A Bisl Torah

What Do You Need to Hear?

It has been a distressing, troubling week. Globally, nationally, and personally for the Sinai Temple community, the sound of hearts breaking seems constant and unavoidable. In a recent exchange, someone remarked to me, “This is going to be quite a year for High Holy Day sermons. Rabbi, have you thought about what you are going to say?” And while I certainly have some general ideas, my first response to the inquiry was, “What exactly do people need to hear?”

When you feel as if the world is shattering before your eyes, what do you need to hear?

When you feel scared and frightened and unsure of what the future will bring, what do you need to hear?

When the optimism of tomorrow is far-reaching and seemingly out of grasp, what do you need to hear?

Today I found my answer. Sitting in a funeral chapel I watched congregant after congregant joining the gathering to honor a beloved member of the community. And I thought to myself, in this moment, in these moments, I need to know that we are not alone.

Through the bonds of our faith, we are not alone.

Through the ties of friendship and family, we are not alone.

Through the pearls of goodness and truth that exist within God’s creation, we are not alone.

B’yado afkid ruchi b’eit Ishan v’airah, v’im ruchi g’viyati, Adonai li v’lo ira.
I place my spirit in God’s care; my body too can feel God near. When I sleep, as when I wake, God is with me, I have no fear.

May we comfort each other, drawing God close, knowing that we are together, consoled through embrace, compassion and love.

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