22 Elul 5773
By Donna Wolffe
Reflections on my blessings due to relationships at TBS this year
Yes, just an ordinary widowed member of TBS for over 40 years. But really didn’t reflect on blessings or on relationships at TBS until this “assignment” for Echoes of Elul from Juliet. I decided to listen.
So here are my Top Six Blessings from what that listening exercise has uncovered. For me, It’s all about the people here and being in one-on-one real (not superficial) relationships.
Blessing One: An actual relationship with Rabbi Heidi. A surprising discovery—I found that her heart is open and she let me in with love and caring that is real to me. This is unique among rabbis I have known.
Blessing Two: Torah study on Shabbat mornings. What an eclectic group of two dozen+ individual thinkers! How stimulating the discussions, with no holds barred. Here I am at home wrestling with Torah with fellow seekers.
Blessing Three: Mitzvah Meals volunteering. The opportunity to make a difference for the outside community while sharing time with fellow congregants who become true friends feels really good to me. Plus it pays forward much goodness on behalf of TBS as well.
Blessing Four: Chaverim in my chavurah, Chai Times. The entrance requirements are tough for some of us—being single seniors—but I found that together is better for confronting a new stage of life. The unexpected blessing is always to find a friend at TBS services and holiday observances with whom to sit and schmooze.
Blessing Five: Adult Confirmation, or “making prayer real.” This is a pilot URJ program that Rabbi Heidi committed to lead here at TBS for two years, this past year being the first half. Our class is so diverse in age and motivation! For me, I feel more aware of my personal yearnings and have started some spiritual practices. I intend to continue listening and responding.
Blessing Six: Being on the Worship Committee. This is not just about meetings and obligations. Soni inspires us in this area of temple service to create new ways to celebrate our Jewish traditions. We are respectful but never dull, and always thank ourselves with champagne and dark chocolate!