This is a little something I’ve had rattling around in my brain. I’ve decided to start posting it here where I could possibly get some feedback.
The synagogue was a bit run down. I could tell the first second I walked into the building where the main sanctuary was located. The carpet was threadbare and the pews, made of beautiful oak, had not seen a refacing in several decades. I looked up to the balcony where the woman’s section was I was able to tell that it was in the same state of disrepair. There was even plaster falling off the pillars. I asked myself “What have I gotten myself into?” more than once but I was confident that I was the person to take over as Rabbi and revitalize the congregation. For better or worse, I was now home.
“Ah, Rabbi! I’m glad you made it!” a deep baritone voice rang out from the back of the synagogue. It was Jeffery Davies, the president of the congregation. He quickly walked over to me and clasped his hand on my shoulder. It was like a vise had gripped onto my shoulder and would never let go. “How was the move?” he asked, “Is your family starting to settle in?”.
“Yes” I replied. “My wife and the children are getting things settled. Well, my wife is trying to get things settled and the kids are exploring the house and finding all the good places to hide. I should really be there but I just needed to come and see the shul for a few minutes before I get back to helping them.”
Jeffery looked at me for a minute and gave me a knowing look. “The shul is really quite something to look at and be amazed by. The congregation was founded in 1869 and we’ve been at this location since since 1950. It must have been something to see in it’s heyday. Walking into the place must have given someone a sense of awe.”
He was about six feet, three inches and still very strong in spite of being nearly 70. Davies was the owner of the largest appliance stores in the neighborhood. He built the business from nothing and must have shaken a lot of hands to build up the muscles. He was still involved in local politics so I knew I needed to have him on my side. He was there now but I had a feeling keeping him there wouldn’t be so easy.
“I agree one hundred percent” I told him “the pictures that are left really don’t do it justice. I would have liked to see it in its full splendor. I hope that we are able to get it to half of what it was. If we do that then I’ll be satisfied”. I looked at my watch to check the time and give a subtle cue that I wanted to leave. “I need to get back to the house and see how bad the kids are distracting my wife from starting to unpack. I’ll talk with you after evening services Mr. Davies, is that OK?”.
“It’s completely OK and please call me Jeff. There is no need to be so formal Rabbi”. He said without a bit of irony. “Enjoy your time with the family and I’ll have my wife bring over something for you all to eat for dinner. I know how hectic day one of a move can be.”