One year ago we celebrated Jehiel’s 76th birthday at Beth El in South Orange.  The sanctuary was filled to capacity, and everyone had nice things to say about Jehiel.  We were all feeling quite warm and fuzzy by the time Jehiel himself went up for an aliyah.  And of course, being on the bimah, he had to speak.
    “I just want to express my deep –” he paused a moment “– disappointment in the committee that organized this celebration.”
    He paused while we all cackled.
    “This is supposed to be a warm, caring, inclusive congregation, open to everyone,” he continued, looking out over the thousands of people present.  “And yet I see the committee has invited only my best friends.”
    And that’s how, in the space of about thirty seconds, he had us laughing, crying and loving him.  Virtuouso!

By: Nikki Pusin

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