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The Power of Community

06/06/2023 07:55:02 AM


Pirkei Avot teaches us: "Al Tifrosh min hatzibbur", "Do not separate yourself from the community".

The name of our congregation is "Adath Shalom". The Hebrew word "Adath" means community (of). Some synagogue names begin with the word "Beit" or "Beth" meaning house (of). We are more than a "house". We are a community. 

This past shabbat was a demonstration of how joyful it can be to be among community. In fact, for me this whole year has been a reminder of how crucial being part of a community is to my own spiritual life. This past shabbat we were honored to witness a milestone being reached by three women in our community. I am sure that each of us was inspired by their fulfillment of their dream to study and celebrate becoming b'not mitzvah. I know that I was deeply touched. I thought about the significance of celebrating this with a community and the shared energy that was almost palpable bouncing back and forth from the bimah to the congregation. There were electrifying moments that morning. These were moments of holiness. As our adult b'not mitzvah beamed, so did we. 

On Sunday night, we enjoyed another privilege of community. Our FUNdraiser was truly FUN. The comment I heard repeatedly  was "we haven't done this in years". There were electrifying moments this evening as well. One moment that was pure magic was the moment Olga slowly moved to the dance floor. She was smiling her trademark smile that said "I am so happy to be celebrating this moment". A few of us were pulled as if by magnetism to the dance floor. As Olga danced to rock and roll more people joined and  started joining hands to form a circle  that kept expanding.  We all wanted to be connected to Olga and her joy at that moment. The band fully aware of this moment on the dance floor segued into Hava Nagilah. I don't really have adequate words to describe what I felt as I watched Olga beaming that infectious smile. There was an "at one-ness" in those moments and it all started by a few small steps and a huge unfiltered smile. This was another moment that could only happen with and among community. It was a moment of holiness. 

I feel privileged to be part of the Adath Shalom community. I have now celebrated and observed a full year's cycle of Jewish holidays and although I confess I still struggle with some names, I see faces and feel I am among people I care about and who care about me. This year has been a blessing for me and a reminder of power and holiness of community. 



Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784