[shashin type=”photo” id=”4547″ size=”medium” columns=”1″ order=”user” position=”left”]Sivan Yechieli’s exciting FB post about the special needs kid’s Bar Mitsva, celebrated at the Minyan’s Synagogue, a very emotional reaction from a guest at Kabalat Shabbat who admitted it was her first time to touch a Sidur, in addition to a conversation we had about the importance, duties and activities of our Minyan bring me to write this post.
I am a Jew born in Israel. My education, purely secular seasoned by Zionism and Socialism. Universal values of equality, love and respect for all human beings are the principles I was raised upon, and replaced any religious agenda .
I happened to go to synagogues only in case of family Bar Mitzvahs, just to listen to the Bar Mitzvah boy reading his part, and felt sitting behind the Mechitze as segregated and inferior. In short no existent connection between my Judaism and that of any other Orthodox group.
The coming bar mitzvah of my first son brought us to the Conservative congregation “Moriya” . From the beginning it was made clear that the Bar Mitzva can not be just a ceremony, and that they expect us to participate as often as possible in Shabbat and Friday prayers. I am very grateful for this as it helped us to feel at home with the congregation, the Synagogue and the prayers. It added significant meaning to the event, our Jewish’ family and comunity’s experience. It gave us a sense of belonging, and the tools to find ourselves in every Jewish community in the world.
In Kfar Vradim we renewed our old ties and joined the Minyan. It has been a part of our family’s being since. Here I was called for my 1st “Aliya” and my 1st reading of Torah part, which felt like the Bat Mitzvah I never celebrated and the ties with my Judaism are getting stronger.
As most people know there are other movements beside the orthodox in Judaism and no doubt they help to keep as many Jews inside the faith. I believe the Jewish nation could have been even smaller, but for those movements. They took upon themselves to remove the pressure of the orthodox world, whose wish is for everyone to practice in their way. Unfortunately as a result of State/Religion relations in Israel they have the power to make religion hateful to many, creating an unimaginable division and harm to the future of the Jewish people both in Diaspora and here.
Kfar Vradim define itself as a secular pluralistic community, however the residents have needs that are connected with Jewish ceremony and religion. It is a fact that on the High Holidays many people participate in prayers and as all the other events of joy and sorrow in our life are s0mehow connected with religion, by choice therefore, many turn to the services of the Masorti congregation.
I find it intriguing that many families chose to celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvah in a Jewish manner, but very few feel the need to take part in the prayers or get near the synagogue before or after the event interest in what takes place there, as if they are afraid of being influenced. The Conservative Minyan does not exist in order to bring people to come back to faith and religion, it is here to make it possible for people to share Judaism in their own way and how they wish to practice . Thanks to it’s members who fulfill voluntarily all the tasks, who continue to share in what we call “praying commuity”, are active in Funerals, help and support the bereaved families, v isit the old people, the lonely and sick ones among us, they volunteer in non formal Education, Noam youth movement, and special needy people at the hostel Bait Ba Horesh” and the special schools in the area. to top it all maintain cooperation with our non Jewish neighbors.
It is an important social task for the benefit of our Kfar people as well as for our community members. We feel that we need support in order to become a strong community which is able to enlarge the range of activities for the benefit of all.
Yes, we do need many more people to share with us, especially young families, opened and willing to learn and share in the prayers and songs, be there with us’ from time to time on shabbat and holidays thus adding a new dimension to their Judaism, and the connection to our country and land.
The children and youth are the next generation of our community and the Masorti movement, who help to bring a change in the way we are stretching our hands towards all Jewish people. It is in our hands and we should do something about it. We believe that the Conservative movement together with the Reforms can contribute a lot improve the possibilities of everyone to practice Judaism in their own way, the bilateral relations with the part of our people who do not live in Israel, as well the the coexistence with the minorities in our country.
We invite everyone to come, be familiar with, get closer and join us.
פוסט זה זמין גם ב: Hebrew
Thank you Esthi for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I hope other people will enjoy reading this as much as I did.
I am glad