Bound by the Thread of Life

By Martin Rosenblatt

Each year with the approach of the High Holy Days, there is deep searching for the meaning of life and how to behave—not only as a Jew, but also in exploration of being Jewish as part of a greater humanity.

In 1986, I came to BJ, in search of a rabbi who shared my strong social justice values and would officiate at my wedding with Sandy Cheiten. I met Marshall, and a string of what was to become beshert began.

Just one example was on the night of Yom Kippur in 1999. When we arrived home to the break fast, the phone rang and it was the hospital where my twin brother Arthur was recovering from a heart transplant. We were told Arthur had died. The hospital wanted to do an autopsy, so we reached out to the rabbis, but were unable to contact them. We went to the hospital immediately and, lo and behold, Roly and Marcelo were there with another congregant on the same floor as my brother. We broke fast together in the waiting room, eating out of paper containers. So, in my brother’s honor, each High Holy Days when we pray, we wear the tallises from our family in remembrance. Sandy wears Arthur’s, and I wear the tallis that Sandy’s father wore.

The lessons from our immigrant families – who had to fight to survive the persecution of Jews in Russia, Poland, and Lithuania – teach us that it is better to give than to receive. We are all part of a greater humanity that is bound together in many ways, and that understanding and behavior is what will move the world forward. We are proud to be part of a community dedicated to those same goals.


About Martin Rosenblatt

Martin Rosenblatt was born in Brooklyn, NY. He is married to Sandy Cheiten and has a daughter, Paulette, and two grand children, Max and Veronika. Martin is an investigative researcher, who has worked in the Executive Chamber of Governor Mario Cuomo, for Mark Green in The Public Advocate’s Office, and for NYC Councilman Alan Gerson. His father, Max Rosenblatt, was a famous Yiddish actor, as was his mother, Bessie. His aunts and uncles were teachers and Union organizers.