April Brings Showers of Rain and a Warm Farewell at B’nai Midbar

Rabbi Sanford Seltzer

Melanie Einbund

B’nai Midbar transliterated is B’nay Meedbar, meaning ‘The People of the Desert.’ We welcomed our new Torah in February and formally introduced our new name, B’nai Midbar. To celebrate, a special Oneg was sponsored by the board.

Our March 22 services were led by Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, assisted by Cantor Eliyanah Powers and accompanist Dr. Joshua Nichols. They guided us through their words, voice, and musical abilities.

The Oneg for March 22 was sponsored by Melanie and Nate Einbund, Marilyn Anthony and Willy Halpert, and Bruce and Yvette Sabulsky. We celebrated March birthdays and Nate and Melanie’s 35th wedding anniversary last September. Well, all good things come in time.

Please note the next Shabbat services are on April 19. This is a special Shabbat as we say ‘Farewell’ to Rabbi Seltzer as our Rabbi. Approaching 92 years, he has decided to retire. Any guesses on how long that will last? For more than 12 years, Rabbi Seltzer has led our congregation through celebration, joy, life’s concerns, and world circumstances that are often hard to understand.

To recognize Rabbi Seltzer, the April services will be preceded by a cocktail party to celebrate and honor his tenure with our congregation. The Oneg will be sponsored by Rabbi Seltzer’s wife, Rita Polack. If you wish to sponsor an Oneg for a special event, remembrance, or celebration, contact Judi Friedman at [email protected].

A humble and learned man, Rabbi Seltzer is a respected figure in the Jewish community. His classes are always well attended, often to standing room only. We are sorry that he is opting out of those too. The Rabbi’s knowledge has made significant contributions to education, culture, and interfaith understanding. He seeks to inspire and connect people across cultural and religious boundaries.

Rabbi Seltzer made an impression on me when I first met him. A man who has written myriad papers writes a new sermon for each service. This to me is an amazing feat of scholarship that enables the marrying of ancient texts, learnings, and stories with the modernity of the times. He says it keeps him on his toes and that he learns in the process—because of his effort, we all do!

In an earlier interview with the Rabbi, I asked what had influenced him. His response was simple and meaningful. To quote “There is a biblical verse from the Book of Proverbs that has been my guide through all of this: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom.’”

Rabbi Seltzer has been instrumental in our selection of our new Rabbi; Rabbi Daniel Price. We welcome Rabbi Price as we wish our honored Rabbi Seltzer a joyful retirement.

On March 24 we celebrated Purim together with the Jewish Friendship Group. Purim is the story of Wicked Haman who convinced King Ahasuerus to have the Jews killed. Encouraged by her cousin Mordechai, Queen Esther, the king’s wife, risks her life to intercede on her people’s behalf. We enjoyed a variety of Hamantaschen in all flavors.

When I came to SaddleBrooke I brought a tradition of giving attendees at Rosh Hashanah morning services a honey cake. Honey cakes symbolize a sweet and happy New Year. More than 80 honey cakes were baked and given to the congregation this past Rosh Hashanah. Oh! And there is a job opening! I have asked that a member of our congregation become the Honey Cake Baker coordinator. No baking, just coordinating. Please contact me if interested: [email protected].

B’nai Midbar is a small and welcoming congregation. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Esta Goldstein at 520825-1181 for information.

B’Shalom (in peace)