As a rabbi, I am often asked to speak at various occasions and to write for a variety of publications. Naturally, I always like to come across with a novel viewpoint or an interesting perspective on the issue at hand. Well, when I was asked to prepare a message about our shul for our web page, I began my preparation with the same mindset. Soon afterwards, though, as I was doing some research in Pirkei Avos for a different project, a famous Madrish in the first chapter caught my eye. After pondering it a bit, I realized that the most fitting and the most straightforward message about Etz Chaim is stated by Hillel:
"Love people and bring them to Torah".
After all, what should a shul be about if not for creating a community dedicated to Torah and to its values. Of course, included therein is creating a warm atmosphere that unites all of our members. It means creating an atmosphere that is attractive to Jews whatever their background. It means seeking out Jews in the larger Jewish community and giving them a chance to see the beauty of the Torah and the meaningful life it represents. It also means having a will from within the shul to continue to grow not just in numbers, but also in our level of commitment to the Torah through its study. Basically, it means that we must accept the opportunity and the responsibility as ambassadors of the Torah.
At Etz Chaim, we gladly accept this opportunity and responsibility.
In the spirit of Hillel's teaching, if I can be of any assistance concerning a move to Sharon, information about our shul. or any other matter, please feel free to call me at the shul 781-784 7204.
*Rabbi Miller came to Sharon in 1996 from Baltimore, where he received his smicha at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, and where he worked as the assistant to Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, the Rav of the Agudath Israel of Baltimore. Rabbi Miller is also a certified mohel and a sofer (scribe). He is married to Tamar and they have six children: Yaakov, Nechama, Chaim, Yehuda, Mordechai, and Eta Rashi.