I have to admit small town life has been a little wearisome lately and made me yearn for the big city (which rarely happens).
Recently there has been lots of political infighting leading up to a hotly contested Mayoral race, Kiwanis Club playground controversy, local Hospital shutting down the Pediatric unit and the Mayor saying some pretty nasty things about a local blogger who seems to hate Portsmouth and never believes anything good can come from it (the latter even made national headlines in the Huffington Post). By the way...follow the above links at your own risk!
But tonight, I happened across a fantastic story about the small remnant of our once prominent Jewish community here in Portsmouth. The story is about the gift of a Torah scroll...a very special scroll...and its eventual restoration.
“Teaching and learning is extremely important in Judaism,” explained Auster, “and that requires study of the texts and the Torah.”
Or HaTzafon’s Torah was donated in 1991 by Congregation B’nai Abraham of Portsmouth, Ohio, and it comprises the Five Books of Moses — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Torahs are made traditionally, from the skins of kosher animals — calf, sheep, goats or deer. Sofer Yerman said Or HaTzafon’s Torah is of Russian origin and estimates it is about 100 years old.
Read the whole story here...you will not regret it. And thank you Congregation B'nai Abraham for reminding me how God's ways are not always our ways.
It is a good reminder...There is good and bad in everything, whether you are in a big city or a small town. The trick is remembering that it is in giving that we receive, in loving others that we have our own needs met, and that in service to others where true leadership is found.
And that is where the Mayor and the professor both missed the mark.