Day 21 – Reflections at the Memory Wall

21 Elul 5776
by Paula and Joel Handler


Stepping into our new temple building for the first time was very much like entering an alien world.  “Sameness” gives us comfort.   Through the thirty odd years we have been members at TBS, the music has changed. The rabbis have changed.  The people have changed.  And when I entered TBS one afternoon this summer, the entire building seemed foreign.  I had come to pick up our bronze plaques from the old sanctuary, because, that too had changed.  Jill took time out from her many duties to give me a hug and show me the location of the Memory Wall, which is lovingly placed looking out on the meditation garden.  The wooden railing below our family names harbors a place for a stone when you visit.  With a little imagination you see a river of loved ones and a chance to leave a stone on the beach (wooden tray) when you visit with them.  There is peace and warmth, a calmness that envelopes you there.

Returning home, I chose to tackle (and hopefully discard) some old boxes.  In one, was this 24 year old note my dad had written on his return to Pittsburgh.  It was after our twins B’nai Mitzvah at TBS.


Dear Paula- Joel,
We’ve been reminiscing about grandchildren:–
their penetration into our lives; their growth cycles;
their remarkable progress spurts; their joys, their panic moments;
their love for kin and friends and people…
Then we thought of the parents who guided, nurtured
and patiently encouraged them through the mazes
of developing.  And what a great job you did!
We feel privileged to be able  to take part in
this wonderful simha for Ben and Marissa.
We greatly appreciate the parents who made it all possible.
        All our love,
            Jeana- Harry


Thank you Rabbi Cohen and Cantor David and all the board members for providing a layer of that nurturing and guidance and perpetuating the growth cycles of our congregation.


2 Responses to Day 21 – Reflections at the Memory Wall

  1. Jeff Merkow September 24, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    Touched by your honesty and warmth. Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy new year. Jeff and Karen

  2. Marc Petrie September 25, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    your beautiful thoughts show that the spirit of the congregation has remained constant. shalom.