A lot is awry at the moment: political violence in America, white nationalists in the streets, and a general feeling of unease as 5783 kicks off with a renewed sense of dread and antisemitism. A recap of October.
009: Nefesh and Getting Called Into the Circle
I made my way by metro to Los Feliz, stopping to grab snacks for the Shabbat potluck at the Jewish Community Center. I decided to make a great first impression by bringing guacamole (it worked!) and walked up to the Silver Lake JCC for the first time. I was here for Nefesh, the new outreach synagogue and community that Rabbi Adam had highly recommended for me. I had just stumbled on this amazing article as well!
We had a lovely picnic in the interior courtyard and knowing no one yet, I met quite a few new faces. One was Ellen, the woman who schedules for Rabbi Susan. I recognized the Rabbi from this photo and from a brief chat on Facebook; in my excitement, I’d already joined Nefesh online. I kind of already felt like I’d picked Rabbi Susan as my sponsor.
I’d just met with Rabbi Denise Eger at Kol Ami the day prior and felt a pull to have more than one Rabbi in my life. Is that a thing?
I sat in the back and a wonderful woman asked if I was new. She helped guide me through different aspects of the service. The energy was great, the music lively, and I felt like I was in a good place. I was really struck by the cantor and it turned out I knew him from an article in the Jewish Journal, too.
After the service, the Rabbi approached me – she recognized me from Facebook. After the kiddush was dancing, similar to the photo above, and she grabbed my hand and led me into the circle. I knew at that moment this was my community and my rabbi.
Up next: More about meeting with the rabbis, and am I picking a rabbi or are they picking me?