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  • Torah Reading: Ekev
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Av 22

Let us strengthen ourselves for our nation and in behalf of the cities of our God (II Samuel 10:12).

At our rehabilitation center, we used to call the weekly meeting of all the residents and staff "Bus Stop." A great many people may be congregated at a bus station, but each person is going his or her own way. Everyone at the bus stop is detached from everyone else, and there is no common goal. Nothing ties these people together, except that all are making use of the bus station for their individual purposes. Yet, it is not a place of anarchy, chaos, or unruly behavior. All is orderly and peaceful.

Our "Bus Stop" was intended to focus on whether each person was pursuing a private goal, or whether he or she had a sense of community, where people could have a broader perspective and join together in achieving common goals that could not be reached individually.

We have various types of communities where we work together: cities, neighborhood organizations, unions, religious and educational institutions, cultural groups, and various other special interest groups. In some, our membership is merely perfunctory, and while we pay lip service to the sense of community, essentially we proceed on our own. If conflict arises, we choose the individual good over the good of the community.

A true sense of community among all participants would avoid such conflict, and all could benefit from it.

Today I shall...

examine my commitment to the various communities of which I am a part, and work toward a sense of community that will be mutually beneficial.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

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