Friday, September 3, 2010

Even When You're not Here

Greetings from Israel! Often we think that when we are not at synagogue we are not "Jewish," or that if we have not come to services we are no longer part of the community. This week's parasha, Nitzavim, contradicts that assumption. The portion begins, " You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your God — your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, which the Lord your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; to the end that He may establish you this day as His people and be your God, as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day." This blog is designed to keep a Jewish connection with the entire community, whether we are physically present with each other or not. I look forward to starting this year, keeping in contact even when I am away and maintaining learning in the community, even when we are not together in the synagogue building. Whether we come to synagogue consistently or not, have been away from the community or consistently involved, we are all part of the covenant and share in its responsibilities and privileges. In this new year, let's make new efforts to come together physically, spiritually, and intellectually for a fulfilling and fun year. Shabbat Shalom and Shannah Tovah u'mitukah! (A Happy and Sweet New Year!)