Gan Emunah

Garden of Faith

Gan Emunah, Garden of Faith, is a beautiful butterfly garden on the southeast lawn of Temple Sholom that pays tribute to Faith Dremmer.

In her seventeen years of life, Faith Dremmer, a Temple congregant, did more to bring justice, beauty and goodness into the world than most people are able to do, even if they live well into the autumn of life. Faith was extremely involved in the Temple Sholom community, including serving as social justice vice-president of the Temple’s youth group that arranged for the high school students to volunteer in different projects, including the Monday Meal Mitzvah program.

This butterfly and herb garden helps the Temple Sholom community and its children learn about urban gardening and the greening of our environment, as well as yield herbs whose harvest will be used at the Temple’s weekly Monday Meal Mitzvah.

  • stone-1In the words of Rebbe Nachmanof Breslov: “Faith is the foundation of all spiritual quest…the root of all teaching and practice…the channel for every benefit and blessing.”

    With these stepping stones, we create a path that represents our faith.

  • stone-2As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of צדק–zedek, of righteousness. In the words of our Torah: “Justice and righteousness shall you pursue.” With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to righteousness.
  • stone-3As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of חזון-chazon, of vision. In the words of Proverbs: “Where there is no vision, people perish.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that embodies our vision.

  • stone-4As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of צחוק-tz’chok, of laughter and ריעות-reiut, friendship. In the words of our Kahlil Gebran:

    “In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to laughter and friendship.

  • stone-5As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of שלום-shalom, of peace and wholeness. In the words of our prayers:

    “May the One who creates peace on high, create peace and wholeness for all of us, for all of Israel and let us say amen.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to peace.

  • stone-6As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of הודאה-hoda’ah, of gratitude.

    In the words of our prayers:”I am grateful before You, Eternal and Living God. With great faith, You have renewed my soul within me.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to gratitude.

  • stone-7As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of שמחה-simchah, of joy. In the words of the Baal Shem Tov: “Those who live in joy do the Creator’s will.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to joy.

  • stone-8As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of ענווה-anavah, of humility and selflessness. As it has been said: “Occupy a rightful space, neither too much nor too little. Focus neither on your own virtues nor the faults of others.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to humility.

  • stone-9As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of תקווה-tikvah, of hope. In the words of Eli Wiesel: “Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God. It is a gift only we can give one another.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to hope.

  • stone-10As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of הכללה-haklalah, of inclusion. In the words of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov: “Seek the good in everyone, and reveal it, bring it forth.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to inclusion.

  • stone-11As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of אהבה-ahavah, of love. In the words of Tanna d’Bai Eliyahu: “This is what the Holy One said to Israel: My children, what do I seek from you? I seek no more than that you love one another and honor one another.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to love.

  • stone_12As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden devoted to shalshelet hakabbalah- הקבלה שלשלת to continuing the chain of our tradition.

    In the words of Rami Shapiro: “We are shaped by those who came before us. As an acorn is formed by a tree that preceded it, yet gives rise to a tree uniquely its own, so we are formed by our ancestors, yet give rise to a Judaism uniquely ours.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to the continuity of the chain of our tradition.

  • stone-13As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of חסד-chesed, of loving kindness. In the words of the prophet Micah: “What does God require of you? Only to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to loving kindness.

  • stone-14As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden infused with נשמה-Neshamah, with soul. In the words of Elyse Frishman: “My soul came to me pure, drawn from the reservoir of the Holy. All the time it remains within me, I am thankful for its thirst for compassion and justice. Let my eyes behold the beauty of all creatures, let my hands know the privilege of righteous deeds.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that affirms our soul.

  • stone-15As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of אופטימיות-optimiut, of optimism. In the words of Pirkei Avot: “Greet every person with a pleasant face…Receive every person in a cheerful manner.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to optimism.

  • stone-16As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of תפילה-tefilah, of prayer. In the words of Gates of Prayer: “Those who rise from prayer better persons, their prayer is answered.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to meaningful prayer.

  • stone-17As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of יופי-yofi, of beauty. In the words of Ecclesiastes: “God has made everything beautiful in its time and has placed eternity in the human heart.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to beauty.

  • stone-18As we remember our Faith, we commit that this will be a garden of חיים-chaim, of life. In the words of our prayers: “You are forever mighty, Adonai… You sustain life through love, giving life to all through great compassion, supporting the fallen, healing the sick, freeing the captive, and keeping faith with those who sleep in the dust.”

    With this stepping stone, we create a path that leads to life.

Amidst the flowering bushes and native plants in the Garden of Faith are 18 stepping stones – each representing a quality of Faith, including: tzedek – righteousness, chazon – vision, chesed – loving kindness, hoda’ah – gratitude, tikvah – hope, and shalom. The garden provides a place to remember, to find comfort and to be surrounded by beauty (even amidst loss). As the garden renews itself every year, there will be a sense of continual blossoming at Temple Sholom.

Contribute to a Greater Good.

To make donations to the Garden of Faith, please allocate donations to our Fund for Social Justice and indicate “Garden of Faith” in the occasion field.