Today I attended the funeral of one of my teachers, Cantor William Sharlin. He died earlier this week at the age of 92. Cantor Sharlin was the Cantor Emeritus of Leo Baeck Temple here in Los Angeles but he also was our teacher of sacred music at Hebrew Union College during my seminary years. He lovingly taught us trope. He urged us to sing. I had the privilege of singing in his choir on many occasions since I had spent two years of undergraduate school as a voice major and I had been a songleader through NFTY and Reform Jewish summer camping!
And how blessed I was that he would come to Kol Ami often. Our beloved Cantor, Mark Saltzman was one of his cantorial students and they remained close. I loved having William share the Bima with us and to see he and his beloved wife, Jacqui spend a Shabbat or a Yom Kippur afternoon with us.
His music was inspiring and complex. And his kindness abounding. Cantor Sharlin helped me sing. Cantor Sharlin helped us all sing.
I give thanks for his life and the way his music touched me. I give thanks and pray his soul rests in peace.
May God bring comfort to all those who mourn in Zion and Jerusalem.