Friday, 29 September 2017

Pre-Kol Nidre Thoughts


This past Tuesday, Norma and I had the great pleasure to meet with the Very Reverend Monsignor Edward Sheridan of St Mary’s Church as well as with Censo Sardinia, the new manager of the renovated, accessible, modern parish hall. We won’t keep you guessing any longer. WE ARE RETURNING TO ST. MARY’S!

It was a meeting of information regarding the new systems of use in the building with limited compromise, (I say) for now. Understandable. With new beginnings, comes discovery and we hope to create welcoming insights to things that may seem, at first, strange.

There is no doubt that the Church is 100% in favour of having OOTC serve those in our community who are in need; however, Monsignor Sheridan felt that the City of Hamilton should play a more active role providing for the poor instead of sitting back and letting OOTC-like programs deal with this reality. With all due respect, I explained, our guests join us for a multitude of reasons, far more complicated than receiving a monthly cheque from the government or municipality. A discussion ensued, and with gratitude, in this case, we are blessed to know that other people don’t have to agree with you to be embraced by you.

This is about social trust, about building a community and you can’t do that if your criteria for community is if you have to agree with me. The only way to do it, is to make room for discussion. Let’s all have our say.

There are many interpretations to the reason Jews take three steps back at the end of the kaddish (prayer.) “God who makes peace in the Heavens, make peace among us and among all Israel and the world, Amen.”

Here’s one interpretation from Rabbi Wolpe. When we pray, we can create peace, but in order to create peace, sometimes we have to take a step back. To let them in, allow them to have their say, have a discussion. If you take their hand and step back you will discover there is a lot to talk about.

For the last month, Jews have been priming ourselves to take an accounting of our relationships with one another and our personal relationship with G-d. In just a couple of hours, many of us will be making our way to synagogues and temples for Kol Nidre followed by Yom Kippur services tomorrow. As we start our self-imposed Fast tonight, we can also think about our guests who do not always have the same choice.

Gmar hatimah tova. May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good. Wishing you a sweet new year, with abundant happiness and health!

Cindy and Norma

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