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Shifting Perspectives

Posted on August 28, 2017 by President Renee Silverstein

I would like to propose a shift in perspective as we enter this season of celebration. The significance of perspective cannot be overstated. The way we see people is reflected in how we treat them. The way we see our responsibility to the greater community is reflected in how we choose to serve. The way we see our relationship with G-d is reflected in the time, energy and commitment we put forth to foster and grow that relationship. Perspective drives action.

When I first heard about the closing of Ladue Road, my reaction was one of frustration and annoyance. After reviewing the situation, though, I began to intentionally change my thought pattern. I realized that instead of focusing on the negative side of our immediate situation, I could broaden my perspective in order to recognize that this construction would ultimately lead to a safer road. My annoyance was quickly replaced by gratitude for the fact that we live in a city that has the ability to fix its roads when they become dangerously deteriorated.

Often, when our perspective is negative, it’s simply because we haven’t taken the opportunity to look at the bigger picture.

Take membership and involvement, for example. When there are so many things vying for our time and resources, one more activity or cost from your faith community can seem like a burden. If we step back, however, it’s easy to see that belonging to this wonderful Congregation is a privilege. There are many places that don’t have such a thriving Jewish community.

If we view membership in this way, it can help reduce barriers to generosity. We at Shaare Emeth have been working diligently over the past 150 years to make this Congregation a beacon of the Jewish community in St. Louis. We have been able to do so because of the faithful support of our members. As we enter this time of reflection and celebration, I would ask you to consider stretching the boundaries of your own generosity even further.

We can make a difference. We can impact our synagogue and community for the better. We have that privilege. When we sacrifice our time or money for the sake of the Temple, it is mitzvah. Please remember that when you receive your membership responsibility forms this year. Serving is our privilege, and we thank you for your continued support.

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