By Rabbi Jessy Dressin
In many ways we are coming to the end of the year…the end of a period of time in which we learned together, celebrated together and shared lots of great times and experiences as a community.
There is a famous Israeli song with the words that read: “Shalom Shalom, Shalom Shalom. It means hello and welcome home. And when you want to say goodbye, we use the words Shalom as well.” How great that the same word we use to say goodbye is also the word we use to say hello! It’s like one big circle! Or spiral!
The Jewish calendar also moves according to cycles. We celebrate the same set of holidays year in and year out and yet each year we are in a little bit of a different place than we were the last time.
The upcoming holiday of Shavuot celebrates the receiving of the Torah – the grand instruction book for the Jewish people for how to live and how to celebrate time according to holidays and rhythms. Around the world, Jewish people take the stories and lessons in the Torah to help guide their lives and to help add meaning to their years.
If Shavuot teaches us one thing, it is to always carry the stories that make you special close in your heart. To walk along a journey in the company of friends and teachers and a community where you are invited to grow, celebrate and explore.