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We have come together again, O Lord, to enjoy a few hours of companionship with our fellow-members.

We are none of us sufficient unto ourselves. Nor can we live isolated lives.

We need to mingle, to see other faces, hear other voices, and touch other hands and mind. And, perchance, even to unburden our souls, one to another.

A meeting place such as this social hall offers the means to satisfying these needs, and the exercising of other human instincts: taking, giving, and sharing.

O Lord, may we never run out of places, where people of good will and intent may gather together in the warmth of friendship and come away feeling spiritually uplifted.

While my grandmother claimed to be an introverted wall flower, she looked forward to attending events, visiting friends and family, and participating in the senior citizen group at her synagogue. These invocations were delivered at these meetings, and not doubt, generated many discussions afterwards.

My grandmother wasn’t one to walk away from a dialogue. She thrived on heated discussions and delving into controversy. Her mornings were spent scouring the newspaper, afternoons listening to talk shows – Dick Cavett and Merv Griffen – were favorites, and evenings absorbing the day’s news. Even in her late 80’s, she could debate an issue, usually taking a stand, and not be swayed by the opposing viewpoint.

My propensity for doing research and sharing my viewpoints was honed by our weekly discussions, starting when I lived in California. My grandparents would visit on Saturdays, and I’d spend as much time as possible with my grandmother, taking long walks or hanging out in my room. When I moved to Oregon, when a senior in high school, I would talk to her nearly every Saturday morning, and sometimes Sunday afternoons.

I miss talking to her, but constantly hear her voice when I write. Our meeting place is in my head, and through my fingers.