Last night, I had the opportunity to meet new members of Sinai Temple. I asked a simple question, “What is your most formative Jewish experience?” Each answer given was more powerful than the next. For one, it was the death of a loved one years ago, and now she wants to show her children the love of Judaism and synagogue that her father showed her. For another, a grandmother who moved to Los Angeles to help raise her grandchild, and another who followed his children to Los Angeles and wishes to seek community. Each individual, with a full and vibrant past of Jewish memory, now searching anew for the same feeling, be it through distinct experiences.
Our Torah teaches us to “Walk in God’s ways.” The Talmud asks, “How can we do this? We see God as a devouring fire?” Yet, the Rabbis answer simply, “To walk in God’s ways is to do what God does; clothe the naked, visit the sick, comfort mourners, and bury the dead.” After listening tot the beautiful new stories that have joined the fabric of the Sinai community, it was obvious, each one of us that walks into our synagogue looks to walk in God’s ways. Let us walk with our new friends in this new year ahead.