| Clergy Corner

CLERGY CORNER: A double portion

Posted on 21 May 2015 by L.Moore

In The Torah, we learn the laws of Shmittah, where we are commanded to let the land rest from all the hard work it has done in providing for us.

So we are told we should not plant, we should not harvest, nor should we prune during the sabbatical year.

Many of you might remember the story from earlier in the Torah where the Manna falls from the heavens and The Children of Israel are told to gather enough manna each day for that day only. But when Friday came along, they were told to gather a double portion. That extra portion was to be kept aside for the Sabbath and Israel was told that that portion would not rot … it would stay fresh and delicious.

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I had to depend on food magically falling from the sky, I would wonder — what if no food comes tomorrow? I had better consider gathering extra so that I will have in case nothing is delivered on the morrow. But somehow, the brunt of the people had the faith in G-d. Those who didn’t wound up finding that the extra food they had gathered had rotted away quickly.

In the Shmittah year, I know that I would be prone to ask the same question that we find in The Torah itself, “Should you ask, ‘What are we to eat in the 7th year, if we can’t sow or gather our crops.’”

And G-d responds, “I will put my blessing for you in the 6th year, so that it will produce enough for three years.” (Lev. 25:20-21)

How similar to the story of the Manna.

It even brings to mind the story of Joseph in Egypt when he knows there is a famine coming and advises Pharaoh to store enough grain and wheat so there is plenty of food during that time of need. In simple terms, he plans in advance.

I will soon be 61 years of age. I know to many of you that sounds like I am a young whippersnapper, but it just so happens that I am in the midst of planning for my future retirement. Fortunately, I have been putting aside an extra portion for years, building toward those Goldenah Yoren (Golden Years).

Many of you are already retired. Some of you are planning for that time … not just for a Sabbatical Year, but for years of retirement.

May we all be wise enough to gather those extra portions, to invest them wisely, to have enough to cover not just our basic needs, but enough to share special times with those we love whether it be in going to the theatre, to dine, to travel, to dance, or whatever trips your fancy.

That is my prayer for each of you today: may you have enough for all your needs, and don’t forget to gather an extra portion so that you can enjoy the rest of your years doing things you love to do, and may you have someone beside you who you love to share those joys with … and, while you are at it, why not save a little extra for those who were not as wise in gathering enough for themselves and their families.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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CLERGY CORNER: Pastor Tony Guadagnino to stand down, for now

Posted on 14 May 2015 by L.Moore

I will not be able to continue to write articles for the Observer any longer — between the Sheriff’s office and my church, I just don’t have the time anymore.

I will miss writing the articles. Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of the Observer Family the last few years. I enjoyed it all.

I appreciate all you do for me. You are always a great help.

-Pastor Tony Guadagnino

Christian Love Fellowship Church

Equipping God’s People”

Pastor Tony, you have become an MVP with our newspaper. Because of you, we have ObserverTV.

-Jim Lusk, Observer Vice President

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CLERGY CORNER: Here comes the shun

Posted on 07 May 2015 by L.Moore

When I was a young lad, one of the members of my father’s congregation, owned a poultry plant and I used to dread going there. Now, you might think it was because of the chickens being slaughtered or the odor in the place … or, perhaps, because the place was so cold you felt like you were living in Syracuse in the midst of a frosty winter’s day.

But none of this had anything to do with my dread. So, what made me dislike going there so much? Let me tell you, and I am ashamed to admit it. There was an employee there who had a very disfigured face. Back then, I had enough trouble being in the same room with someone who wore a brace on their legs or who had an amputation, so you can imagine how terrified I was of looking at this particular person’s misshapen and discolored features.

How on earth did I go from having trouble with that to working in health centers where, over the years, I have come across just about every one of those things, plus many more? That’s a good question. And I think it had to do with a recent Parsha we read in the Synagogue about a skin condition that many English Translations refer to as Leprosy (Not the leprosy we think of today.)

