Saturday, September 24, 2005
In Search of Shalom
Shalom is Hebrew. Shalom is one of those wonderful word that have multiple means. Shalom can mean hello. Shalom can mean goodbye. Shalom also means peace. This is what I have been seeking. It was very obvious to me last night that my search for a synagogue to call home was also a search for peace. Last night, among the 200+ people (most were under 10 and quite loud) I found some peace. Not peace and quite mind you. No, it was (as the Rabbi put it) 100+ decibels in the room where we were having Shabbat dinner but I still felt very peaceful. Around me tons of children played and parents chased around the littler ones. It was nice to see parents so relaxed not knowing if there children were somewhere in the dining area, running through the synagogue halls or under someone's table. They knew their children were safe and having fun and that's all that matters. Since we were new to the synagogue, our name tags had little green stars on them to indicate that we were first timers. Many people (both Rabbi's and the Cantor) came over to introduce themselves and tell us all of the reasons we should join their synagogue. After dinner (roast chicken, potatoes & green beans) the Rabbi called for all of the children over 7 to join him in the Temple so of course Marc and I followed (the other Rabbi stayed behind to have services for the parents and the little ones). We walked into the chapel and what a sight! There were children running all over the place. On the Bimah, standing behind the podium (you could hardly see the tops of their head) pretending to be the Rabbi or the Cantor. The Rabbi walked in and asked for everyone to take their seats. Wow! The kids complied immediately and a hush came over the room. We sang, we prayed and we played games. It was wonderful! He really has a wonderful presence! After the services (which were extremely short), we went back to the original area we were in for dessert and more conversation. It was heavenly. Marc and I really enjoyed ourselves and felt welcome. We still want to look at at least one other synagogue before we decide but this one is definitely in the running! Saturday we went to the Princeton vs. USD game. USD lost but we had a great time. Sunday we cleaned out the basement so that we can hire an exterminator to help us with our cricket problem. It was a dirty job but it's done! Yay!