Who among us remembers where they were on 9/11? How about 9/14, just 3 days later. I know precisely where I was on both days, and on erev Shabbat, Friday, September 14th, 2001 I was with my family, my wife Lois and my son Aaron, right here in this very Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary had seats all the way to the back of the Social Hall, exactly as they are arranged tonight. But this was not a High Holy Day service, this was a moment for our community to come together in a very dark time in our country’s history.
What did this congregation need on that day, and on the many that followed? One word…hope. And it is that word, and all that surrounds it, in this Sukkot Shalom, this canopy of peace, that sums up my feeling about PTS. We as a congregation flocked to our Rabbi’s, to our sanctuary, to come together in shock, in mourning, but most importantly, in the hope that we would not be forsaken.
We needed bigger than life leadership, our Rabbi’s. We needed community, each other. And we needed a place to call our Sukkot Shalom, PTS.
So, it is that single word, hope, that keeps my family and I so deeply connected here. As Elie Wiesel wrote, “hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God, it is a gift only we can give one another.”
Thank you and L’Shana Tovah.