Saturday, December 6, 2014

Let the Light In - Lessons from Shabbat

It is a beautiful Shabbat morning in Los Angeles and as I sat in shul, I noticed the light coming in from the windows.  I forgot that most Shabbat mornings I sit in the main sanctuary of our shul without windows.  In fact, most rooms in our shul are without windows.  Today I enjoyed looking at the sunny skies and the trees outside.

I'm sure it also helped that our room today was packed with community members all sharing in the light of our teens who were reading Torah today.  My daughter and her friends (part of our shul's Torah Club) made us all proud today as they led us in this morning's service.  As one who only started appreciating the benefits of prayer as an adult, I was deeply moved and continue to be charmed when I see our teens take on this kind of beautiful community participation.

As our Rabbi shared thoughts about Jacob and the masks we wear, I found it the perfect conversation as our teens put forth their best self today with great skill.  I'm sure that years from now in either this shul or some other far away from home, they will find comfort in their ability to participate in any prayer service, in any synagogue with any community.  What a beautiful thought for a parent.

Perhaps I only noticed the light outside when it was the emotional light inside that was making the impact on me.  Today is my dad's birthday and he passed away five year ago.  My daughter read Torah today in his memory and it was the perfect celebration.

Shabbat Shalom and let us all make our best effort to "be the light."

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