My parent’s got me to see that I was treating this person as a leper. I refused not only to have contact with him, but I refused to even look at him. Thank G-d my parents taught me, and believe me, it was no easy lesson to learn that, while I kept calling him that poor person, he was not so poor after all. He was very content with his life and grateful for what he had, which included a good job, a loving wife and children, etc. (I guess he wouldn’t fare too well on the computer dating sites many use today; in fact, he would be shunned).

And then, there are those of you who have experienced taking a fall. The reason I bring up a fall has to do with the cuts, gashes, breaks, black and blue marks and shiners that come from the fall. When such things happen, I have seen individuals deal with it in two very different ways. The positive one is the one who doesn’t let their black eye keep them from going out and being with others; but then there are those who are so vain that they hide in their room or in their home until the bruising goes away and they look like themselves again.

The problem is that, during the time, they have closed themselves off from others. They have done what used to be done to lepers; they have excluded them from the community and, sadly, in the case of these people who are bruised from a fall, they wind up doing the same thing to themselves. They close themselves off from everyone and, in doing so, they turn themselves into lepers.

I recently dealt with another scenario in which a person can feel like a leper. The lady [a man] was with for the past few years broke things off with him and would not be the way she used to be with him. The warmth was gone, the regular calls, the time together and he felt so much like a leper that he wondered if he would ever know love again.

My friends, I am a romantic. I believe in love. G-d does not shun us; but some of us make ourselves feel like spiritual lepers by shunning G-d. And some make themselves lepers by avoiding the love of another. Let G-d in and don’t just let yourself be loved … return that love tenfold.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9

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CLERGY CORNER: Are You Talking to Yourself?

Posted on 30 April 2015 by L.Moore

By Nelson Searcy

Go to any metropolitan city in the world – and even some not so metropolitan – and you will inevitably see someone walking down the street talking to himself.

Your tendency is probably to pity him for being disturbed. The irony is that you carry on conversations with yourself all the time, too – just not usually aloud.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you talk to yourself all day every day through the thoughts you allow to fill your mind. So what are you saying to yourself? Are your thoughts working for you or against you?

Everything you choose to do or not do, say or not say, starts with the seed of thought. Your entire life is an outgrowth of what goes on in your mind. So getting a handle on the words no one hears but you is key to creating the life you are meant to live. Here are three practical steps to help you adopt better thinking:

1. Listen to your internal dialogue. Tune in to the script that’s constantly running in your own head. Too often, your thoughts and mine are on autopilot. We don’t give them much consideration. Or worse, we forget that we are their masters and we let them have their way with us. Remember:

You can’t always control the thoughts that pop into your head, but you can control what you do with them.

Thoughts only have as much power as you give them.

It’s not a sin to have a false or tempting thought pass through your mind. Let it go. The sin comes when you choose to indulge that thought, either by dwelling on or acting on it.

2. Take every thought captive. When God is working in your life, he will fill you with peace, love and joy. Those gifts will be thwarted if you refuse to let them take root and influence your thoughts. It’s up to you to resist habitual thought patterns and instead match your brain to what God is doing in your spirit. Be intentional about trapping and disposing of thoughts that don’t line up with his truth.

3. Replace old thinking with new. As you eliminate thoughts that don’t benefit you, replace them with new ones that do. Fill the newly vacant space in your mind with a more positive internal dialogue. There’s more than one way to think about every situation and event in your life. When you choose to see the positive, you are agreeing with God’s perspective – you are agreeing with his view of you, your circumstances and the people he has put around you. That alone will propel you toward a fuller, happier life.

On Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10 we’ll be celebrating the special day by providing free family portraits for everyone who attends. The Journey Church meets 9:30a.m. or 11a.m. at Boca Raton Community High School. There will be special programming for Kidz birth thru 5th grade too. For more, see www.bocajourney.com. I would love to see you there!

Nelson Searcy is the author of 13 books and serves as the founding pastor of The Journey Church in Boca Raton.

