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My Story, Your Story, Our Story is One

Thursday, 10 July 2008

On the occasion of my 13th birthday, my parents presented me with my own pair of candlesticks in honour of being called to the Torah for the first time.

On the occasion of her 13th birthday, her grandmother removed a bible from the shelf, tore it in two, and handed the larger section to her, saying “this is the only part you’ll ever need.”

This Shabbat, having immersed herself in the mikvah and met with the community Beit Din, she will publically affirm her commitment to the Jewish people.

These steps are the final part of her journey. My journey to Judaism was a simple one as I was born into a Jewish family. For others in our community, their spiritual trajectory can be a curvilinear one. Sometimes with twists and turns. Bumps and roadblocks. Until finally we are able to welcome them home.

One of the true joys of being a rabbi is working with conversion candidates. Their fresh approach to Judaism and the enthusiasm with which they approach their new faith is restorative. I work with Jews all day long and for those of us born into this people, we forgot. We forget how darn lucky we are to be a part of this Covenental Relationship.

Of course, if you weren’t shown how amazing it is to be Jewish, maybe you never considered yourself lucky…

I blame my parents. And their parents. And their parents. For instilling in me a passion for our people, our faith, our Homeland, our God. A passion that drives me to tears. And sometimes brings me to my knees.

They took seriously their responsibility “and you shall teach them dilligently to your children” (Deut. 6:7). I blame them…and thank them.

One day, I hope, my children will blame me too.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dadgiraffe permalink
    Thursday, 10 July 2008 9:30 pm

    Mom and I happily accept the blame…this time!

  2. Friday, 11 July 2008 5:43 am

    “For instilling in me a passion for our people, our faith, our Homeland, our God. A passion that drives me to tears. And sometimes brings me to my knees.”

    That was one of the most moving pieces I’ve read and the 3 sentences above will carry me safely to Shabbat! As a matter of fact they are a perfect Shabbath prayer. Yasher koach, Rebecca!

  3. Frume Sarah permalink
    Sunday, 13 July 2008 10:33 pm

    DG — oh good! Isn’t it nice to be blamed for the good stuff??

    Kathy — your praise means so much to me. Thanks for commenting!

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