"You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give." Winston Churchill
That's what it's about really: not the hokey pokey, but making a life-- one that matters. Why else bother with this exercise in forgiveness and redemption? Why else make this breathtaking journey of diving deeper and bending the light a little differently? Why else gather together at the gates, waiting and expectant, to ask that we be let through, to ask that we find joy and sweetness and life? Why else walk with God, listening for that still, small voice that rises up so gently, to shelter us and give us comfort as we go forward, one breath, one heartbeat, on step at a time?
Why else indeed?
We give of our time. We give of our talents. We give of our treasures. Head, Hands. Heart. We give, and slowly, we build something beautiful-- a kehillah kedosha, a holy community. A life that matters.
There is so much need in this world. One could drown in it. The need is everywhere-- halfway around the world, on the other side of the country next door. It is not bounded by color, or sex, nationality or religion. And the need grows, daily== Hunger. War. Unclean water. Disease. Poverty. Ignorance. Fear. Want. devastation. You know the list as well as I. There are (sadly) no surprises to it. It is a symphony of dissonance and discord, harsh and hurting, played on a very delicate and very human stage. It saps our resources and drains our spirits.
Lo Alecha ham'lachah ligmor, velo atah ben chorin l'hibatel mimena: we are not required to finish the work; neither are we free to desist from it. (Pirke Avot 2:16). The work is vast. The need an endless chasm. But we give. We build a holy community, we build a life that matters.
We stand at the gates and we open our hearts. We give, and so we change the world, and so we ourselves are changed. Head. Hands. Heart. B'tzelem elohim, we give, we change, we are redeemed.