June 18, 2021
This week we lost a great leader of the San Antonio Jewish community, Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg z”l.
Although my time with the rabbi was limited, I feel like I knew him for years, and even more so, I feel like his name and the associated stories that describe his life will have an impact on our community for generations to come.
Hollywood has for decades produced movies and shows on people’s search for eternal life. There are genres of books, both fiction and nonfiction, on extended life and what happens in the hereafter. The reality is that our Jewish tradition has always been very clear, no matter what happens with our physical body, our name lives on in this world well beyond our natural life.
Our community grieves and physically aches with the passing of our beloved rabbi, but the rabbi’s name and legacy will live on well beyond his years of life. As Congregation Rodfei Sholom’s website so eloquently describes, “Rabbi Scheinberg’s [z”l] inspirational leadership serve as a genuine role model for kindness, life-long learning and deepening understanding of Torah and commitment to Israel.” These values, teachings, and foundational principles have been embedded into our community because of the rabbi, and it is our responsibility to perpetuate and continue their legacy in his honor.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l said that, “Community is the human expression of Divine love. It is where I am valued simply for who I am, how I live, and what I give to others. It is the place where they know my name.”
Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg z”l was a pillar of the San Antonio Jewish community because of his Divine love and care of others. This is the place where we will remember his name with great admiration. He modeled his love of Gd, family, and community, and showed us all how to love Israel unconditionally, with full vigor, at every waking moment.
Our sages of the Talmud highlight an important aspect of leadership in the Haftorah reading of this week’s Chukat Torah parshah. By comparing the hero of the reading, Jephthah, to Samuel, the last of our biblical Judges, where there are no easily identifiable similarities between them, our sages recognize one commonality, that each was the right leader for their “moment” in time.
Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg z”l came to San Antonio and added another option for our community members to find their spiritual home at an essential time in our community’s history. His outreach and community vision were critical to who we are today. Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that it is now the rabbi’s time to return to Israel, where he will be laid to rest, and to where his heart and soul have faced throughout his life.
May Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg’s z”l memory always be a blessing, just as our Jewish Federation will always be…
HERE for you.
HERE for our community.
HERE for our Future.