Community
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VALUES
 
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Our tradition teaches us that our personal journeys in life should not take place alone. As such, our lives are fully enriched by the participation in a transformative kehillah, a sacred community. It is within this community that one feels the warmth of others, has developed personal relationships, and caring is at the forefront of the community. To be part of a kehillah means to have a sense of belonging, a feeling that members matter to each other and Judaism can be best lived and experienced through a commitment to be together. We learn from Rashi, a 12th century Torah commentator that all of the commandments were given to the entire community – men, women, and children – and, as such, everyone in the community is holy. Holiness, then, is a communal effort and cannot be fully accomplished by an individual apart of the community. To live a fully integrated Jewish life, holiness does not occur in separation, but within the community and involvement of everyone.

Therefore, the most sacred moments in Jewish life are those experienced with other Jews. We celebrate Shabbat and Passover seders with our families; we celebrate life-cycle events, both of joy and of sorrow, together as a community. To be a kehilah is to recognize that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God – and are obligated to care for each other.

Questions for Reflection

  1. How can you participate in your kehilah
  2. What do you think it means to be part of a sacred kehilah
  3. How can you create a kehilah in your classroom? 

Help your community grow by showing kindness and helping all people who share things in common with you.

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