My oldest daughter and son-in-law were blessed with the birth of their first child, a baby boy on Shabbos of Parsha Vayigash, which also brought with it the blessings of a Shabbos Bris. A Shabbos Bris is an amazing event consisting of a family meal, a Shalom Zucher, Shabbos Davening, the Bris, a Kiddush, a Seudas Mitzvah Lunch and the rest of Shabbos. It’s even more festive than a Shabbos Sheva Brochos.
Shalom Zucherim, Brissim, Kiddushim are tremendous opportunities to deepen our connections to our friends and all it takes is just showing up. Through the various activities I continually thought, “How nice it is that he stopped by?”. Some people just poked their head in for a second at the Shalom Zucher. The effort to leave the comforts of home on Shabbos night, just to say hi, made an impression. My closest friends came to three or four of the activities. It meant a lot to me. That’s the stuff great friendships are made of.
I also had the pleasure to attend two vorts this week. Local vorts are often attendance no-brainers. It’s the longer distance vorts which create the growth opportunities. “I don’t have that much time to spare.” “We’re not that close.” “I’ll probably be invited to to the wedding.” These are all good excuses, but the meaningfulness of the act is proportionate to the effort. Long distance and time consuming attendance shows that you care. And the people on the receiving end really appreciate it.
We’re busy. We’re distracted. We’re sometimes lazy. It’s hard to go to all the things that we know we should. That’s why we can be pretty sure that the meaningful act of just showing up brings the rewards of deeper connections in this world and the rewards of being a chesed personality in the next.