Tribute gala in memory of Rabbi Morton Green

April 2019
Rabbi Daniel Green

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019 our community will host a Memorial Tribute Gala for Rabbi Mordechai Green z"l and the establishment of a legacy endowment in is his memory.  All those who he has touched over six decades and the beneficiaries of his accomplishments are invited to participate in this historic gathering.

Nearly 60 years ago, a new, magnificent, Adas Israel synagogue was dedicated in Westdale.  At that time, my father designed two cast-bronze menorahs to frame  the imposing marble ark.  The striking element of his artistic creation was that the menorahs had no base, but simply dangled in the air with no foundational pillar or pedestal.  What message was my father trying to convey?

I believe my father left these menorahs without a base to remind us that it is our responsibility to carry the torch.  Our tradition is an "eternal flame" but its base is ever-changing.  The foundational pillars are those in each generation who yearn to hold high our timeless menorah with pride.

My father raised the torch of Judaism in our community.  Along the way, he inspired and supported countless individuals, connecting them with a deeper sense of inner purpose and meaning.  He has now passed on to us his menorah and it is our moment to raise it high.

In his memory, we will be fabricating a foundational pillar and base to be placed beneath his menorah, on a new dedication wall to be erected in our main sanctuary.  Upon the pillar and base will be etched the names of those who are partnering to perpetuate his legacy.  Our goal is to strengthen our future with the establishment of the Rabbi Mordechai Green Legacy Endowment Fund of $1.8 million, to strengthen Jewish education in our community and ensure that his great legacy continues.

In his artistic portrayal, Rabbi Green merged three interwoven "Shins,"  the second to last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The three-pronged letter is adorned with crowns that represent the harmony of all three levels of knowledge and the attribute of splendour, which balances kindness and discipline.

When Rabbi Green arrived in Hamilton 61 years ago for an audition at the Cannon Street Shul, the weekly Torah portion, remarkably, described the kindling of the Temple's menorah.  At the age of 24, the aspiring rabbi described the deeper symbolism of the seven-stemmed menorah and how the flames of the six outer branches pointed towards the central stem.   The seven branches, he explained, represent the totality of human existence as expressed in the seven days of the week.  The central stem, towards which all branches point, is Shabbat, the focal point of our life.  The theme of the menorah served as the bookends of his great legacy.

May we be able to perpetuate the great foundation he has left for us and enable his great menorah to illuminate for generations.  For more information on how to be included in this historic event, please visit www.jewishfuture.ca.