fbpx

Circles of Community In A Time of Crisis

Who are you in the “side” of? who do you feel protection for, and can we expand our hearts and minds to include more innocent people in the world? 
[additional-authors]
October 19, 2023
PeopleImages/Getty Images

We arrive at the section in the Torah where we read about Noah. He is a complicated character. Yet, he is a perfect figure to consider at this time. Beloved by some, he is said to be “righteous in his generation.” Many commentators say because he does not fight for other people to he saved in the flood besides his own family, he is only considered righteous in comparison to his generation. He is not righteous on his own like Abraham who bargains with God for people’s lives in the soon-to-be-destoryed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Who are you in the “side” of? who do you feel protection for, and can we expand our hearts and minds to include more innocent people in the world? 

In this complicated time, I wrote a poem where the prompt was “Who is your community?”

My Community Now by Emily Stern

I first assumed it was only going to be Jews

But a Christian woman I knew for a short while just made me cry with a message on Facebook.

She wrote, “How are you doing? I know how sensitive your heart is”

Long letters of support came in from the congregants and leaders of the church our shul shares space with.

My best friend from college who remarked to me once that she doesn’t know why people care so much about the Holocaust when there is so much genocide going on in the world, sent me heart emojis when I told her I was not ok.

My heart is broken.

my heart is widening

My soul is softening

We cry for innocent lives taken and lost.

And care is touching me

As I mourn so deeply

For our whole world:

Which I hope, one day, will be a community.

Amen, selah- to each of our prayers whatever they are. We all have a right and need to feel what we feel, and be heard for where we are. Let me know if you need support at this time. We can set up a zoom for a spiritual direction session should you need one. 

In faith,

Emily Stern

Mashpia, Jewish Spiritual Director

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Is AKLA the Future of Jewish Pride?

An exciting new b’nai mitzvah program introduces Jewish teens to Jewish and Israeli achievements in arts, medicine, technology and security.

Ruth and Hollywood’s Foreign Founders

As Jews continue to navigate antisemitism from Hollywood to the Holy Land, we can draw inspiration from a very different Jewish founder, the biblical figure of Ruth, whose story we just read on the holiday of Shavuot. 

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.