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Shalom for class president

02/13/2020 11:59:46 AM


Shalom Lewis, Rabbi Emeritus

From out of nowhere, the humming cadence of today can be shaken by distant memories. These sudden intrusions transport us to places long forgotten. Unconsidered. We are catapulted back to long abandoned moments that filled but minutes of our history yet are surprisingly vivid. Journeys that take us back decades to fleeting episodes of youth. And so, in the midst of our day we pause and ponder the by-gone triggered by a melody. A fragrance. A vision. We linger briefly but then with a smile and a smirk we move on grateful for the glimpse but grateful that we have left childhood behind.
Join me please on the campaign trail when in 3rd grade I ran for class president at Hillel Hebrew Academy in Camden New Jersey. I had the appropriate banners and posters proclaiming “Shalom for Class President’ scrawled on colorful poster board. On the stump I wore a clip-on tie and sported a fashionable pompadour haircut. Most critically I had a fabulous platform. On the day of the great debate, I asked my fellow classmates to vote for me assuring no more homework. Longer and more frequent recesses. No tests. And ice cream as an afternoon snack every day. I was confidant of victory, after all, I was offering great stuff to my electorate. But despite my lavish and generous platform I lost. It was humiliating, I confess. But as I look back over 60 years, I now realize the folly and foolishness of my promises. They were empty words. Undeliverable. Infantile and harebrained.
I am sure glad that I have grown up.
Tue, April 7 2020 13 Nisan 5780