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We are deeply moved by the outpouring of support for our synagogue from our community and people across the country and around the world in the wake of the horrific anti-Semitic attack of October 27, 2018. We will continue to mourn our lost congregants, even as we honor their memories by healing, growing, and strengthening the congregation they loved. We deeply appreciate the many offers of assistance and support of the victims' families and to help rebuild the Tree of Life synagogue. Your support proves that love is truly stronger than hate.
The Tree of Life fund for Victims and Families is closed. You may still to the impacted synagogues or other community agencies.

Do You Want Faith with That?

10/17/2019 03:03:23 PM

Oct17

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

You can look up the definition of “faith” in a dictionary, and read something such as: belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion; confidence or trust in a person or being; belief that is not based upon proof. They sort of have it right, but I suggest that it is much deeper. Faith is an internal set of controls that impact the choices that we make on a daily basis. It might not be genetic per se, but can develop out of an environment whereby others that impact your life demonstrate it regularly. Let’s pause for a moment to clarify that I’m not referring to the type of faith that we have in our favorite sports team to win a game. I’m writing here specifically about religious faith.

Some people are not comfortable at all talking about their faith, if not God and God’s role in their life. I am, but it is not because of October 27, 2018. I had a strong faith prior to that date, and if anything, my faith has grown and been strengthened subsequently. Every morning as I finish the opening brachot (blessings), I thank God that I am still here, and ask God what is wanted of me today. I seek Divine guidance not only to make good choices, but to say or write the right things in the right order. I have confidence in God answering me, and that, my dear reader, is faith.

Would it not be somehow wondrous to impart your faith to others? Alas, there is no faith transplant, nor is there any medication or specific part of the DNA chain that provides for it. You have to grow it and nurture it every single day of your life. Yes, there will be times when your faith is tested, and there will be times when your faith is reassured. When it is tested, that is exactly the time to draw closer to God, not farther away. God is the One whom we turn to during great challenges, seeking strength and reassurance. I know that I have, and I am grateful for God’s continuous guidance and encouragement.

I was thinking about faith this morning, as I read through Psalm 27, which we began reciting morning and evening on the 1st of Elul, and will conclude this Sunday with Hoshanah Rabbah. We encounter the following:

                Adonai is my light and my help. Whom shall I fear?

                Adonai is the strength of my life.  Whom shall I dread?

                When evildoers draw near to slander me,

                when foes threaten – they stumble and fall.

                Though armies be arrayed against me, I have no fear.

                Though wars threaten, I remain steadfast in my faith.

 

The brilliance of King David in the Psalms continues to uplift and reassure me, even when faced with the darkest days. May God’s light inspire all of us during challenging times to not only remain “steadfast in faith”, but grow it.

Sat, December 14 2019 16 Kislev 5780