HELPING HANDS HELPING OTHERS...& OURSELVES
A commuter train stalled one wintry blizzard night with snow so deep that the passengers were afraid to exit the car not knowing how far they were from shelter. The next morning, the 150 half-frozen commuters were startled to see a signal tower just a few hundred yards away. The signal station attendant, asked why he had done nothing about the stalled train the night before, answered, "It wasn't part of my job."
Too often, you and I decide -- for one reason or another, often quite fine reasons -- that we will not become involved in reaching out to another who could use our assistance. Once, it was the beggar on the street. Another time, it was a car stalled by the side of the road. Whatever, and whenever, we make these decisions -- not to reach out -- because we're in a hurry, or we're tired, or any number of other legitimate reasons. But in making such decisions, we miss yet another opportunity to "do the right thing" and ... to feel great about our own humanity.
One of the most important functions of Judaism is to provide ourselves with opportunities to enhance our sense of humaneness, of mentschlichkeit. Through prayer, through learning, and of course, through action, our synagogue can do much to help us ensure that our humanity doesn't lapse into, "It wasn't part of my job." It is part of our jobs. It should be a part of our lives. And Woodlands Community Temple will do as much as it can to keep those opportunities coming. In the months and years ahead, we will join together -- temple members, and temple leaders -- to lend our hands to projects in which adults and/or children will be able to participate, to actualize our religious obligations as Jews, and to satisfy our spritual needs as human beings.
So when the call is sounded, seize the opportunity to participate -- for you, for your family, and for our community. Said Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav ... "kol ha'olam kulo gesher tzar me'od ... the whole world is a very narrow bridge." And since we're bound to bump into each other, why not extend a hand in friendship? It makes the journey a whole lot more pleasant and worthwhile.
Rabbi Billy Dreskin