We are a long-sighted people, we Jews. The Torah often commands us to provide, in some way, for our children, our children’s children, and sometimes out to the thousandth generation. We have a strong sense of our need to continue thriving, but how do we go about doing that?

In the Talmud, in tractate Taanit 23a, we hear stories about Choni the Circle-Maker. One of these stories involves Choni coming across a man planting a carob tree on his property. He stopped to make conversation, and Choni asked the man “How long does it take this tree to bear fruit?”

The man responded, “Seventy years.”

Bewildered, Choni asked him, “Do you really think that you’ll live for seventy more years to see any benefit from this tree?!”

The man replied, “I found a world full of carob trees. Just as my ancestors planted for me, so too do I plant for my descendants.”

Like the man with the tree, we too must plan(t) for the future. At times we ask for donations to allow us to prepare for the future financially. At times we ask for commitments from you to help with a committee or event.

Also, like the man, we have all benefited from what others have planted for us in this congregation. Each of us has benefitted differently, but having Temple Sinai in our community means that we are here, should anyone ever have need of us. In order to ensure that we can keep providing for as many people as possible, we, along with Temple leadership, have begun long-term strategic planning.

On January 27 at 10 am in the sanctuary, we invite you to join us for a congregational meeting. As we consider what we have accomplished in the last year, we will also ask you to evaluate and contribute to our strategic plan, a broad-strokes guideline for Sinai for the next ten years. We will ask you for your input on whether you think such a plan would meet your needs in the future.

We hope you will give us your thoughts about what you believe it means to plant for the future of Temple Sinai. May the fruit of all that those before you have planted be enriching and sustaining to all of us.

Rabbi Sara Zober