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CLERGY CORNER: The appeal of prayer

Posted on 23 April 2015 by L.Moore

A few weeks ago Taylor Swift announced’ to her fans that her mother had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

Her reason for going public with her family’s private struggle was to encourage others to get screenings.

The responses on social media were immediate and supportive. I was particularly struck by reports that Lady Gaga reached out to Taylor with “God bless you and your mama. We’ll all be praying.”

I don’t consider myself a fan of either of these women and have never listened to their music. I have occasionally heard about them through entertainment news and have no knowledge of their faith or religion. But I am intrigued whenever I hear God being positively referenced and prayer being encouraged from those in the entertainment industry.

It is in those times when we are confronted with our weaknesses and inabilities that we often realize the need for divine assistance. No amount of money, influence or fame can shield anyone from crisis and adversity. Pain and tragedy are equal opportunity afflictions that give respect to no one. Rich and poor, privileged and oppressed, and those in between will all face the inevitable reality that there are some things beyond man’s control. The response for many in those moments is to pray … to look outside themselves and beyond themselves to a greater power. It is a natural inclination when confronted by crisis. In the days following the 9/11 tragedy, houses of worship across this country were filled with people praying to God and looking for comfort, for hope and for answers.

For believers, the promise of prayer is that God responds to our petitions. Psalm 102:17 states, “He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer.” And James 5:16 observes, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Prayer is much more than beseeching God for help, however. It is a means by which we commune and interact with God. It is the expression of a soul that recognizes its dependence upon God. Prayer is offered from the vantage point of inadequacy and insufficiency looking toward the might and sufficiency of God. It is a necessary spiritual discipline by which we develop in our faith and grow in our relationship with God. It should be engaged daily and sincerely.

It is worth noting that the disciples of Jesus were so impressed by His relationship with His Father that they asked the Lord to teach them how to pray.

Prayer is a powerful force, and praying is a beneficial exercise. So I join Lady Gaga in offering prayers for Taylor Swift’s mother. I pray that the diagnosis was early enough to counter the disease with available medical treatments. I pray that what the medicines and treatments cannot accomplish, God Himself will do. I pray that others who are similarly affected will find help and hope, and healing. I pray that we would continue to demonstrate compassion and sympathy towards, those who are suffering around us. I pray that, as God answers our prayers, we would be motivated to pursue Him in faith and obedience. And I encourage all of us to pray more consistently that God would not only answer our prayers, but also that His will would be done.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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CLERGY CORNER: An act of Remembrance

Posted on 16 April 2015 by L.Moore

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, was observed at Temple Beth Israel on April 16, as it was in Synagogues all over the world. During Shabbat services this past Saturday, as I read a long list of members of our congregation who are no longer with us and of their family members as well, I couldn’t help but notice that many people on the list had the same last name.

It could have been just a coincidence, but it wasn’t. Several families had the same last name because they were all from the same family. Someone asked me how hard it must have been on these families to have so many of their kin die in such a short period of time. But the fact of the matter is that their family members who put them on the list to have the memorial prayer recited for them each year are not even sure when their loved one’s died. You see, each of them perished in the camps during the horrors of the Nazi movement.

And so it was that these families picked a date to remember their loved ones and to honor their memory. When someone we love passes away in our day here in America, we take for granted that, not only the date, but the time of day and the cause of death will all be recorded in the medical chart and will be made available to us. But imagine not knowing how or when a loved one died.

Oh, we know the cause; the cause was hatred; the cause was that there were those who wanted to exterminate the Jews; the cause was that there were those who saw the Jews as less than human; the cause was putting such horrific labels and blame on us that we were little more than dirt in other’s eyes and, sadly, to this very day, there are many people throughout the world who feel that way toward us and, if not toward us, then toward another group of “others,” of “outsiders” of those who are “different.”

