May 6, 2014

60 Days of Growth – Connect with Your Past, Present, and Future (Day 9)

shutterstock_101239834As we mentioned before, being a Jew is all about being part of a chain that is more than 3000 years old, as it says in Pirkei Avot (Lessons of Our Fathers), “משה קיבל תורה מסיניי, ומסרה ליהושוע, ויהושוע לזקנים, וזקנים לנביאים, ונביאים מסרוה לאנשי כנסת הגדולה – Moshe received the Torah from God and passed it onto Joshua, Joshua passed it to the Elders, the Elders passed it to the Prophets, the Prophets passed it to the men of the Great Assembly” This is the introductory line for all the lessons to be taught in Pirkei Avot, why? Because being part of this chain is integral to who we are. Being a Jew means you are connected to every other Jew regardless of time or space. We are all connected, those who lived thousands of years ago, those who live today, whether in America, Israel or Zimbabwe, and those who will live in the future. אַחֵינוּ כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל – We are all connected like siblings, all the Jews.

What can we do to be a part of this? How can we connect with this chain?

Today’s Jewish challenge is to connect with your past, present and future. Find a Jew who is from a different generation (older) than you, maybe a holocaust survivors, grandparent or person from shul (synagogue) and talk to them about Judaism, what is means to them, what it has meant as a part of their life and what they have experienced. Next, find someone your own age, spend some time talking about your Judaism and what you hope to accomplish as a Jew. Finally, find a child, someone younger than you, and do something Jewish with them, teach them something, make a blessing on a food with them or whatever, and try to impart what Judaism means to you on the next generation.