All Living is Meeting

by Rabbi Audrey Pollack, May 31, 2023

Rabbi Martin Buber, one of the great theologians of the 20th century has taught that “all living is meeting”. I often joke about this phrase, since we seem to have so many meetings at Solel. However, what Buber is really referring to is the sacred nature of relationships. All living, he says, is in how we relate to one another, how we treat our friends, our neighbours, the stranger on the street or in the supermarket.

As a Jewish community we are taught that it is a mitzvah to be a part of community: These are the obligations without measure, whose reward too is without measure — to honor parents, to perform acts of loving kindness, to attend the house of study daily, to welcome the stranger, to visit the sick, to rejoice with bride and groom, to console the bereaved, to pray with sincerity, and to make peace among humanity. (from the morning liturgy).

Welcoming and being with members of our community is a sacred obligation. Whether we are rejoicing with or consoling someone, meeting someone new, or greeting someone we haven’t seen in a long time (did you know there is a blessing to say if you have not seen a friend in 30 days?!), noticing that someone is sick, or has been missing from services or activities, each of us an ambassador of the Most High.

The month of June brings all kinds of celebratory occasions and opportunities to interact with people we may not have seen in awhile with graduations and commencements, celebrations of Summer, outdoor activities and more. Over the summer as you take time to slow down, to travel, and spend time with family and friends, it’s also a good time to reach out to friends, relatives, and neighbors who may be looking for a synagogue home and share why you are proud that Solel your Jewish home. Each one of us is an ambassador of our Jewish community. As we look forward to the start of our 50th Anniversary celebrations at Solel this Fall, we will also have opportunities to greet our friends, long time members, neighbours, and new faces at Solel. As we move through these opportunities to be in relationship with one another, let us take to heart the message of Buber’s teaching, the mitzvah of being a welcoming presence to all.


Rabbi Audrey S. Pollack

Filed under: Rabbi's Message

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