At the Saturday, November 23, 2013, service, Dvora Levin read the poem she wrote to Rabbi Harry. Rabbi Harry’s family and friends provided the Kiddush luncheon in honour of his 50th birthday on November 26th.
(Ada Cotton provided Rabbi Harry’s birthday cake that came from Bubby Rose.)
In his 50th year, he welcomed our community to celebrate
the 150th Anniversary of Congregation Emanu-el,
leading us through moments of remembering,
moments of gratitude, moments of joy
and sadness too.
Our teacher, leading us
on the well-trodden road of ritual,
leading us into the mists of mystery,
expanding the energies of angels
and Rabbis who have gone before.
His passport stamped with so many places,
Israel, Russia, India, New York, New Orleans,
always returning with his suitcases filled
with more questions than answers,
more doors opening.
He gathers us, newborns, children, parents,
and those of us drifting nearer the gates,
calling out to artists, teaching
to the whir of grinding beans,
the hiss of espresso machines.
Davening on Shabbat, High Holidays, Thursdays
at 7am, John’s Place, our second minyan,
he helps us be restored,
as our torah scrolls are restored,
as perfectly as we can.
This year, he joined so many mitzvoth volunteers
parading to the sounds of choirs, musicians
and oompa bands, auctioning treasures,
gifting apologies to our First Nations,
socks and birthday cakes to the poor,
Building new stairs to sanctuary, sanding smooth
the rough floors of our troubled minds.
And always, in all ways, Rabbi Harry inviting us
to be with him, together, to sing along, creating
and re-creating our community’s sacred song.