Two summers ago Karen and I, along with our daughter and son-in-law, travelled to Charleston, South Carolina for a wedding. It was to take place at Mepkin Abbey, an exquisite Trappist Monastery about an hour outside the city.
In one of life’s unanticipated things, we struck up a conversation with Br. Stan Gumula, the Abbot. That conversation became an immediate friendship. He had studied with some of the great thinkers of the time, including Thomas Merton, a name both Karen and I knew, and some of whose writing we had read. We talked about the spiritual value of silence, and, among other things learned of the long standing links between Mepkin Abbey and Kahal Kodesh Beth Elohim, the Charleston Reform congregation founded in 1841.
A few weeks ago Br. Stan wrote to say he would be nearby in early May, and might he visit. We were delighted, the more so when a conversation between Rabbi Splansky and Br. Stan made possible the joint class they will be offering before services on Shabbat morning, May 3rd.
It gives me such a feeling of pride to say this is what Holy Blossom is about.