A Bisl Torah

It Takes a Village

This week, we are celebrating the Bat Mitzvah of our colleague’s daughter. The family hosted an online gathering of the women who have impacted their daughter’s life. Some of the women have known the Bat Mitzvah girl since her birth, others involved later. Grandmothers, aunts, cousins, rabbis, teachers, and friends each offered the Bat Mitzvah a special blessing, letting her know how loved she is. Throughout the evening, I realized how grateful I was to be part of her village. And since the gathering, I realize even more…we all need a village.

Years ago, I remember reading an article, “I Miss the Village.” The author missed the village she never had: The laughing and crying of parents living side by side; the commiserating of people understanding the rigor of busy schedules and hectic lives; the knowing looks of someone who “gets it” and then, volunteers to help with carpool or order dinner. For the author, that kind of village didn’t exist. A community where family and friends blend into one, where everyone feels a sense of responsibility for each other. I finished the article thinking, “But, you have to build the village.”

My friends build their village. They dedicate time to their relationships, near and far. Each person around the screen remarked on our friends’ devotion in keeping up, whether with phone calls, emails, visits, or traditions. And in return, we all feel committed to embracing their daughter—both during this milestone and as well, when times aren’t so celebratory.

In these final days before Rosh Hashana, we take precious moments to evaluate the relationships in our lives. Who makes up our village? Have we taken the time to let each person know the role they play? The role they play for our children? Do they realize how much we care? A new year is the perfect time to let someone else know how essential they are. That they are part of your village.

It often takes a village to raise a child. It often takes a village to support an adult. But we must build, maintain, and take ample time for repair and renovations.

A Shana Tovah to all of you and a Shana Tovah to the village that carries you through.

In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.

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