Each year on Yom HaShoah, survivors are called upon to speak. The odd part is the stories all begin the same way. Each of the survivors can recall a …. you should pardon the expression … “normal, ordinary life.” Each woke up in the morning. Each went to sleep at night. Each ate meals. And each had goals for the future.

And then, the unthinkable happened. And, in what must have seemed like a blink of the eye, all the rumors, all the gossip, all the whispers became a horrific reality.

Jews were barred from schools, from professions. Jews were barred from getting money, their own money out of their bank accounts. Jews were barred from possessing guns. Jews were beaten. Jews were rounded up. Jews were sent away never to be seen or heard from again.

Each year, we have fewer and fewer survivors left to tell the story. Each year, we have more and more people in the world who deny that the Holocaust ever took place. Each year, our enemies who used to complain that we were always bringing up the Holocaust, now use the term “Holocaust” and “Genocide” against us.

And our survivors call out, “Don’t just remember the past; learn from it!” And so, as we recited Kaddish for those who perished in the Shoah, I couldn’t help but remember the words of Elie Wiesel who wrote:

Let us say Kaddish not only for the dead, but also for the living who have forgotten the dead and let the prayer be more than a prayer, more than a lament; let it be outcry, protest and defiance. And above all let it be an act of remembrance. For that is what the victims wanted: to be remembered, at least to be remembered. For just as the killer was determined to erase Jewish memory, so were the dying heroes and fighting martyrs bent on maintaining it alive. They are now being defamed or forgotten – which is like killing them a second time. Let us say Kaddish together and not allow others to betray them posthumously.”

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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Posted on 09 April 2015 by L.Moore

Sometimes in life things happen that we don’t expect and we get shaken to the very core of our being. We get caught off guard and events in life just rattle us. It is not a matter of being ready for bad things to happen but to know where your help and strength comes from when they do. When you learn to rely on God for your help and strength, then the devil can’t rattle or shake your life anymore.

HEBREWS 12:27-29

27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.

28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.

29 For our God is a devouring fire. — NLT

The kingdom that we belong to, as children of God, is unshakable so let’s give thanks to God by worshiping Him with fear and awe. The fire of God will devour things in our lives that don’t belong like – poverty – sickness – gossiping – lying. You will not waiver and you will not be shaken. You will stay strong and courageous. The only unshakable thing that remains will be you.

PSALM 62:2

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. — NLT

God is always with us and right beside us. God, and God alone, is our rock and our refuge. Nothing else will do – just God. We will not be shaken! When we are continually shaken, it steals our motivation and energy. It is like we are stunned or in shock; we get scared and don’t make any decisions at all, good or bad. The devil is not just trying to knock you down he is trying to destroy you. When the devil is trying to shake your life, you will shake his instead because you will trust in God and be unshakable. When the devil shakes, you will be set free from your chains and then you will be filled with courage and boldness. When you pray and worship God, the devil shakes. You will never be shaken, but your circumstances will be and your chains will be. You don’t ever shake or waiver – you shake the things and circumstances around you, instead of life shaking you. YOU WIN! You will stay strong and courageous.

LUKE 6:38

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. NLT

Although, when God is shaking your life, you win. When God shakes you, it is to make room for you to receive more and more. He is shaking everything together. Therefore, start to stir up those things on the inside of you and start to say and start to believe, “I shall not be moved!” When you agitate someone, you get their attention; so begin to irritate those things in your life that you don’t want and tell them to get out. You will stay strong and courageous.

Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church, located at 801 SE 10 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-428-8980 or visit www.clfministries.org.

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CLERGY CORNER: Passovers past

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

I was talking to a group of people about memories of Passovers past.

Now I should probably tell you that the memory sharing group has been dealing with various illnesses that have made it difficult for them to remember things. Yet, as we talked about The Festival of Passover, vivid memories came into their heads.

Let me share some with you:

1. “I remember how we had to clean the whole house from any bread and, since we were cleaning anyway, did the whole house.”

