* Bailey: date
* Donna: date
* Rita: 9-18-13
Published in the October 2013 newsletter
Kulanu B’Yachad—All together
You heard it said throughout the High Holidays, our themes for this year joined together: Kulanu B’Yachad, which means “all of us together,” and Hinneni, “Here I am.” We need both, you can’t have one without the other.
When I was growing up in Boston, my father was the president of Beth Hillel Congregation on Blue Hill Avenue. At the time, Rabbi Jack Reimer was the Rabbi. Now, Rabbi Reimer lives in Miami, still going strong. He recently wrote on the topic, “Why I want to be part of a congregation.” Here, in part, is what he wrote: “I want to be a part of a synagogue because I want to be a part of the Jewish people, and there is no other institution that unites the Jews as well, across the centuries and across the borders. The synagogue is not only a bond to my past. It is also a bond to the Jewish people of the present, the ones with whom I live. During the week, I may bump into them somewhere, as a neighbor, as a friend, as a client, perhaps even as a co-worker or as a competitor. But when we meet together in this place, we meet as partners. We stand here with a sense of being connected to each other, and of being responsible for each other.”
I love what Rabbi Reimer wrote because the synagogue is the gateway to a rich and fulfilling Jewish life. It is where we find a sense of extended family.
When we all gather for the High Holidays, and when 150 of us sit under the sukkah in a community sukkot and Shabbat dinner, that is community and that is family, Kulanu B’Yachad. The synagogue is the community where we express ourselves Jewishly, make a connection with our religious/spiritual identity, and learn about the profound teachings of our heritage.
When we study Proverbs with the Rabbi, learn a yiddish song with the Cantor, travel together to New York City to expereince the Chagall art exhibit, march in the Israel Day Parade, or travel with the Rabbi to Poland and Israel, all of these are Kulanu B’Yachad.
When our youngest children learn their first prayers and an adult reads Hebrew for the first time, Kulanu B’Yachad.
When our Minyonaires lead us in the Shabbat service and a new child stands on the bimah as a bar or bat mitzvah, Kulanu B’Yachad.
When we offer new approaches to prayer in our new AWE program, and bring families, from youngest to our most senior, Kulanu B’Yachad.
When our Chevra Kadisha and our Gemilut Hasadim society stand with us at our moments of grief and loss, and when we celebrate an aufruf and wedding, Kulanu B’Yachad.
All of this and more are what make being part of our community so special. So, continue to be part of it, and bring your friends too.
Rabbi David Nesson