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Waiting for Rosh-Hashanah…

by Zanna Linskaia

In several weeks it will be Rosh-Hashanah – Jewish New

5782 Year- and I remember time when many years ago I

came on the eve of High Holidays for Shabbat service led by

cantor Steve Levin. His beautiful voice with virtuoso piano

playing, his jokes and warm greetings to members and

guests were very inviting. I have been at services in Israel

and listened to excellent cantors and rabbis but Steve had

special impression on me and my decision to become a

member of the Burquest Jewish community.

Steve is not only cantor and religious leader of this

community: for decades he has taught and prepared

students for Bar and Bat-mitzvoth, giving them spiritual

meaning and understanding of the Torah, the Talmud and

Jewish customs and traditions. How important at this

troubled time teaching dignity to be a Jew.

Having a sincere nature and big heart, Steve often gives

concerts to elderly Jewish residents at Luis Brier home or

visits sick people at their final days. He considers it not only

as his duty, but as his love for people and God.

Besides his theological knowledge and erudition Steve is an

outstanding performer and musician who can easily

improvise opera, musical, jazz or klezmer pieces. I

remember his concerts of classical romances, his cabarets

of American musicals and songs by Lenard Cohen – they

were unforgettable!

Steve Levin is a man with an exceptional personality and

intellect even though his up-and-down life has not been easy

at all. In all circumstances he remains a mensch, as we say

in Yiddish, who stays outside of intrigues and envy and

could not hurt or insult anybody.

So many things have been cancelled during this pandemic

and so many people felt loneliness and isolation from each

other. We could not go to Burquest for services, but the

synagogue came to our homes by Zoom thanks to David

Lank who organized and moderated Oneg Shabbats with

cantor Steve Levin all this time. Steve became a master of

Zoom performances, with his charm, enthusiasm and

optimism like light in the shadows of a plague. When I am

sad, I listen to his beautiful recordings of High Holiday

prayers; then the spirit and hope return to my mind and soul.

Shana Tova to all of us!

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