This month, we said a sad goodbye to Erika Robinson, our oldest member at age 99. After a service Friday morning, I went to the burial at King David. Besides her children and grandchildren, it was well attended by members who knew and loved Erika. Saturday night we held a service in the sanctuary. Although this is not a normal shiva practice, it was one of the many adaptations we have made to COVID.
But this month we also said a joyous hello to our newest member, a boy born to Ari and Leeyat Tessler. I understand the bris was held in Pittsburgh this past Shabbat – yes, a bris is held on the eighth day even if it falls on Shabbat.
One of the major purposes of a congregation is to help our members through times of loss and trouble, but also to celebrate our times of joy. Congregation Etz Hayim may not be a large congregation, but it has a big heart.