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Caring for our Community – In Memory of Charney and Marjorie Weber z”l

01/10/2022 02:30:59 PM

Jan10

On a warm July afternoon, I sat next to Charney Weber in his bedroom. He extended his hand towards mine and I took hold of it. We looked at each other for several minutes. Few words were said. Speaking at this point was very difficult for Charney. I just wanted to be present. He just wanted a moment with his rabbi – a moment he knew would probably be his last. Left unsaid was the immense challenge of so many years and the beautiful neshama – the beautiful soul that always prevailed.  

For roughly two years from that moment, Marjorie Weber and I would have a monthly check-in. Initially the conversation focused on her beloved Charney and the many beautiful memories they created together. With time the focus shifted from Charney to her children and more specifically the apples of her eye: her grandchildren. The last several years of Marjorie’s life were very challenging and she was never shy of letting me know how she was feeling. Marjorie made it very clear that there was one thing that kept her going and that was family. To know Marjorie was to know that she had an immense love for her family, her friends, and the Agudas community. 

Much of Jewish tradition is about birth and new beginnings. The birth of Israel as a people and the birth of every new generation. Birth is miraculous! There’s new life, new heartbeat, new breath. When we think about the future, there’s only potential – no limitations, anything feels possible. But in celebrating the future we must also remember the beauty found in the face of aged wrinkles. Judaism is also about the experience of aging. Even in lives full of blessing, there still remain many unfulfilled dreams. With every future generation we remember the spiritual legacy of lives lived fully, with compassion, gratitude and wisdom, as well as complex and even painful relationships and regrets. 

Charney and Marjorie taught me something very important. Along with investing in the newest and youngest members of the Agudas family, the future of our community depends on seeing the beauty upon the faces of our eldest members. We must continue to care for and honor the people we love who are aging or at the end of their lives. We must honor the unique joy and gratitude that so many older members of our community feel. Listen when they tell you how blessed they are. Small gestures make an enormous difference. Reach out to older members. Spend time together. Ask what they need and help us mobilize as a community to support them. It could be as easy as driving someone to shul or the doctor. It may be reaching out after a member has lost a loved one or friend and knowing when he or she is alone. It also means finding ways to listen to the stories of their lives, so we can bring their wisdom into our own lives and those of our children.  

The lives of Charney and Marjorie continue to bring blessing to this community through the newly created Marjorie and Charney Weber Memorial Community Caring Endowment Fund. Since the fund’s inception a few months ago, members of our community have received Thanksgiving Dinners and Shabbat dinners provided by Diana Weil, our kitchen coordinator. Those who have been recovering from an accident, illness, or other needs can appreciate Marjorie and Charney’s gift to the community, which covers the cost of these meals and more. 

Every time a family in need is supported by our community, they are being supported by Marjorie and Charney as they were supported by our community. Their lives remain a source of blessing, a source of wisdom, and a source of love. 

Tue, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782