Olam chesed yibaneh/The world will be built with lovingkindness
by Jhos Singer
Okay, so the mainstream news this week was pretty bleak for those of us who value things like critical thinking or peace on earth. In Tehillim/Psalms we are taught: Olam chesed yibaneh/The world will be built with lovingkindness.* This is a lofty idea, but how do we even begin to enact it, especially at a time that feels so uncertain and, frankly, unloving?
Perhaps we start by first building a house of lovingkindness – a home of hospitality and welcoming. Chochmat Halev made good use of our home and resources to create inspiring and meaningful experiences for the many people who visited us this past weekend.
Indeed, a full house gathered at 2215 Prince Street last Shabbat morning to celebrate the gift of Shabbat, a welcome and needed break from the stress and anxiety of the work-a-day week. Ahad Ha’am famously said: “More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.” This week, I am more aware than ever of the gift that our tradition provides – a weekly practice that literally “keeps” us connected to our deepest values and our spiritual integrity, even during turbulent times. We davenned with beautiful music that lifted our spirits, voices and bodies in prayer, we learned and listened to Torah, we blessed a new baby in our community, we grieved our losses, and we contemplated a world of peace.
After services we created a space for processing our post-election feelings. For a few precious hours, we listened to one another, regardless of our differences, hearts open and all feelings honored. For some, new friends and connections were made; for many, new pathways to spiritual strength were explored.
On Sunday about 50 people gathered for our Urban Shtetl’s first Family Learning Day—children, parents, and grandparents learned, played, sang and experienced blessings together—AMEN!!!
And on Monday night, Chochmat Halev cosponsored and hosted a ritual and action event to support the Water Protectors in North Dakota. It was a beautiful blending of vision and support, care and concern, action and practice.
We are building a world of love….one house at a time. I look forward to seeing you in the home we are building together.
Blessin’s — Jhos
*Click here for a beautiful musical setting of this verse, written and sung by our friend, Rabbi Menachem Creditor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHp-jcPlKIY.