November 19, 2007

Best-Laid Plans

Years ago I read a semi-humorous newspaper column about how arrogant we are to think we can plan our day, let alone our year or our life. One can never really know, or control, what will happen. I am constantly reminded of the wisdom of that column.

So yesterday was the Hannuka Gift Fair that we've all planned for and worked toward. Hadassah did a lovely job of advertising and preparing everything, and everyone "planned" for a festive and successful event.

But no one could foresee the passing of Jewish Portland's pioneering leader, Rabbi Yonah Geller of Shaarie Torah. His funeral was held yesterday at 1:00 pm, and was of course the focal event of our entire community. Many people made the effort to come and support the Hannukah Fair vendors earlier in the day, which I found very touching. But after 1 pm, the place was very quiet.

Of course, it was disappointing for the hosts and participants in the Hannukah Fair. But really, it wouldn't say much for Rabbi Geller if his passing DIDN'T have a profound effect on every Jewish gathering in Portland. Life goes its own way, and we have no choice but to follow. Death has its own commands as well, far byond our our feeble efforts at "control."

Baruch Dayan Ha'emet.

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