On Friday, November 16, after more than 40 years of leading services at LJCC, Herb Friedson led his last Shabbat service. Many friends came out to honor Herb for a memorable night which included a poem read by Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam- Goldberg, and memories shared by Martha Taylor, Herb’s wife. Herb, who is also the director of the LJCC/JCW Gift Shop and the creator of the beautiful “Burning Bush” enamel art that adorns the front of the Ark in the sanctuary, as well as the “Tree of Life” in the Social Hall, says he will still consider stepping up to the bima in emergencies.
The poem that Caryn wrote for Herb is included below.
The first star to rise in the east guides us,
gathering us in the light made
by one point in the darkness
Herb, you are this star, silvering over
the horizon each turn of the wheel,
lifting up beauty in its most vibrant jewel tones,
letting us know the beating heart
beneath the setbacks and dangers,
old garments of damage or wrong turns.
In kindness, in constancy, in remembering all
the details of children’s lives and elders’ journeys,
you are an artist of conversation and community.
In enamels and fiber, design and arrangement,
you shine us toward the faithfulness
of walking the way of forgiveness and welcoming
in each rising of dawn, each falling of dusk.
Thank you for the song and singing
in the vast and changing sky of this place.
Thank you for the light, voice and hue
as the seasons unfold through us.
Be among us always, a friend to the heart
of the light, our friend, our light.
~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, with love