Four Questions to Connect the Generations
Elections by nature are always divisive. It is part of the democratic process. This year seems different. There is more anger and frustration than I have seen in a long time.
We are in the middle of one of the biggest generational divides in decades, if not longer. This includes the Jewish community, which is internally divided in so many ways. There is no consensus on issues like Israel, intermarriage, race, gender identity, good financial practices and the role of institutions such as synagogues, schools and federations. There are very few good conversations between people. There is a lot of blaming and yelling, but not a lot of talking.
The Purpose of the Passover seder is to create peace between generations.
It allows us to sit together, to question, to answer, and to listen. The goal is not to agree with each other, but to make room for each other. We put aside our egos and take a genuine interest in each other.
Here are four questions for your Seder to help with the conversation:
1-Who do you think are today’s liberators, our Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and who do you think are today’s oppressors, our Pharoah?
2-What makes a country into an Egypt and what can turn it into a Promised Land?
3-For the older generation, what would the child you were ask the adult you are today? For the younger generation, what will you ask the older person you will become?
4-When have you been wise, when have you been difficult, when have you been confused, and when have you been silent?
Ruth and I and our family wish you a very sweet and happy Pesach.
I want to remind you all of a great program this Sunday. It will be at Beth Ahm and replaces my Sunday morning Meditation and Mindfulness program for that day. I will be participating, but the highlight is really Rabbi Bendat-Appell.
Special Mindfulness Workshop sponsored by Adat Shalom Synagogue and Congregation Beth Ahm Foundations of Jewish Mindfulness: The Mechanics of Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Sunday, January 31 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Congregation Beth Ahm Rabbi Bendat-Appell will offer a day long workshop offering significant instruction in, and opportunities to practice, Jewish mindfulness meditation. We will explore foundational elements of this accessible practice which can support our capacity to feel awake, alive and present. Participants will learn how to engage in this practice as well as how to understand it as a deeply Jewish endeavor. Fee – $50 per person (includes lunch and snacks) Advanced registration is required. Call 248-851-6880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell is a Program Director for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and is a co-founder and Director of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness. Jordan was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2008, after which he served as Rabbi at Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living. Prior to pursuing his rabbinical studies, Jordan studied Conservation Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, spent several months at Zen centers in California and France, and studied Jewish text at the Conservative Yeshiva and Machon Pardes in Jerusalem. He is a 2014 recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize for emerging Jewish educators. For more information about Rabbi Bendat-Appell visit http://www.jewishspirituality.org