2. “I remember how my mother would hide some pieces of bread and we would go around the house looking for every last piece. We would turn off the lights and my brother would hold a candle so we could see. I got to hold a feather and every time we found a piece of bread, I would use that feather to brush the bread into a little bag my baby sister held.”

3. “I remember going outside with my father early in the morning and we would take whatever and we would take a match and light the bread and watch as every last crumb burned away.”

4. “My mother used to have this jar and the lid had a hole in the middle of the lid and there was this chopper thing that went inside. We would peel apples together and put them in the jar with some walnuts and a batch of wine and then we would take turns punching down on that chopper.”

5. “I was the youngest in the family so I got to ask the Four Questions and, when I did, everyone shut-up and listened. I wish people would listen to me now the way they did then.”

6. “There’s this part in the Seder where we talk about four types of children. I always had to read the one about the wicked son out loud. I wonder if my dad was trying to tell me something.”

7. “The horseradish. When you bit into it, it was so hot that your eyes started to tear. But it sure got your sinuses to open up.”

8. “We used to take our little finger and, as we sang about the 10 plagues, we would dip into the wine and take out just a little drop. After the 10 Plagues were done, we got to lick the wine off our fingers.”

9. Hunting for the Afi komen was my favorite part.”

10. “One year, we opened the door for Elijah and a big dog walked right into the house to join us at our Seder Table. My Father even fed him some scraps and the dog licked whatever fell on the floor. We kept him and called him Elijah.”

11. “My Zaide used to make the Seder go so long that I wondered if it would ever end. But you know what, the next year, I couldn’t wait to do it all over again.”

12. “When the Seder was over, my father would tell momma to go to bed and we would all help him clean up so momma wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

These are just a few memories from some wonderful people who, even though they might not remember what they had for lunch today or, if they even ate lunch at all, can still find great joy and comfort in recalling the memories of Passovers past.

And, as we do our Model Seders in the health centers that care for each of them, may more wonderful and loving memories fl ow into their heads, into their hearts and into their souls.

And, at our own Seders at home, may we create unforgettable memories for our children and our children’s children, and let us say, “Amen.”

Have a kasher and a freilecher Pesach,

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

P.S. Join us at Temple Beth Israel for a special Yom HoShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, Program on Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. Selections will be chanted by Guest Cantor Gary Sherman of Temple B’nai Shalom and memories will be shared by Survivors of the Shoah.

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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CLERGY CORNER: The most influential person in human history

Posted on 26 March 2015 by L.Moore

Palm Sunday observances in churches around the world mark the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to and including Christ’s passion and death on a cross.

During this time of year, thousands of believers travel to Jerusalem to trace the footsteps of Jesus during the days leading to His crucifixion.

Those unable to make the journey overseas will celebrate in their churches with palm fronds, Good Friday observances, cantatas, plays and Resurrection Sunday services. This is the time of year where, despite doctrinal differences of faith traditions, Christians everywhere are unified in their recognition of the significance of this period.

I was thinking about this when I reflected upon Jesus’ influence some 2000 years after His crucifixion and resurrection. In fact, believers and unbelievers alike are being impacted by His life and teachings to this day.

A quick Google search revealed that Jesus consistently ranks at the top of surveys and determinations of the world’s most influential people. A few sites put others ahead of Him, Aristotle in one case and Mohammed in another, but the teacher from Galilee is consistently in the top rankings.

As a religious leader, Jesus was and is certainly influential, but evidence abounds that He has impacted other areas of society as well.

Nearly a third of the world’s population, 2 billion out of 7 billion people, identify themselves as followers of Jesus’ teachings. The Bible, which gives details of Jesus’ life and ministry, is consistently the most read book in the world, and a bestseller as well.

The teachings of Jesus have influenced our modern valuations of human life and dignity. In the ancient world, children were abandoned or sold into slavery. Early Christians were known to rescue newborn babies who had been left in Rome’s trash dumps. Jesus’ interaction with children, women, the sick and the poor revealed His estimation of their value. The first hospitals, orphanages and feeding programs came into being through Christians’ efforts to obey His instructions.

