President’s February 2021 Column

We Pick and We Choose

This has been a time that we seem to pick and choose. We choose how we spend our unrequired time. We pick our favorite music, or for some, new genres. We choose our go-to news source. Some choose to mask or shop, as my wife, only at stores that require masking. How could one say this is not the time, of all times, to choose as we did in this last election cycle.

As today, waking, blurred eyes, I find again, the bag, a festive bag, left at our door the night before. Like a child, examining the contents of a gift. Thinking of all who made these contents possible, then with gratitude for the chain of events that had to take place for figs, olives, and grapes to arrive at my table.

Then only to squint that it too included an invitation to join another Zoom event offered by Temple, a Tu B’shevat Seder. Yet, another choice, do I attend?  Has this not been your question, at times concerning attendance at a Temple event? What day? I see Tuesday and realize I missed it. A bit guilty, while eating a great olive. Yet, another lost opportunity.

It reminds me of being at a funeral and hearing about the adventures of my past friend, those I never knew of. Thinking, of all the other stories in one’s life we never know. Wondering what conversations, we could have had, if we had taken the time, or known of this common interest to discuss. Even then, we chose.

Yet, with a coffee in hand and glasses on head I see, no, it’s not yesterday, but tonight is our community service, THURSDAY.  Sometimes, we are given a second chance to glimpse a piece we thought lost. Much like Judaism itself.

We each make choices; we pick how we get our nourishment. Thank you to all who labor to bring us fruit from the vines and all good things from our mother earth. May we also choose well for her.

Robert Becker