SOLC 2 of 31: Creating Community

Last night my daughter and I attended a Havdalah service at the house of one of our fellow congregants.  Havdalah is a short service that signifies the end of Shabbat on Saturday night.  It’s lovely, informal and marked by lighting a 3-wicked braided candle, blessing the wine and smelling spices – all to help us separate the Shabbat from the past week and upcoming week.

This is new for us and we wouldn’t have gone except that our synagogue is doing a wonderful job cultivating community.  We come together for family dinners before services once a month, they offer family workshops during Hebrew School that allows the students and parents to learn together and then, they also offer informal opportunities to put what we’ve learned in practice.  

Last Sunday, we had a family workshop to learn about Havdalah and the students created their own Havdalah sets – braided candles, cups for (wine/juice) and spice bags.  We practiced the prayers together. We learned the songs.

Then, last night, we came together at someone’s house and put it all together. It was lovely. We sang, we played games and we ate dessert.  It was memorable and fun and an experience that I’m sure the students won’t forget. 

Creating community is a journey, layered with small moments and events. I’m glad we are part of this one. 



  1. Lisa Keeler said,

    March 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I especially love your last line. It is so true.

  2. March 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I love Havdalah. It’s always a bittersweet time, isn’t it?

  3. elsie said,

    March 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    How wonderful that your synagogue is working to create a strong community. It sounds like a great service.

  4. showgem said,

    March 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    It is so powerful when have opportunities to build and connect with each other.

  5. March 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    There is something so grounding and comforting about the routine of a “community” celebration! I sometimes “defend” my own religious celebrations to others by saying, “You can’t imagine the comfort it brings until you try it!” Creating a community takes a lot of work in our busy lives, but it is worth it!

  6. Lisa said,

    March 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I love your sense of community and how important it is to build it. Sounds like a great evening!

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