Everything Relates to Judaism

0818_Kiddish_EverythingYears ago, when I first stepped foot in one of the SGPV synagogues, a wise educator, Debby Singer, became my trusted mentor. She enlightened me, by proclaiming that “everything relates to Judaism”. That statement has since shaped my Jewish self, and I hope that after reading these words, it will remain with you, parent-readers, too. That is because everything we do is Jewish. Everything we think, is Jewish. Everything we eat, speak, act, etc., is Jewish. And so, it goes without saying that all that comes across, should be Jewishly warm and relevant.
So is something as mundane as eating, for example, Jewishly related and relevant? Yes! And we should aim for it to be Jewishly warm and relevant. I’ll explain how so:
At Temple Beth David, before Shabbat dinner, our Rabbi, Rabbi Lachtman, amicably chats with our children. That’s Rabbi time for our beloved children. He speaks to them about being hungry for just another few more minutes. This waiting time, is a time when he asks our hungry children about how they feel, and how they would feel had they waited for an indefinite amount of time, for a warm meal. The exercise here, is to have children, as young as two years of age, think about other children, who are not as fortunate as we are. Rabbi Lachtman then gives our children non-perishable food items to fill the food donation box, as an exercise for them to feed those who are hungry, before indulging in their warm Shabbat meal. Our hope is for our children to then eat, all in unity of compassion for underserved children.
How is that related to my mentor’s statement that everything relates to Judaism? And how is that our attempt to strive for a Jewishly warm and relevant experience?
Chit chatting with Rabbi Lachtman, be it about unicorns and butterflies, or about underserved hungry children in the world, or both (as pictured), creates a relationship between our children and our Rabbi. That relationship develops into a trusting liaison, a platform for both sides to perform social Jewishly relevant actions. Some of those include thinking about others, feeding the hungry, listening to Rabbi’s teaching, and filling up the food donation box, hands on. The fact that this happens on the holy Shabbat, adds spirituality to the experience- that, for sure is Jewishly relevant. I welcome you to join me, with a non- perishable food item to donate, to experience this yourself, on a TBD Shabbat.
Gal Kessler Rohs is the Education Director at Temple Beth David, and the Gan Katan parenting class facilitator for PJ Library at the Jewish Federation.


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