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The Other Side of the Coin

Parashat Mishpatim/Shabbat Shekalim (Judith Trust Inclusivity Shabbat)
Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz

The Other Side of the Coin

I have a few questions for you.
Why do you come to synagogue?
Do you have friends here at Sinai?
And if you have friends here at Sinai, how important is the social aspect of Sinai to you?

Everyone wants to be comfortable. It’s human nature to connect with our peers and like-minded friends. Similar in worldview, age, belief-system, ethnic background, socio-economic status and level of ability. And usually, this seems good enough in our lives – isn’t this what friendship is about? But maybe it’s actually not what being part of Sinai is about. Having friends in the community is vital – we are all part of this community because we want to be uplifted by those we have bonded with. But what is powerful about ‘community’ is actually how it orchestrates and facilitates encounters between people who we might not ordinarily connect with. Tots, teens and senior citizens. …