In the Words of Rabbi Singer – Issue #5

A regular blog series from Temple Beth El, bringing you moments of heart and insight from
Rabbi Emeritus Merle E. Singer.

Who Am I, you may ask? I am a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a nephew, a grandfather, an uncle, a friend, a Rabbi, and the myriad of titles I have been fortunate to hold.

But many ask, who and what are my roles today? That answer is simple. While I retain the titles I have held throughout my life, such as a father, grandfather, and husband, I am a person who counsels, curates writings and participates in philanthropy while relishing in choir, dance, and music.

I retain every role I have held because someone believed in me. Someone supported me. So much of who and what we are is partly due to those who helped us achieve milestones or provided the support our self-esteem and motivation warranted. As we prosper through life in the excellent and strenuous times, it is often the hand of a friend, relative, or acquaintance that will champion us to the light.

As I compose this message, I am reminded of the integrity of taking the earnest time to express gratitude to those who believed in you and supported you. From family, friends, personal associates, and beyond, I purport we all hold a long list of people who helped in our life’s journey.

Please take a moment and think of those people, and then I challenge you to take the next step in sharing gratitude. Those who know me know that I take joy in offering challenges, but I will follow my motivation today and recognize the many people who support me.

First and foremost, I remain in unwavering gratitude to my family. Each of my relatives holds a special place in my heart, offering enduring love and care.

Secondly, as I venture through my older years, many aspects of my life are only possible due to the legion of associates who support me. From my caring and wonderful personal aides who make my days possible, to my rabbinical assistant who helps propel my personal and spiritual voice, to my accountant for balancing my numbers, to the author who is preserving my historical documents, and to the artistic talents who help me achieve my love and passion for dance and choir music, I thank you. Each of you helps me thrive, and I appreciate you all in sincere gratitude.

Also, I would like to express gratitude to my friends near and far. Thank you for the abundance of letters, notes and moments of connection where banter brought joy and warmth.

Last, but never least, I remain in humble appreciation to my fellow clergy and temple staff who have supported me throughout the years in various components, from my early days at Temple Beth El to current times.

Remember, one of the most sacred teachings of the Torah is gratitude. For when we rise each day, we must say Modeh Ani. These words are our birthright to give Thanks to G-d and the very people who helps us thrive.

Rabbi Merle E. Singer

To follow more of my current works, please visit: WordsWithMerle.com

Rabbi Merle E. Singer is Temple Beth El’s Rabbi Emeritus. He retired in 2005 after serving as the Temple’s senior spiritual leader for 28 years.  During that time, the Temple grew from a small congregation to one of the largest and most vibrant synagogues in the United States.

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