’ the nite club dance scene
He’d rather be outside in the fresh air
Harmonizing with Brandon, Ari, and Francine

Employing hand-glide coordination and a soft fling
He can razzle dazzle with a frisbee
This knack has taken root in his offspring
For Barry doesn’t stray far from his kid’s tree

Barry’s sermon offers ripe food for talking
As he dices the Hebrew into bite sized pieces
A sprinkle of Sagan; a dash of Hawking
Stirred to action, chewish mitzvot increases

To developers who proclaim god in their heart
Then carve up the land like its a pizza
Barry asks if a lover of art
Would paint a mustache on the Mona Lisa

Barry has kept our father’s vision alive
Transporting Judaism L’Dor Va-Dor
With the new digs, we’ve Shuly arrived
Ensuring Sam’s club prospers forever more

So let’s wish Barry a happy birthday
like that bunny, he just keeps on ticking
one last thing I’d like to say
I’m glad you’re still here, astrive and shticking

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(9) To a Rabbi and Friend, by Arny Pikholtz

Three cheers for the brave…

Who stand out front and cheer…

…and fight… and never give up…

Who stand tall with fearless resolve!

 

Hosannas for the son of a Rabbi

…and I am a son of a Rabbi…

And other sons of Rabbi’s…

Savvy, testy… and adventurous.

 

Applaud for ideas, cosmic and challenging…

Sounds…and words… and intentions…

Universal…crossing lines…

Religious… ethical…legal.

 

Shout and sing praises for love…

Raise your hands and pray for truth…

Praise Spinoza, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel…

Martin Luther King… Gandhi…his heroes.

 

Eulogize the loss of a prince of truth…

Acclaim the heritage he preached…

Love the words that flowed effortlessly…

Remember the songs of faith and joy.

 

He was a man of faith… faith in his people…

In the vision of truth over superstition…

Science over delusion…righteous  law over anarchy

Peace over war… Justice over injustice…

 

He was a man of equality…building a temple of unity…

Where every word of truth is worship…

Where good deeds are the basis of action…

Where all holy script is honored equally and openly.

 

Here lies a man devoted to nature… and its preservation.

Singing  the praises of nature’s bounty… our sons and daughters…

All the creatures working in harmony… fulfilling their function…

Giving warnings to man’s ugliest and selfish impulses….

 

Does it end here… with the passing of a man who made a difference…

Where does inspiration start and end… does it just  stop or can it linger?

His words may reappear as do the words of his heroes…

Ghandi…It’s easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone.”

 

Barry was unique… a man of strength and conviction.

A man who sought the truth in the ancient ways …

A man who would not deny the truth in science.

A man we will miss and  a man who is worthy of our tears and our memories.

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