Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)
While it may sound strange coming from a rabbi, now that I work outside the Jewish community it sometimes feels as though that is the community I am least a part of, certainly on a day-to-day basis. And my community, my religious community, is the one I most want to deepen my connection with.
I have found community this year in the following places:
- My synagogue’s caring community knitting group. Once a month I gather with other women from the congregation as we knit healing shawls.
- In an on-line and teleconference group with rabbinic colleagues that focuses on self-care and Torah.
And I have continued to be a part of other groups in the Jewish world:
- When I began hospice work, I also became a volunteer mikvah guide. It was important to me to do something spiritual and life-focused to balance the spiritual end-of-life focused work I do every day. Mikvah guiding puts me in a quiet, peaceful, sacred space where I am blessed to have one-on-one interactions with people. It connects me with my tradition in a deep, mystical manner.
- I meet monthly with a small group of colleagues in a spiritual direction group. Here I am helped to focus on my relationship with God and reminded of God’s presence in my life and my work.
Sometimes the greatest challenge I find in being part of a community is just getting out of my home to be a part of a community. Some days I just want to quietly recharge with family, books, and hobbies and be apart from my communities. In the year to come, I plan to continue the things I am doing, but also connect with my colleagues at a few more in-person meetings and conferences, and deepen my connection with the synagogue. I also plan to continue my involvement with the quilting and art communities I am a part of, both those I have been in for many years and those that are more recent.