Hillel teaches us, "Do not separate yourself from the community."
After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 CE, our Rabbis understood that only one thing and one thing alone would allow Judaism to survive. That one thing was not anything physical like a building or an ark. It was community.
It was the establishment of groups of people, no matter where they were from, that gathered together because of their shared values, beliefs and interests. Together they formed kehilot kedushot, sacred communities, where they worshipped, learned, socialized and lived Jewish lives together, building upon the work that their ancestors established for them.
This "Year of Community" at Shomrei Torah Synagogue will celebrate community, both internally and externally. We will learn from diverse populations within our own synagogue and we will learn from our neighbors of other faiths. We will dance, sing, cry, laugh, play, study and learn together. We will celebrate Shabbat and holidays around different themes and we will enjoy special community days. We will perform social action in our own home and we will support the State of Israel through education and action. Most importantly, we will not be alone. We are STS...and STS is part of us.
Rabban Gamliel, son of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi taught, "All who serve on behalf of the community should do so for heaven's sake. Their work will prosper because the inherited merit of our ancestors endures forever."
Let us lay the foundations for our descendants by marking our "Year of Community."