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BERNICE COWL GORDON, 90, ST. LOUIS PARK
Occupation: Retired teacher and volunteer.
Place of worship: Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park.
Favorite song: "Hatikvah" ("The Hope"), Israel's national anthem.
Favorite religious text: Psalms 23: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. ... "
What I believe and why: I believe in brotherhood and friendship, and in performing chesed [kind deeds]. I was 70 when my dear husband, Moses, passed away. I asked myself, "Bernice, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?" I remembered my grandmother's wise words: "Ah mentsch lebt nicht far zich alein." ("A person does not live for himself alone.") I devoted myself to volunteering to bring love, laughter, piano music and storytelling to people in nursing homes and day-care centers, and now work with the Twin Cities Jewish Healing Program. Volunteering is a blessing and a gift. In my heart of hearts, I know I have received more than I have given. In the Pirke Avot, our sages have written, "Who is wise? He who learns something from each person. Who is rich? He who is content with his portion." We should try to live each day in a kind way, to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
If you know a thoughtful person of faith who would be a good candidate for "Believer," e-mail Pamela Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN)
Date: December 9, 2006