latest Post

TCS Bulletin - Our Greatest Blessing

As we look towards the summer, many people are starting to talk about the fact that the High Holy Days are really early this year. Labor Day will arrive, and two days later, on the evening of Wednesday, September 4th, we will come together in the synagogue to celebrate the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. It is hard to believe that by the time we are half way through the month of September, Yom Kippur will be over for another year. And this, therefore, is the last Connections of the Jewish year 5773. 

New years can be bittersweet occasions, they are times for hellos and goodbyes and they are time to look back at where we have been and look forward to where we will be going.

As we look back over the last year I am once again struck by the wonderful young people who fill the halls and rooms of The Community Synagogue. As a congregation we are blessed by many wonderful gifts, but, in my opinion, the greatest blessing we have is the young people, from the ECC through until 12th grade, who consider this place to be their second home.

One of the elements of my job which I really enjoy are the Friday morning services with the children of the ECC. These kids feel completely comfortable sitting in the pews, they know the words to many of our prayers and songs, they understand the importance of the Torah and I hope they bring this love of Judaism home to their families. There is something truly special about the excitement with which the Shabbat boys and Shabbat girls take hold of their fluffy Torah, ready to march it around the synagogue. As they turn five we know that we will be saying goodbye to the daily connection which we currently have with these children; but we know that we will be saying hello as they join the kindergarten of the Religious school.

Once again this year I have been overwhelmed by the inspiring young men and women who have become Bnei Mitzvah on the bimah at The Community Synagogue. These young people have taken hold of the Torah as their own, and they have shared with us so many valuable lessons. I particularly enjoy the Divrei Torah (Torah commentaries) that they share; demonstrating the potential each and every time to find new lessons and meaning in our ancient Scripture. While they have their Jewish childhood behind, I truly hope that they all realize that as Jewish adults the New Year holds so many more opportunities for them to be engaged and involved members of the community.

And as we have celebrated another class becoming Kabbalat Torah there is something bittersweet about this moment in their Jewish lives. There is so much joy and celebration at watching these teenagers declare their commitment to our faith and our people. They have been so engaged in this community through Hebrew Chai, POWTY and our teen philanthropy foundation that we have grown accustomed to seeing them around the synagogue several times a week. And while we know that with them our community is in safe hands for the future, there is sadness that they are closing this chapter of their Jewish journey, and that we will (probably) be seeing less of them next year.

And then finally there are those twelfth graders who have remained involved right until the very end of their school lives, before heading off into the big wide world for College. During the POWTY Shabbat, Rabbi Z and I commented on how we were going to miss those twelfth graders. But I know that we are proud of the young men and women they have become, and the fact that they will be wonderful representatives of the Jewish people and of The Community Synagogue wherever they go.

It is possible that my focus on the youth of the synagogue this month comes from the changes in my own family situation. Micol and I have been so touched by the generosity, the love and the care with which Gabriella has been welcomed by our community.

New Years can be bittersweet occasions. But when we look at all of the wonderful young people who have been a part of our community this past year, we can look forward with hope and optimism for the year which lies ahead.  

About Rabbi Danny

Rabbi Danny
Recommended Posts × +


Post a Comment