So the other day, I received this wonderful email from someone working on the 75th anniversary of Ramath Orah Synagogue on the Upper West Side in Manhattan where I grew up.
My grandfather (Opa), Simon Blumenthal, had served as the President of that synagogue for many wonderful years.
I remember always being so proud of him for his dedication and hard work for the community.
I look up to him when he got up to give the announcements at the pulpit.
And he built the beautiful center bimah, the special succah downstair with the roof that opened up to the sky at holiday time, and made many other truly impressive improvements to the synagogue.
He and his wife, my grandmother (Oma), Hilda Blumenthal were an absolutely beautiful couple and the finest of people.
My parents, Fred and Gerda Blumenthal, continued in their footsteps and to be members at Ramath Orah long after we had moved away to Riverdale, and they were contributors to the shul and attended the annual synagogue dinners for many years.
Even though the synagogue was mainly filled with elderly people at the time, we always knew and prayed that it would become revitalized again, which it did and is now.
Pictured at the bottom is me as a kid sitting with a talit over my shoulder and in my grandfathers (the President's chair) in the front of the synagogue.
Aside from leading and singing the regular Yigdal and Adom Olam prayers, I loved to sit with my father and grandfather in synagogue.
We prayed together, and we stayed together as a family and community.
I miss them all so much, but am sure they are up in Heaven together sitting in the Big Synagogue in the sky basking in the light of Hashem and watching over me and my family today! ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)