Rabbi Troster… our friend, our Rabbi, our teacher, a father, a brother, an uncle, a grandfather, a husband, a person. Rabbi Troster spent just four short years with us here at Kesher, yet his impact will be everlasting. He had the courage and confidence to be a change maker for us. He has positioned and prepared us for the future, for which we will be forever grateful.
He brought our music-inspired Shabbats and Holidays to a new level. He updated our Kashrut policies to allow us to create a more inclusive social environment. He encouraged us to carry through with our streaming visions. He brought us a full launching point for our Green Policy to take care of the environment.
Rabbi Troster “humanized” the Rabbinate and some describe him as a “Renaissance man.” Think about it, who can do a magic show for pre-schoolers, teach and inspire the intellect of intellects, appear in Wikipedia with Rabbi Abraham Heschel and Rabbi Harold Kushner about the enlightening impact of process theology, and then go have a beer at the Brikckette with our own KI band community? How about comedy night when the comedian picked him out of the crowd (not knowing he was the Rabbi) and made him the subject of his jokes? How about when he shared a book about his favorite movie “Casablanca” with one of his high school students? How about the Toronto Maple Leafs versus Flyers game with one of his congregants? How about his 65th birthday celebration at one of our congregant’s homes? His breadth of interests and vast volume of knowledge makes him one of the most interesting people we have ever had the opportunity to know. He has touched many of our hearts in many different ways.
We were able to witness the love and pure joy on his face as he stood on the bima with his grandchildren. As passionate and moved as Rabbi Troster was about the environment and creating a difference, he was even more passionate about being there for his two daughters, four beautiful grandchildren, and his best friend and partner, Elaine. He was their “light.”
Light is so very important to life and our culture. Our eternal light, our fully solar powered Ner Tamid, is the very symbol and light that Rabbi Troster has proudly created for us. The Eternal Light that burns perpetually reminds us of the holiness of the Torah scrolls that are stored within the ark and calls to mind G.d’s abiding presence and care of people. Let this eternal light be our guide and gift from Rabbi Troster. We will face difficult times of darkness and chaos together and we will have our light and hope to carry us through together. Let our gift to him be to continue the work of perfecting the world. One of Rabbi Troster’s favorite teachings comes from Rabbi Tarfon: “It is not our responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but neither are we free to desist from it.”
We can do this together. We can repair the world one Mitzvah at a time. May Rabbi Troster’s memory be forever for a blessing.
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