Friday, June 30, 2017

A Tent of Meeting

A Tent of Meeting  by Aaron Ginsburg

 @Touro Synagogue Saturday, June 24, 2017

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When I arrived at Touro Synagogue, a murmur went around the room. Chicky Friedman was present with her son James Friedman, who was visiting from Sweden.
Michael Slom was also visiting his mother Rita. Rita was chosen as the Honorary Chair of the Newport Public Library’s annual fund raising event, “A novel evening at the Beach,” which took place last Sunday. 

The Torah reading was Parshat Korach. Korach was a rebel. Moses, who had trouble with the politics, stalled for time. He asked Korach to appear in the morning at the אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד, the Tent of Meeting with fire pans ready. It was your fire pans against my fire pans.

Moses would have felt comfortable if he had been in Newport on Saturday morning. We had a very heavy rain storm. Heaven sent a bolt of lightening, followed by the crash of thunder, during the first aliyah, just as fire pans were mentioned. Was it a coincidence?

There was no problem hearing the thunder. With the humidity, the atmosphere was very close in shul, and most of the windows were opened so we could get some fresh air.

Incidentally, Karoch was a levite, as it said it the first aliyah. There were no cohanim present, so a resident levi handled the first two aliyot. I can’t remember whether it was Mike Josephson or Lester Hoffman…but we had that covered.

The icing on the cake was that Zal Newman, arriving from toasty Arizona with Barbara Epstein, recited his Bar Mitzvah haftarah, which he first recited in 1931. Barbara's son David was also present.

Next to every column was someone who had celebrated their Bar Mitzvah at Touro Synagogue. The Honor Roll included (by name and Bar Mitzvah year),
Zal Newman 1939
Mike Josephson 1946   Lester Hoffman 1947
Brian Gilson 1963
Aaron Ginsburg 1963
David Epstein 1965
Michael Slom 1967
Jimmy Friedman 1968
And Saul Schweber was delighted to see his students from the United Hebrew School!
Torah Synagogue was truly an אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד, a Tent of Meeting. 
Shabbat Shalom!

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