Sunday, September 10, 2023

Happy Birthday to Sam Iasso!

 Here's a poem, written to give honor to the man

who led the project to transform a big furniture warehouse 

into a little bit of Jerusalem in Wayne, New Jersey...

Sam Iasso



I’ll never forget the day

I happened to notice a slight opening

in a partition where renovations

were steadily under way

at our congregation

Beth Israel, in Wayne, New Jersey


Since I’d been at Beth Israel

from its beginning and am always

enthusiastic about wherever

God’s sure hand

is leading us, I simply was

unable to resist the urge

to approach that opening—


Excitedly, I peered through the crack

and immediately gasped


Before my eyes

stood the Holy City

with its towering Western Wall—

a wee bit of Jerusalem

right here in Wayne


Tears immediately welled in my eyes

and tumbled down my cheeks


Our place of worship

was in the midst of transformation

from a sprawling furniture warehouse

into a magnificent place of worship


Sam Iasso, our humble master artisan

came out of retirement

as a project manager

for a large corporation

He volunteered to lead the operation

and was put in charge of a team of workers


I call Sam our Bezalel

after the God-appointed chief craftsman

of the Tabernacle in Exodus

Bezalel, who with his crew

directed all the diverse specifications

and intricate handiwork

according to God’s specific instructions


After seven years

six days a week

sometimes 12-hour days

and countless sleepless nights

day by day our Bezalel was mindful


This is for the Lord!


Sam faced serious health issues

but managed to complete his project


The partitions came down


Our dazzling new sanctuary

opened for worship

featuring a striking facsimile

of Israel’s ancient walls

as our backdrop


Replicas of Biblical columns

and city gates, stones

with Scriptures carved into them

presents those entering

with a sense of actually being

in the Middle East

standing on holy ground


Oh! Jerusalem of Gold!


Praise God—

we now have a hallowed sanctuary

and it’s beautiful


Thank You, Lord

for calling and equipping Sam

Thank you, Sam for saying Hineni

and thank you to your awesome team


To God be the glory!


Amen and amen


Maude Carolan Pych

Note: Hineni means "Here am I" in Hebrew.

Happy Birthday, Sam!

God bless you.


Would you like to read more poems?

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

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