Building A Shul With A Whole Lotta Love

Feeling Loved
My daughter got married on Sunday night. The next day a friend emailed me the following message: “I wanted to point out something that may not ‘totally’ be obvious to you but was to me: There was a whole lot of LOVE last night; you are truly beloved by your friends!!! “. I did see it and feel it, not only on their faces, but in their entire being as they “big-hugged” my progressively perspiring body.

Available to Many
The reason I’m sharing this is because I’m not unique in this matter. Many of my fellow Shul members receive the same love at their Simchas. Part of this is due to the fact that we have a Shul environment where deep friendships can grow generating the love and connection that’s such an important part of Jewish life.

Spiritual Connection
In the physical world, things are generally owned or enjoyed by each person (or family) separately which creates divisions of sorts. You have your car, house, clothes and food and I have mine. But in the infinite spiritual world, your possession of spirituality doesn’t create division. In fact your growth is often a catalyst for mine. When a Shul is built on a growth foundation of Torah, Tefillah and Chesed, the members can connect at a very deep level as they grow together.

There’s also a need to create a camaraderie among the members. People need to talk, eat and laugh together on a regular basis. Events such as kiddushim are a part of it, but on a regular basis people need to be comfortable shmoozing with their co-members. I will point out that this comradeship can lead to a conflict with the kedushah needed for a Shul. But like many things in Judaism we have to walk the fine line and integrate both concerns.

No Expectations
The last point is that in the same Shul not everyone will necessary feel the same degree of love. This is partially due to the fact that people serve and give conditionally. You need to give unconditionally without expectations. Relationships built on reciprocity are limited by nature. Serve your shul, give to others, express your concern, share a word, flash a smile – with no expectations. Perhaps you’ll feel the love at your next Simcha, and even if you don’t, keep on giving, smiling and sharing just the same.