‘Why are we here?’ D’var Torah by Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Written by Writings & Sermons by others — 25 September 2019
There are so many different reasons why we might be here tonight.
We might be here to mark Shabbat and the passing of another week and the anticipation of Shabbat replenishment.
We might be here because when work’s frustrating, our precious time here soothes us.
We might be here because when home’s hard, an alternative home nurtures us.
We might be here because when life’s mundane, being together in our own community brings us sparks of inspiration.
We might be here because when London’s messy and depleting, our community is restoring.
We might be here because when British politics feel out of our immediate control, we can take the time here to gain new perspectives.
We might be here because when Israeli politics this week, look a little bit more hopeful, we can hold our collective breath and pray together for the possibility of positive change.
We might be here because we’ve been jolted by school pupils leading a global climate strike today so that we will have to change our own behaviour, curb our own desires – our eating, flying and buying habits we know that as a community, we can impact more effectively on our tiny planet than just as individuals.
We might be here to mark the joys in our lives and to amplify them by being together.
We might be here to mark the losses in our lives and to console each other for them.
We might be here for the routine that gives spiritual reassurance and the unexpected that give us intellectual nourishment.
We might be here to search for meaning and strive for transcendence beyond ourselves.
We might be here to praise the Source of Life and to question it.
We might be here preparing for a New Year, new possibilities, with the mixture of anxiety and security that accompanies us every year in this month of Elul leading up to our days of internal reckoning.
We might be here for fun and music and quiet and companionship and love.
We might be here to change the world in this is our holy, kaddosh, task as we’ll say in a moment in the Aleynu prayer that looks beyond today and beyond our community to the future. L’taken olam b’malchut shaddai. To heal, correct, repair the world in partnership with the Eternal Source of Life.
May our anticipations be met with reassurance, may our anxieties be met with calm.
May our days be marked by strength and our years be counted in impact and health.
I’m so very glad that we’re here together, as one nourishing community, this Shabbat.