Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Winter is Coming

 From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

Winter is Coming

If you're familiar with the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, then you no doubt know that the phrase, winter is coming, is the motto of the much-beleaguered Stark family. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, I imagine that you still understand the sense of that sentence. Winter is coming, so we better prepare for it, and we better get ready to hunker down.

When the weather report says a blizzard or hurricane is coming, many of us go to the supermarket to stock up on food and water, just in case. Maybe you make sure you have candles and flashlights ready, in case the power goes out. Some of you may have even bought generators, just in case there's no electricity.

We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Just in case. The old Jewish saying, always keep one bag packed, may not seem all that relevant for us, living in 21st century America, but over the past two decades we have also borne witness to events that have been entirely unanticipated and without precedent. The future is always unpredictable, but maybe now a little bit more than before?

Maybe you saw the 2005 movie, March of the Penguins? What is striking about the documentary is the way in which

they huddle together to survive temperatures close to 80° below zero, protecting their eggs, and taking turns bearing the onslaught of the cold. In the Antarctic, winter is always coming.

The lesson is one of cooperation. Everyone contributes to the survival of the group. Strength comes from community.

We don't know whether the next winter will be a mild one, or one that is exceptionally cold, or how much snow will accumulate. But we know that winter is coming, and we know that some winters are worse than others.

This may all sound uncharacteristically gloomy. Usually I go on about all the wonderful things that Congregation Adas Emuno has to offer, all of our achievements, triumphs, and celebrations. And indeed these remain truly significant reasons why our congregation deserves your support. Let us count our blessings, and show our gratitude in any and every way possible.

But let us never forget that, in addition to all of the good reasons for us to choose to be affiliated with a shul, to be members of Adas Emuno, and to contribute to its survival and success, there are also reasons why we need our congregation. There are reasons why we need the warmth and the light that only Adas Emuno can provide for us. Because, sooner or later, winter is coming.

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