This week, I visited one of our beloved members as she got up from shiva and walked around the block, signifying a reentry into the world. It was inspiring to see eight other synagogue members arrive for the walk, accompany her, reminding her that she is not alone. Just as we began, the rain began to drizzle and yet, the drops did not deter the group. We walked together, an image of community, noting that the rhythm of our steps provided a comforting symphony to the sounds of a shattered heart.
Walking together is a familiar concept in the Jewish faith. Rabbeinu Bahya, Torah commentator explains that when someone walks with God, they have attained a certain spiritual plane. For example, Noah is singled out as walking with God because he stood out among mortals in his morality and righteousness. Noah was attuned to God’s presence in his life; a strong enough presence to feel as if he were walking with the Master of the Universe.
It isn’t always easy to pinpoint when God is nearby. Sometimes, we feel as if God is hiding. Other times, we have trouble showing our face. But when I watched our community stand next to each other during a time of sorrow, God’s presence was as clear as day. When we walk with each other, show up and fall in step, we stand on the shoulders of angels, transforming into God’s messengers, adding holiness to a fractured world.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.