Friday, December 15, 2017

Kabbalat HaSiddur 2017

Here at The Davis Academy we often say the words "L'dor Vador" which mean "Generation to Generation." That's because we cherish the responsibility and privilege of helping transmit our Jewish values and Jewish story across the generations. 

Sometimes instead of saying Ldor Vador, Judaism speaks about the same idea of integenerational sharing by using the image of a great chain of connection, a sharsheret kabbalah. 

When I envision this sharsheret kabbalah I don't see a chain made of iron and steel. Instead I see a chain made of diamonds and rubies, of precious stones and gems of all kinds. I see it sparkling, luminescent, reflecting light in myriad directions.

And when I look even closer I see that inscribed on each precious jewel there are the fingerprints of those who have carried and been carried by this chain. I see a link in the chain resting at the entrance to Abraham and Sarah’s tent. I see Moses carrying the chain across the Red Sea. I see King Solomon bringing the chain into the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem and the Prophet Ezekiel contemplating the chain by the waters of Babylon. I see Queen Esther and the Maccabees and Rabbis Hillel and Shammai. I see the thousands of towns and villages all across Europe and Asia where our ancestors lived. I see tears of pain and suffering and tears of joy and redemption. I see a Star of David, the Statue of Liberty, and the Israeli Flag. I see Hebrew letters, and Yiddish phrases, and Sephardic songs, and notes in the Kotel and so much more.  I see the stories and blessings, names and dates, and hopes and dreams of all who came before.

Here's something else that makes this chain of connection unique: the harder we pull on this on it, the stronger the chain becomes and the stronger we become. The tighter we cling to it, the more light we see in the diamonds and rubies and sapphires and the more light we discover in ourselves and in our Kehilah.

This morning, each 2nd grade family in our Davis Kehilah added a new link and a new light to this great chain of connection, this sharsheret kabbalah, that connects us from generation to generation. This morning, the sharsheret kabbalah is stronger and more beautiful than it has ever been before.

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