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Morah Yehudis Fishman

Community Celebrates Morah Yehudis’ Birthday, Sukkot

Morah Yehudis Fishman
Morah Yehudis Fishman

More than a hundred community members turned out at Aish Kodesh’s sukkah Sunday night to celebrate Morah Yehudis Fishman’s 70th birthday and Sukkot.  An anonymous east coast donor covered the cost of the party, making sure that there was plenty of kosher food and drink to go around.  A clown entertained the multitude of children that accompanied their parents to the party.

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Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm, Jonathan Lev and Rabbi Marc Soloway listen to Morah Yehudis Fishman.

Congressman Jared Polis stopped by to wish Morah Yehudis a happy birthday, along with many Boulder County rabbis. Some of the rabbis in attendance: Rabbi Marc Soloway, Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm, Rabbi Yakov Borenstein, Rabbi Ruthie Gelfarb, Rabbi Hanalei Laner and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.  Rabbi Soloway read greetings from Rabbi Josh Rose, who was unable to attend.  Congressman Polis, Boulder JCC Director Jonathan Lev and many of the rabbis spoke in Morah Yehudis’ honor.

Morah Yehudis provided several teachings for the occasion.  As it was her 70th, and tradition says that at that age, one must be a b’nai mitzvah again, she told of her intention to have a first Bat Mitzvah, and announced her Mitzvah Project:  Mezuzah Assistance Relief Campaign: M.A.R.C.  The campaign is to raise money to provide mezuzahs for anyone who lost theirs in the flood, or who needs one.

Morah Yehudis also read the following poem that she composed this week:

COUPLED TO A HIGHER CHORD

We are people unbounded
By ties to anything anyone but the One.
So we have won over forces of extinction
Loss of home, property, wealth, respect, yes even life
cannot cut us off from Source.
Our being, our identities
Do not rest in the sociology of boxes
racial or genetic markers, or life extension pills.
The oxygen of our survival
Is beyond pure H2O
In the rakia of a boundless plane.
Open space cannot contain us
Webster cannot define us
And so we push on,
Carving roads through raging waves,
Raising roofs on shifting sands
And building bridges in locales
where whole towns are washed away.
We are the people who can let go
If need be- of gifts built from matter.
None are truly indispensable
Not our checkbooks,
Not our facebooks. Not our blackbooks.
Not our ipads, not our smart phones,
Not even our credit cards and Fannie Maes.
We have a tikvah
A resilient life line to the giver
who holds the space
When all else is displaced
And even when that cord seems to fail us,
Our links to each otherLike stubborn spokes in a wheel
Pull us beyond gravity
Hand to hand, heart to heart,
and soul to soul.
Then even the retiring center smiles
A blinding, blazing smile
Presence in the core of absence”

Here is a slideshow of pictures from the party:

About David Fellows

I've been writing things since grammar school, and served as a writer, photographer and/or an editor on my junior high and high school newspapers; the Daily Trojan at USC (where I earned my journalism degree); the student newspaper at the Anderson School at UCLA (where I earned my MBA); and written and edited countless business documents and presentations in the ensuing twenty years. I've been involved Jewishly since my bris and in Boulder since 1995. I'm married to my Executive Director Cheryl, and we have two children, Lauren and Ethan.

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8 comments

  1. Rabbi Marc Soloway

    What a joyous celebration for our community. It gave many of us such a lift at a time when we all need it so much. Thanks to everyone who made this possible and especially giving us such a good excuse to come together. I love this community and this may have to become an annual event in Boulder! Many blessings for the remaining days of our festival of joy in temporary dwelling! Rabbi Marc

    • If joy keeps one young, than next year I may hit 60. Anyone have an 'ideal' age for me to stop at? My thanks also to all who provided the 'unity excuse' (no twinkies were served) As I spoke yesterday, may we all come together and celebrate with each other through Torah and life simchas, rather than through challenging circumstances.

  2. Kathryn Bernheimer

    The event was such a success, Yehudis has agreed to turn 70 again next year!

  3. Happy Birthday, dear Morah Yehudis!

    I am eternally grateful for your teaching me when I was a kid back in Worcester Mass in the nineteen sixites and seventies.

    I still find myself humming the songs that you composed. Your methods of teaching were unique and so very effective!

    Boulder is lucky to have you!

    Yours student forever,

    Zeesy (Gordon) Posner

  4. Happy Birthday from another '70s Worcesterite. I still have a puff paint yarmulke that says Binyomin Avrohom Yitzchok.

  5. thanks so much Zeesy; I too find myself humming those songs; In fact, I'm teaching 4th and 5th grade Hebrew school this year, and will IYH teach them too. Last year I taught a small group of multi aged children in a suburb of Boulder called Longmont, and at the end of the year we had a party in a playground and an 11 year old sang 'He's at the Top of the World,' out loud on top of a hill; I had so much nachas! and as you as a teacher also know, it's what keeps us young..Hatzlacha rabba in all ways in the coming year to you and your mishpacha= my Bday bracha to you.

  6. repeating for my non-facebook friends:
    In reaction to yesterday and last night's event under the 'big top' sukkah, I have a little personal message for G-d (but feel free to read if you like). 'Look what awesome good and simcha a little extra money can provide (ie the anonymous donor to a community wide sukkah party to lift up the spirits of Jewish Boulder) for Your people to be used in such holy ways! We will trade You some of the recent rains for 'dollars from heaven!' Whoever agrees with this prayer, let us all say….