Every year, as spring approaches, we read some of the most
powerful words in the Torah. "They shall
build me a sanctuary", says God, "that I may dwell among them".
What does it mean for the infinite God to dwell among
us? What does it mean for God to be
present in our communities? And what
would it mean if Reform Jews could experience God's presence at every moment?
These are the questions that the Reform Movement's
Commission on Worship, Music, and Religious Living has been asking for
years. And we have come to a remarkable
conclusion: God is present when we share our stories - moments of
holiness, stories of tragedy and triumph, of feeling the embrace of our communities. As we shared our own stories, we felt a powerful sense of God's presence - whatever that means. And we wondered, what if every Reform
Jew could share his/her story? What if our members experienced the synagogue
as a place to voice their innermost hopes, to connect their stories to that of their community and the Jewish people?
Here are stories of average Reform
Jews, of moments when their worlds were
transformed through struggles with
tragedy and encounters with the divine, at moments when their communities
reached out to them or when they reached out to one another. Each story is holy and
inspiring. But they are only the
We need your help to create a community of communities - a
movement of a million and a half Reform Jews, listening, caring, and finding meaning in
each other's words.
We want to hear your stories.
Find inspiration in the
questions below, and submit your story using the form below, for possible inclusion on our blog. Share them through your
congregational website, through your newsletter, through speaking opportunities
Together, we'll grow, and find meaning and connection. And ultimately, we'll find that our
journeys are one and our God is One.
1. Describe a moment or an event in your life, whether large
or small, that stayed with you. It may
have been at a peak moment such a birth, death or simcha or it may have been an
interaction with a fellow congregant.
How did that moment transform your relationship with a person, your
community or Judaism?
2. Share a moment of gratitude that you experienced
involving another person in your community.
3. Tell about a moment when you have sensed Holiness or an
encounter with the Divine - when you felt something both significant and yet
unexplainable. How has this experience
made a difference in your life?
4. Tell of a time
when you became aware of being a part of something larger than yourself. How did the affect your relationship with
5. Share an
experience during a worship service that changed how you feel about worship.
6. Describe the path
of your own spirituality. Do you might
remember the first time you might have believed something different than your
family? Where did you go for spiritual insight? Were there times when there was
an absence of a spiritual "presence" in your life? Where did these different moments lead you?
7. Describe a moment when you touched someone else's life or
when someone touched your life. How did
it change your relationships with others?
Did you feel that the moment was somehow holy or that God was present? How did it change your understanding of what
it means to be a community?
8. Describe a difficult time in your life Who or what helped
you to recover from that moment? How did it change your feelings about Judaism?