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Introducing Kehillas Zichron Dovid

09/10/2015 10:23:17 PM


Below is the דרשה I gave at the event marking the naming of the Shul:

יום שני, כ"ג באלול, תשע"ה

Monday, September 7, 2015

We are here together today for several different reasons.

First, we are a family, and this is what families do; we get together in social contexts, because we love each other, we look out for each other and we want to spend time together.

Second, we are a community; a community that is brought together by a common vision of the purpose of life. And communities need to create contexts to forge bonds between one another.  Not everyone feels like part of the family... YET. So as a community we need to create that feeling. But even if we don’t, we are a community.

Third, we are a Shul, and our Shul must recognize and appreciate the major change that is occurring; and recognize and appreciate those who are responsible for that major change.

I hope that what I am about to say does not sound trite, because I do not mean it to at all.

The first person that must be recognized and appreciated is you. Every single individual in our Shul, has, at some point, added something significant to our lives.

There are those that make our Shul a מקום תורה, by learning and creating a קול תורה in its walls - whether it is the Daf, or a חברותא or even sitting down by himself every Shabbos with the מדרש says.

There are those that enhance our תפילה, with beautiful tunes, and create the tone for davening while others make sure that everyone is involved in the תפילה, getting the proper people the proper aliyah, making sure the ספר תורה is rolled, the הפטרה is prepared...

There are those that make our Shul geshmack - by purchasing the food, by cooking the food (like cholent, for example), by making sure that there is always food even when things are overlooked by others.

There are those that lend a handy hand - fixing things that break, quietly shoveling the walkway (and digging Rabbis out of snow).

There are those that plan events, that make sure things happen, items ordered and purchased, decorating the Shul.

There are those that do the things that no one wants to do - setting tables, cleaning up, making sure the bathrooms have tissues, plunging the toilets!

Sometimes, when a certain individual is away, we might realize that we have no cups to drink from, because who thinks about those details ahead of time.

So the first person we need to recognize and appreciate, is each and every one of you.

The second person we need to recognize and appreciate is the person that does all of the things I just mentioned and more. Ronnie Schwartz is the backbone, and brains and heart of our Shul. He is the reason that there is still a Shul and he is the reason that our Shul is moving onwards and upwards. Everything that happens in the Shul, is his זכות.

Lastly, we need to recognize and appreciate two, or actually three people, that made it possible for us to make our move אי“ה from a Bais-ment, to an upstairs Kehillah.

My father-in-law, Rabbi Jerry Berkowitz, has been involved with us from the beginning of my involvement with the Shul - advising and directing, behind the scenes. And now, he has honored us by enabling a new building and giving us a new name.

Kehillas Zichron Dovid is a tribute to two individuals, עליהם השלום whose name our Kehillah proudly carries forward.

I was not זוכה to meet my wife’s paternal grandfather, but my family, believe it or not, purchased meat from his butcher shop. An educated man, whose education far outshined his occupation, but when jobs required working on Shabbos; you took what you could get - if you were a צדיק, which he did, because he was. A sacrifice for קדושת שבת that we should not take for granted. We hope that our Shul is the kind of place that he would want to daven in.

The other Dovid, is not exactly Dovid. His name was דוד אברהם נתנאל, but everyone called him Danny, or as we called him, Uncle Dan. He was an amalgamation of everything we aspire to. He learned Torah, he was a musician, a chazan, he was a tremendous בעל חסד, he was a Hatzoloh member. He brought together the דוד with the אברהם and the נתנאל - as I will explain.

When שלמה המלך built the בית המקדש, he wanted to bring the ארון into the קודש הקדשים, but the gates clung together, and wouldn’t let him bring the ארון in. No matter what שלמה המלך said, they wouldn’t open up - until he said אל תשב פני משיחך - do not turn away the face of your anointed one - open up in the זכות of my father, Dovid. Once שלמה said that, the gates opened up (Shabbos 30a).

Our Shul has been through so much. Ups and downs. All you wanted was השראת השכינה. You never wanted just a minyan - you always wanted a Rav, you always wanted a Shul.

Now with the mention of the name דוד, the gates open up; it becomes a reality.

I want us to remember that in the name דוד אברהם נתנאל, lies the manifesto of our Shul.

Reflected in each name is both השראת השכינה and the mechanism to achieve that השראת השכינה.

דוד - the משורר, the singer, the one that represents מלכות and השראת השכינה and the בית המקדש. Where there is song, there is prayer, and where there is prayer, there is שכינה. Our Shul is not a no-frills minyan. Our תפילות are musical and our davening is sincere. Our Shul is, and must be, a place to rendezvous with the שכינה.

אברהם - the איש החסד the מרכבה - chariot - for the שכינה - the רמב“ן says that the entire idea of גאולה from מצרים and the building of משכן which would ultimately morph into the בית המקדש was simply to get back to the level of the אבות, the level of relationship that ה‘ had with אברהם. Greater is הכנסת אורחים than greeting the שכינה. אברהם taught us, that when there is a חסד to do, you put your conversation with the Eibishter on hold, while you help another man. Our Shul is a place of חסד, a family, a community, a place where we look to see how we can help and support one another. אברהם and his חסד, made him a מרכבה for the שכינה; our חסד will make our Shul a מרכבה for the שכינה.

נתנאל: נתנאל בן צוער was the נשיא of יששכר, the tribe that contained the teachers of תורה, and he was the one whose idea it was to bring the sacrifices of the נשיאים to inaugurate the משכן. And the מדרש asks why was his name נתנאל? Because he represented his שבט who gave their hearts to Torah. It was their love; Torah, that was given by קל to ישראל through משה רבינו, as the פסוק says ויתן [שרש נתן] אל משה - the name נתנאל.

מדרש אגדה (בובר) במדבר פרשת במדבר פרק א

ולמה נקרא שמו נתנאל לפי שנתנו שבט יששכר לבם על התורה, שנתנה האל לישראל על יד משה, שנאמר ויתן אל משה וגו' (שמות לא יח) 

All הקב“ה has left in the world nowadays; His only place, is where תורה is being learned. The תורה that we will learn, brings with it השראת השכינה.

Each name דוד אברהם נתנאל, has within it a vehicle for השראת השכינה - and that is our goal. The רינה, the חסד and the Torah, that we will constantly work on in Kellias Zichron Dovid.

יהיו זכרם ברוך

  15 Nisan 5784