For One Day Only: $1=$4, Thanks to Matching from BIG Donors
Kesher Israel Congregation’s daily minyan in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is often enhanced by travelers passing through who are happy to join us. These visitors cover the spectrum of Jewish practice, yet somehow joining in prayer lets us unite our all-too-often fractured people.
The other week I received a phone call from someone named Larry (all names in this story have been changed), a traveler who was in the area for a business meeting. He was eager to join us for our Tuesday afternoon Mincha/Maariv minyan. I gave him directions and was glad to welcome him when he arrived.
After services, I talked with Larry and learned that he was saying Kaddish for his recently deceased father. He was grateful that our minyan allowed him to keep up his perfect Kaddish reciting streak.
When Larry told me his last name was Klopstein (again, the names here have been changed) I felt the urge to play a little Jewish Geography and asked him if he was related to a wonderful couple in my parents’ Cleveland synagogue named Mr. and Mrs. Abe and Sarah Klopstein.
Larry immediately told me that Abe was a distant cousin, but they had fallen out of touch years ago. Before leaving, Larry handed me his business card and asked me to give his cousin Abe his regards the next time I was in touch with him.
I figured I would call my parents for a short “what a small world it is” conversation, and dialed my father’s cell phone. My father answered in a very subdued voice and told me he was still at shul in Cleveland; their minyan was just finishing.
When I asked my father if Abe Klopstein happened to be there at the minyan with him, I was thrilled when he replied, “Sure. Let me hand him the phone.”
I went on to tell Mr. Klopstein all about the man I had just met in Harrisburg, and there was a moment of silence.
“Larry’s father – the one he was reciting Kaddish for – was my first cousin,” he told me. “I hadn’t known that he passed away. Thanks for telling me, though.”
When I began to apologize for being the bearer of bad news, Mr. Klopstein stopped me and said, “Akiva, there’s no reason to apologize. Your phone call made my night.”
Mr. Klopstein sensed my confusion and continued, “You see, it’s been many years since the last time I saw my cousin’s son Larry. I can assure you that a shul for a Mincha/Maariv minyan is the last place in the world I would have imagined anyone bumping into Larry. You have no idea how happy you made me.
“Not only has Larry found his way back to shul, but even when he’s away on business, Larry goes out of his way to be at a minyan to recite Kaddish! I can assure you his father – my late cousin – is also very pleased. Akiva, thank you so much for calling.”
I gave Mr. Klopstein the contact information from Larry’s business card, and my father told me he left the shul in Cleveland smiling from ear to ear.
I’ve always felt Kesher Israel’s daily minyan is a special place. That night, however, it also had the merit of reconnecting two long-lost relatives and giving a wonderful man in Cleveland a true sense of comfort.
Rabbi Akiva Males is spiritual leader of Kesher Israel Congregation in Harrisburg, PA. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
About the Author: Rabbi Akiva Males is rabbi of Kesher Israel Congregation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.
And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.
Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel
In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer
Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas
No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.
Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.
Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.
Changing plans needn’t be a frustrating experience. Sometimes the new path proves far more rewarding
The power of “positive campaigning;” Nothing quenches your soul’s thirst like Torah.
At the core of traditional Judaism is the belief that our world has a Creator. This Creator knows all that goes on in our world, and remains actively involved in all of its events – no matter how insignificant some of those events might seem.
In a short span of time our shul raised and distributed thousands of dollars for relief organizations.
In 2007 my parents decided it was time to downsize and sell their home of more than thirty years. To help them pack up and move into their new apartment, I returned to Cleveland to offer my assistance.
Two recent experiences served to drive home the point to me that – with apologies to the popular Disney musical boat ride “It’s a Small World” – it really is a small Jewish world.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/oh-what-a-small-jewish-world-it-is/2010/09/01/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: