AGUDAS ISRAEL CONGREGATION
Welcome to our Synagogue!
Everything good I learned about being human I learned from my dog
1. Be happy every morning and show it to the world. My dog always greets me every morning with her tail wag-ging and with an enthusiasm that re-peats itself every day, day in and day out. Not only is she wildly happy, some of it rubs off on me. Seeing her happy makes me happy, and, however grumpy I might wish to be, I am far less so because of this daily canine welcome. But you don’t have to be a canine to greet the day with verve.
2. When one of your people comes home, whether from an absence of one year or one day, jump all over them and show them how happy you are to see them.
3. Love your people with unqualified love. No matter what happened yesterday, whether she got yelled at for something, or someone acciden-tally stepped on one of her paws, or if she had an unpleasant visit to the vet—whatever, my dog never fails to give me her affection after-wards. She always lets the unhappiness of the day dissipate and her usual joie de vivre returns. Sometimes it’s good to lose a bit of your long term memory.
4. Be happy to see whoever comes through your door. My dog will run and jump all over my guests, whether they want it or not. You need not replicate canine behavior to that extent, but you get the point.
5. Be affectionate to everyone. I tell people who meet my dog for the first time that, based on my dog’s behavior, she already likes my guest more than she likes me.
6. Always eat what’s put in front of you and with gusto and never complain.
7. Drink plenty of water daily, and don’t be afraid to slurp it.
8. Exercise three times daily. Well, maybe not that much. My dog intuitively knows that she needs to get outside, get fresh air, and be in the world. Her person-ality changes for the better.
9. When you go outdoors, go with some-one. It makes the walk a happier experience.
10. Before you go outdoors, stretch.
11. When you go outdoors, happily greet your neighbors. All of them.
12. Play passionately. Whether it’s with a rubber bone, an old tennis ball, or some more complex item, chase it, catch it, and chew it—and always have fun with it. Let it absorb your attention and don’t let it defeat you. Chew that tennis ball until it’s a useless piece of rubber.
13. Always take your medicine. Okay, I have to give it to her, but she always takes it, right on time.
14. It’s okay to bark sometimes. Not too often, but occasionally it’s critical to make some noise when things need to happen. But don’t bark too often. It can get annoying.
15. It’s okay to howl sometimes. Your people may not know exactly what you’re trying to say, but they’ll love hearing you say it anyway.
16. Let your people scratch you on your head, behind your ears, on your back and, occasionally, on your belly. It’s okay to receive affection, espe-cially if you’re willing to reciprocate.
17. Sleep well, and don’t feel embarrassed to nap, especially in the sun. Find a comfortable chair or couch or one of each. Occasionally, you might even want to sleep under the bed.
18. Loyalty is a virtue. No matter how disappointing we may believe we are to the world, our dogs al-ways stay by our sides.
19. And to reverse this, I repeat for you what I first saw written on the side of a garbage truck and have seen variations in several places. It’s a dog owner’s prayer. Dear God. Please help me be-come the person my dog thinks I am. And we can, by following what our dogs teach us.
20. Enough said.
- Rabbi Philip Cohen, Ph.D.
With 2014 almost a memory, I would like to take this op-portunity to thank all of you for your ongoing commitment to, and support of, Agudas Israel as well as your support of me. For the past 6 months as president I have been sustained by your expressions of good will and encouragement.
It seems that at the end of each year, we reflect on the past and look to the future. We wish for less of the “bad” things and more of the “good” things. Our resolutions often include 1. Lose weight, 2. Eat healthy, 3. Smile more (be less grumpy), 4. Care for the environment. The list goes on.
This year, 2015, we will be experiencing change at Agudas Israel. In light of those changes I have some suggestions for resolutions that may help each of us as we move through the coming year.
Keep an open mind
Communicate openly with the Board of Directors
Treat each other with respect
Trust that the best interests of the synagogue
are being served
Keep a sense of humor. Laughter is good for the soul
It is Peter’s and my wish that we all experience health, hap-piness, prosperity and peace in 2015.
Dr. Linda Perkel