The Hebrew month of Tishrei brought opportunities for renewal; New year, new season new Torah understandings and emotional renewal with the opportunity to start fresh in heart, mind and intention.
The middah for the month of Tishrei was Hitkashrut; connection. My intention for the year is to understand my emotional connections and by that what I really mean is to examine the relationships in which I experience challenge.
Our guiding principal in Judaism and a focus for our religious school year is “To Love”. Sounds nice, what does it mean? How do we “do” it?
Visiting the 7th grade class I learned that Hitkashrut is an emotional experience. It’s how we feel experiencing connection that changes us and our world, collectively. That we feel makes connection possible.
For our Sukkot celebration, Oct 22, the 5th/6th grade religious school class led a station making hygiene bags for the guests of Evergreen’s new Severe Weather Shelter for those experiencing homelessness in our community. They also made personal cards of welcome for each of the bags, for each guest…welcoming the stranger.
The Emergency Shelter Program (ESP) has challenged our community in some ways; anxiety about the unknown, “the other”. How do we connect with someone we don’t know, with someone we’re afraid of, don’t understand?
Our religious school invites the intention to deepen and grow our connections: to grow our hearts and souls, to challenge ourselves in the face of discomfort and to embrace that experience.
So, I went to the dentist the other day. She caused me such pain. As silent tears slipped down my cheeks, she said “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” and I felt she meant it. At that moment, I actually felt sorry for my dentist! Crazy, h’uh? Her job pains me, and my pain, pains her and I found myself wanting to take better care of my teeth to ease her discomfort. And, thus my own.
How can a discomfort become an opportunity for connection in the most rewarding way?