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Reb Lisa's Message

March 8, 2023

Wow! What an amazing Purim celebration, right!?!?

If you were there you know exactly what I’m talking about–the infectious energy, the fun and joy that emanated from our little Shul on the corner of 14th and Hemlock this past Sunday.

As soon as people started arriving, decked out in a wide range of costumes and silly get-ups, the energy began to build. A festive buzz filled the space inside as we prepared for the Megillah reading. Groggers and other noise makers in hand, we were ready to hear a familiar story anew this year.

There is something special that can only happen in shared communal experiences. There is no way any one of us as individuals, or even in small groups. could have replicated that scene, nor matched its joyous spirit. It’s a numbers thing—the power of the people (plural), the voltage of the village, the magic of the many.

Here’s how it happens: Bring a large group together for a shared experience. Give them the opportunity to sing and make noise together. Give them a shared story they can identify with; one where they rally around its heroes and heroines; one where they can stand in solidarity against the villain.

Want a glimpse of what I’m talking about. Check out this video which shows our

Then we took our energy outside and celebrated, carnival style. Lots of engaging booths, lots of schmoozing, lots of bopping around from here to there. Again, none of this “works” unless there is a critical mass to make it feel like something is happening. And there was so much happening! Because after that, we all shared fun, festive food together at our taco bar. The entire sanctuary was filled with the good, happy vibes of people enjoying a meal, enjoying each other.

And there’s more. As a community, we gave generously. Our Tzedakah Bar served complimentary festive drinks. The response in return was over $400 in donations to local and global organizations to help those facing food insecurity. A little bit here, a little bit there. All those small acts of generosity added up to something significant and impactful. Together as a larger whole, we make a difference.

Our community makes a difference. Our community matters. I’m filled with naches (Yiddish for pride and joy) from our shared experience this past Sunday. May we ride this wave of positive energy and help move it in outward ripples–from the corner of 14th Street and Hemlock, out into the world.

Chag Purim Sameach!

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