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Rabbi Stiefel's Monthly Article

Contributing as an Antidote to Loneliness

I never cease to be amazed, when we come to the end of the High Holidays, by the number of members who have volunteered their time to make services happen. At least 65 % of our households gave of their time and energies. Behind the scenes and/or in front of the community, months in advance and/or at the moment, so many pitch in. If I started to name people, I would inadvertently miss someone --- and I would not want to do that. I do want to express an enormous thank you to everyone who contributed.


Throughout the year, we are a community that rolls up its sleeves to help, and no time is that more obvious than on the High Holidays. And I think our services are even more meaningful because of that. The phrase, “skin in the game” (originally coined by Warren Buffet) comes to mind. So many of us have a personal stake and investment in Mayim Rabim.


I have been hearing lately that loneliness is an epidemic in our midst. We know that when, in 2000, political scientist Robert Putnam came out with his book, Bowling Alone, he was on to something. Putnam described the reduction of social interactions among Americans. And this was even before we became so wed to our electronic devices. How much more does our current time spawn isolation. It is easy to go through a day without any significant human contact.


For me to suggest that Mayim Rabim can cure all loneliness would be an overstatement. However, I do believe that giving of yourself to Mayim Rabim can bring meaning in to your life as well as a sense of purpose and belonging. When we share a meal together after services, we create connections. When you come to a class or a party, chances are someone will want to get to know you better.


Our Fall FUNraiser is Saturday night, November 16 at 6:30 PM.  Come be part of the cabaret or watch from the audience. Donate to the silent auction or buy a present that you will give to someone for Chanukah. Help with the refreshments. Most of all --- enjoy the gift of community!  I look forward to seeing you there.