Shared Experiences

Five nights ago, we all read at our seders, “B’chol dor vador--In every generation, we must imagine that we ourselves actually left Egypt.”
In 44 days (but who’s counting), we will celebrate Shavuot and the receiving of the Torah on Sinai. According to the midrash, every Jew ever born, or to be born, stood at Sinai for the big event.
Our tradition teaches that the two most significant moments in our history, our freedom from slavery and our acceptance of God’s Torah, are forever to be recognized as shared experiences for every Jew for all time. Psychological studies suggest that shared experiences help people develop stronger bonds and feel more connected to one other, likely explaining our communal Jewish pride following the success of complete strangers and the related communal anguish when any one of us disappoints.
The Talmud teaches that each of us is responsible for one another. Based on the outpouring of Jewish support for Ukrainians that we’ve seen locally (~$150,000) and nationally (~$50 million), it is clear to me that it is not just the dictate of our rabbis but a core sense of responsibility toward each other that we all possess.
We pray for peace here, in Ukraine, in Israel, and around the world as we continue to do our part to help those who need us.
Chag sameach and Shabbat shalom.
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