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Walking to Shul...

Friday, 28 December, 2012 - 3:21 pm

My walk to Shul on Shabbat morning is a wonderful thing on many levels. I get to talk to the children, enjoy the peacefulness of Shabbat, and walking is never a bad thing... Last week I learned of another benefit to this practice. 

As every winter Shabbat when I get to go to sleep early, I wake up before the sun, I study a bit and prepare a relevant lesson from the weekly Parsha for the sermon after the Torah reading. Last Shabbat morning was the same. However, after leaving the house I changed my mind.  I felt the need to share an insight in conjunction with the terrible shooting in Newtown Connecticut.

While I spoke about it last Shabbat, the day after it happened, I felt that something was missing in the discussion following it. It wasn’t about gun control or school safety, but about education. How do we educate our children to be kind and make the right choices in life? What is the message that could bring out the beauty of each child, especially those who are mentally challenged? When I got to Shul I knew, more or less, what I wanted to share.

There was a good attendance that morning. The service went well and I thought that my speech was well received. When we were setting up for Kiddush and lunch, a young mother came over to me "thank you for your words about the Shooting in Sandy Hook. As you know I don't usually come to Shul on Shabbat morning, in fact it is my first time.  I was so deeply affected by the Connecticut story that I felt the need to go to Synagogue this morning. It was the right thing for me to hear"... 

Comments on: Walking to Shul...

Fiona Prince wrote...

Many people have a perception that that observant Jews are not aware of what's going on in the world -- that they are isolated in their books and studies to the exclusion of everything else. You consistently contradict that perception by connecting Jewish values with current events and giving us knowledge to help us make sense of the world around us -- which helps us to see where we can contribute to make the world a better place.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness and your wisdom.
-- Morah Faiga