Rabbi Eric S. Gurvis
2019 HIGH HOLIDAY MESSAGE
I happened to glance up at the sky last night, noticing the full moon. “Ah,” my rabbinic brain calculated, “it’s about 6 weeks now until Rosh Hashanah.” My glance heavenward comes in a week that has been filled with blessings, two in particular.
A few nights ago, our community gathered at the Greenstein home for a community get-together, which in part, made it possible for me to meet so many of you. I was so gratified by the great turnout on a mid-August night. It only confirmed what I have been sensing over these past months – I am so lucky to have found Sha’arei Shalom as our family’s next congregational home. To those I have met along the way – and those of you I will meet in the weeks and months to come, thank you for your warm and gracious welcome. I look forward to the joys, learning and laughter we will share together, even as inevitably, we will share sadder times as well.
That brings me to this week’s second blessing – the enlargement of our family as we welcomed a new child, as my oldest son Benjamin and his wife Emily had their second baby, Henry, who takes his place alongside his 21⁄2 -year old big brother, Ian. Though I have been meeting the members of Sha’arei Shalom over these recent months, my wife Laura, and our children, and now grandchildren, will also look forward to meeting and becoming a part of the extended Sha’arei Shalom family.
We are nearly on the cusp of a new Jewish year – 5780. I look forward with great anticipation and excitement to welcoming it with you all – and to sharing its many blessings which we pray will include good health, new friendships, sweet times and most especially, the blessing of shalom!
Enjoy these waning days of summer – I look forward to being with you soon, and often in days and weeks to come.
RABBI’S WELCOME LETTER TO SHA’AREI SHALOM
Shalom! I know it may be a bit presumptuous to address this message as “dear friends” as I have not yet met most of you. But I can tell you, from those members of Sha’arei Shalom whom I have met, young and old, and the gatherings I have been attending over recent weeks, I am confident those words will become authentic and accurate over the months to come.
I cannot tell you how honored and excited I am to join the Sha’arei Shalom family! My wife Laura and I are looking forward to becoming a part of Sha’arei Shalom as we head into the coming new year. Additionally, we are excited about our forthcoming move to MetroWest after twenty years in Newton.
I feel blessed to come to a community which is warm, engaged and engaging, and a caring community. Though it’s still early July, I am already preparing – both for my first Shabbat with the community on July 19th, and for the coming Holy Days and year.
As I will say again at the Holy Days, it is my hope over the coming year to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as are willing for a cup of coffee and conversation. While I will lead our community in prayer as rabbi, I strongly believe that communities (and congregations) are built on relationships – which I am hoping we can build in smaller ways so that our larger whole will be stronger.
I hope that summer is bringing you some rest, renewal and fun. For my part, I am largely in the Berkshires where my wife is Associate Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Eisner Camp in Great Barrington (and where I have worked off and on in a variety of capacities since the 1970’s).
I look forward to meeting some of you on the 19th– and all of you, collectively and individually — as we head into 5780 which I pray will bring laughter, learning, song and celebration, good health, sweet blessings, and shalom!
B’yedidut (“in friendship”),
Rabbi Eric S. Gurvis