Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Blog of Gratitude, by Rabbi Nicole Roberts

(A Deluminator would surely come up with more catchy title than this, but I’m only a rabbi, so bear with me…)

I want to say “thank you” to three of the most inspiring people with whom I’ve crossed paths in the past few months:
  Sean Landis, Sasha Landis, and Morgan Baynash.  Earlier in the year I witnessed their efforts to collect books and promote literacy in less privileged communities.  I watched them schlep said books around our synagogue into vehicles barely big enough to hold them.  And I heard that Sean was now speaking to groups of kids in other parts of Jewish Sydney about his efforts to “fight world suck.”  So I invited Sean to come address our group of North Shore Temple Emanuel teenagers and b’nai mitzvah students, so that he could shed some light for us on what all the fuss was about.  Next thing I knew, our congregation was gifted with not just one, but THREE (count ‘em, three!) Deluminators coming to address our group, along with an awesome PowerPoint presentation and a series of really fun YouTube videos about their amazing work.  These three Deluminators shared with us the story of how they created a Sydney Chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance where there wasn’t one before.  They told us how they had applied their passion for reading to tikkun olam—repairing the world.  And most importantly, they conveyed how much fun they’ve had in the process of doing all this, inspiring each of us to contemplate what it is we are passionate about, to embrace our inner nerd, and to put our unique talents to use in spreading more “awesome” to people and places in need.

So thank you, you three amazing Deluminators, for your awesomeness and nerdiness, of course, but also for your determination, your energy, your passion, your professionalism, your commitment, your compassion, your social conscience, your kindness, your cheerfulness, and your time.

Thank you for your presentation, which kept us all engaged for the entire hour, and made us laugh and want to get involved. Thank you for being “social entrepreneurs,” who didn’t just sit back and lament the lack of a Harry Potter Alliance here, but took the initiative to create one yourselves.  THIS IS A UNIQUE AND PRECIOUS TRAIT, and it makes me so proud to know you and be part of your congregation.

Thank you for thinking creatively.

Thank you for using your passions for good, and making social action fun.
Thank you for inspiring our NSTE teens to follow your lead.
Thank you for collecting 9,512 books for communities in need.
Thank you for the blood you gave, for Project Lily, and for Esther Day.
Thank you for sharing the awesome that’s in your souls.
Thank you for the light you spread, to a world so desperately in need.

Rabbi Nicole Roberts

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