Something strage happened this morning. After prayers, the Rabbi asked me to please put up some little plaques that had arrived in the mail from being engraved. I opened the box and there was one yartzeit plaque (in memory of someone’s anniversary of death) and two little leafs for the Tree of Life (a tree-like board with leaf-shaped plaques for any kind of event one may want to memorialize). One of the leafs said, “In honor of Daniel Perez for his commitment to our shul.” Eh? I read it twice; yep, that was the message. Someone paid to have one of those little leafs engraved in my honor.

I felt weird. Yes, honored that someone would think like that of me, but weird. I’m just a regular guy that does what he supposed to do, nothing more. I go to prayers, I help out in the synagogue, I help out the Rabbi, but that’s what we’re all supposed to do, why we’re a community. I don’t think I’m doing anything beyond the ordinary. What’s more, I sometimes complain in my head about having to do X or Y, just as I am marching off to do it; I’m only human, after all.

So yeah, I’m honored, but more than anything I am humbled by the small honor. I put it up and didn’t say anything about it. Someone saw it and I just smiled and kept going. I just told the Rabbi that, I don’t know who paid for that (nor do I want to know), and that though I don’t think I deserve it, to please extend my thanks.

I still feel strange about it.