Getting to the Tuna: Modeling Healthy Debate in Community
Rosh Hashanah 1, 5780
I look forward to this moment every year. First day Rosh Hashana- the first time we are all together in one space as a community- But what makes this community special is not that we are all sitting here today. We are not a community because we have filled out our paperwork, paid our dues, or given a generous Kol Nidre pledge- thank you in advance. We are a community because we strive to be a group of people who care about the person sitting next to us and will be there for one another when we need support.
Being a part of a caring community is one of the greatest gifts that we can cultivate in our lives. Think for a moment of a time when you felt the impact of community in your life. I know from my own experiences, and witnessing so many of yours, the power of receiving a hug when you are experiencing loss, the value of sitting together at a shabbat meal, the warm company of someone visiting you at the hospital, and the list goes on. Our chesed and membership committees have helped us connect to one another with caring outreach and as a result are helping us build our relationships as we develop into the community we strive to be.
The more connected we become, the more encumbered we feel to one another. We learn this sense of obligation in the Talmud, our Oral Tradition, with the teaching, kol Yisrael arevim ze bazeh– all of Israel are connected one to another. And our obligation to one another goes beyond care. We can, with practice – provide each other an additional support- the opportunity to learn and grow from our different perspectives.
Unfortunately this is not something we can take for granted but a skill we must practice. Today’s world of global communication through social media makes it easy to remain in an ideological bubble, as we consume the news that we choose to read and witness the ever growing divide in our country over leadership, parties, policy, and ideology. We are out of practice and uncomfortable with discussing issues of politics with people who hold different views on any number of subjects, whether they be political in nature or the much more divisive question of what’s the all time better tv sitcom- Friends or Seinfeld? Careful of bringing that one up.… Read more