In the area of education, His influence is evident as well. Only the elite of the ancient world had access to education. The libraries of the monks inspired the first universities of the 12th and 13th centuries. Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard were formed originally as Christian institutions.

In America, the Puritans were the first to pass laws mandating the education of the masses, and biblical literacy was the emphasis of children’s reading texts for two hundred years. Science and Christianity seem to have a combustible relationship in the thought and discourse of many today.

It can be argued, however, that the Christian view of a rational God who is the source of rational truth inspired the possibility of scientific laws. Many of the founders of modern science were influenced by Christianity, including Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Blaise Pascal.

Time and space would not permit me to detail the influence of Jesus and Christianity upon our concepts of liberty, justice and equality, or upon art, literature, music, words, symbols, holidays, our calendar and a host of other areas of life that we may take for granted.

Whether or not one agrees that Jesus was the most influential figure in human history, it cannot be denied that He has had a remarkable impact on the world. His 3 1/2 years of ministry and teaching have touched countless lives on every continent and His influence is an ongoing reality throughout the world today.

May the power of His life and teachings inspire you this season and for all time.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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CLERGY CORNER: Pass it over – pass it on

Posted on 19 March 2015 by L.Moore

This Friday is the first day of Spring and this Saturday is the first day of the Hebrew month of Nissan. Now is the time that we start our spring cleaning as we begin to prepare our homes for the Festival of Passover.

As we sit at our Seder tables, we will retell the story of our Exodus from slavery to freedom. Notice that I did not say that we will retell the story of our ancestors being slaves in Egypt, but rather that we will remember when we were slaves, as each of us is obligated on Pesach to talk about our personal deliverance from whatever has enslaved or oppressed us.

During the Seder, there is a moment when we follow a practice of the great Sage, Hillel, who was known to combine a piece of Matzah, the flat unleavened bread that we had to eat in our haste to leave Egypt, with Charoset and Maror.

This matzah was known as the bread of poverty. But as we got a taste of the freedom to observe our faith, that very same bread became the bread of freedom. And just as we shared that bread with each other in ancient days, we continue to share it to this very day.

But there is something else that we share during the Seder. We share the Maror, the bitter herbs that represent the bitterness of slavery. So why on earth did Hillel combine the two together? Why put the bitterness of slavery and the joy of freedom into one bite?

Perhaps we find the answer in the Haggadah itself. Each of us has tasted from the cup of bitterness and from the cup of freedom. And, since we have known both, there are a couple things we need to remember right off the bat.

First, in times of freedom, we must do what we can to help those who are enslaved or oppressed, as we know all too well what that horror is like. And second, in the times that we feel enslaved or oppressed, we must do whatever we are able to do in order to achieve freedom again. We must not give into despair; we must not give up hope. Indeed, the National Anthem of the Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael is “Hatikvah” which means “The Hope.”

Spring is a time of great hope. And, as it approaches, people often pray to get a little Spring back into their step. Even when death is approaching, faith and hope can most certainly make a difference.

Take for example Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame. Let me share with you two of his final tweets and, remember, he knew that he was nearing the end of his days as he wrote these messages.

The first said, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory;” and then there was what I believe was his final tweet, which read, “So grateful for blessings, Wish the same to all.”

And then there was the recent Op-Ed by Oliver Sacks in The New York Times as he reflected on his most recent bout with cancer, which is so advanced that there is little if anything that can be done. He wrote, “…my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return … above all, I have been a sentient being … on this beautiful planet, and that, in itself, has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

Spring is here. Be grateful for the many freedoms you have and make your life a loving adventure. And, while you are at it, be sure to give something back.

Passover is coming. May all who are enslaved hold onto their hope and may we do whatever we are able to bring them to freedom. With G-d’s help, speedily in our day … and let us all say, Amen.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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