on Monday, 22 February 2016.
Posted in Rabbi's Blog
From our rabbi...
Re-connecting with Connections
This year, during the High Holy Days, we spoke a great deal about connection. We studied the benefits of being connected, and we explored what it means to be connected to ourselves, to one another, to our community and to our world. Now, just about halfway into our Hebrew calendar for 5776, I look at all the connections that are going on in our Or Shalom community, and I am strengthened and warmed, even in the midst of this mild-by-Illinois-standards-but-frigid-for-a-Floridian winter.
I see the connections being forged at all stages of life in our community. Among those who have been gathering as part of our jBaby initiative, we play and sing, the toddlers chase one another, and we’ve even been witness to some handholding. I see the connections in our 55+ events coordinated by Bill McNulty, helping create meaningful and fun opportunities for us to come together and share life moments.
I’ve experienced what it feels like to be connected in celebration, as you surrounded my whole family with such wonderful energy and enthusiasm during our installation weekend. All in all, a tremendous number of you came out as we blessed together, we learned together, we partied together and we made the world around us better. Our youth had the opportunity to feel empowered, with our teens holding a tallit above my head, and each class came forward to share their hopes and blessings for their new rabbi. I cannot thank Heidi Kramer and the rest of the installation committee enough for allowing me the chance to experience our Or Shalom warmth, but also for creating an atmosphere of connection for us all.
The Torah portions over the next few weeks all involve the process of building the mishkan, the portable tabernacle that was to be the center of the mobile Israelite community in their desert wandering. Their building a center for gathering was the key ingredient in becoming a people, a community, in finding connections with one another. We see that to build a community of connection we have to allow every person access to be a part of the group effort. We have to provide inspiration for each person to willingly and openly find a way they want to participate and offer an invitation for them to do so, as well. And we have to find a way to allow people to share the gifts of their hearts with one another, whether our gifts are gifts of artistry, song, volunteerism, comforting hugs, learning, teaching, organizing, financial contribution or vulnerability.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to reach out to extend such invitations to some of you to just connect. I hope to get to know even more of you than I’ve already connected with and to truly understand your gifts, your hopes for your Jewish journey, and your hopes for the future. I look forward to seeing where you can find your own special bonds within the endeavor that we call Or Shalom. But know that you do not have to wait for the call—remember, there is only one of me, so far. Feel free to reach out to others in our Or Shalom family, create those connections, try a new event (like our upcoming Purim celebration including a Purim-spiel based on the characters of the movie Frozen), send a note of comfort or encouragement to those in mourning when a notification goes out, join our Hineynu Caring Community, work on the Mitzvah Garden, take a class. There are so many ways to feel connected...I invite you to find your connection this year.
L’shalom,Rabbi Ari N. Margolis
Congregation Or Shalom21 Hawthorn ParkwayVernon Hills, IL 60061
Office HoursMondays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Fridays: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
P: 847-362-1948F: 847-362-7348
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