As you know, my Shabbat encouragement this week was to encourage each of us to expand our relationships with our Jewish friends and work together to bring more love into this world, starting first by breaking down the walls between Jews and Messianic Jews. As part of that idea I had resolved to contact the local synagogue with whom we had previously partnered to support Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger.
So I woke up this morning and checked my emails. In queue was an invitation by the local synagogue near our home in Maine to join them this Sunday for a walk to support Habitat for Humanity. That email had arrived an hour after I sent out this week’s Shabbat encouragement.
Sid and I have lived here for almost nine years and have never received a request like this. When we moved here I met with the synagogue president and “outed us” – made it clear that we are Messianic Jews and that our home is Ruach Israel, but that we may occasionally attend their synagogue and events if we were in town. She had no problem with it and warmly welcomed us. Historically, however, we have not been at Beth Israel very often since we are usually at Ruach every weekend. And for the last year, I don’t think we have attended any functions locally at Beth Israel.
So clearly, the timing of the arrival of such an email by a mainstream synagogue inviting us(!) to work together for a wonderful tikkun olam cause was a way for our Abba to encourage us to do what I am suggesting, and to not give up when we are turned away. For every door that will be shut, another will be opened. Do not give up!
Ironically, I checked the date for the Boston Project’s Bread Walk for Hunger this year, and you guessed it, the event is this Sunday, the same day as the walk for Habitat for Humanity! So not only would I not have been able to participate in the co-planning as I had hoped but HaShem used this timing to give me another opportunity, one radically different in tone by the synagogue leaders than the one I was about to undertake. And “coincidentally” this was the only weekend this entire month that we are going to be in Maine on a weekend.
All of these coincidences??!! You tell me.
So, I encourage any who are available to support the Walk for Hunger this coming Sunday and continue to build those bridges. Good causes should be supported regardless of people’s unloving acts toward each other. Even when our fellow man doesn’t get it, our Abba does. For us, patience, perseverance, and prayer.