Today is May 22, 2024 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571

With a Little Help from my Friends

So, Purim…Mel Brooks fans — I hope you enjoyed the tidbits of silliness! Always great to see the kids, to hear the enthusiasm, some awesome costumes! Kudos to Dan Wengier and his dedicated kitchen crew: Shushan was well-fed 🙂 Also, hats off to the choir folks who miraculously pulled off the crazy shpiel!

Passover (there…I said it.) will be here soon. Admittedly, my mind is taken up with other matters. I want to say something about community and the title of this bulletin piece. From time to time, life reminds us of just how important friendship is, just how vital community and connection are in our lives.

Recall the pivotal moment in the Megillah of Esther when Mordechai implores Esther to plead with Achashverosh on behalf of the Jews. Esther, mindful of the risks she’ll be taking, tells Mordechai to instruct the Jewish community: Fast for me. Her faith guides her to pray to God, but, no less important, she’s appealing to her community. Pray on my behalf, I need you all. And while we – the readers – intuit God’s backstage presence, we also notice the writer’s decision to omit any explicit mention of God in the entire story. It’s not that God is unimportant; it’s that we absolutely need each other to make it through the darkness and the struggle.

Many of us know people who struggle with a range of illnesses. We add those names to lists in shuls, churches, and mosques. Why? Because, like Esther, we think that prayers make a difference in our lives. Of course, we hope and pray that surgeries and medication and various therapies will ‘do the trick,’ but we all know that it goes deeper than this. The love and concern that is shared within a community cannot be synthesized by a pharmacist. Of course, the medicine is vital. But so is the love. Love guides us through the narrow places. In the final analysis, it is the essence, the strength of the community. Love is what heals us.