Every once in a while I head to our Shul on the Beach on a Sunday afternoon to drum up some business. I hang out on the Venice Boardwalk hoping to meet anyone interested in our shul or Judaism. I show interested passers-by the shul, sometimes we take a picture, (I tell them about the blog), I invite them to ‘something’, we shmooze and then they are on their way.
This Sunday was the last Sunday before our upcoming Chanukah party so it was a prime opportunity to publicize the party which is open to the public.
Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. It was cold by Los Angeles standards and the boardwalk was much quieter than usual. Very few people stopped in to say hi on this day.
But one encounter was just so remarkable that I wished to share it with you.
A pair of women were walking and as they passed the shul one of them veered in our direction and asked if she could come inside. She said the magical words that we hear all too ofter “I pass by the shul all the time, but it was never open”. “We’re working on that”, I respond with a smile.
One of the women is Jewish, mostly reform, but has been affiliated with Orthodox as well.
After a few pleasantries, I reveal that I am the Rabbi. I introduce myself as Eliyahu Fink. She asks if I am related to any other Rabbi Finks. I reply in the affirmative. My father is Rabbi Fink. My grandfather was Rabbi Fink as well.
“Is your father Rabbi Aaron Fink?”, she asks.
“Yes he is! Do you know him? And how?”
She tells me that she used to live in Buffalo NY where my father was Headmaster of the Jewish Day School for 4 years. She remembered me as a 6 year old boy and remembers my parents well. In fact she recently saw them at a wedding of a Buffalonian a couple years ago.
What a small world!
Hopefully, we will see her again at the Chanukah Party.
In the meantime, here is the picture I took with Linda in our Shul.