I have had a very long and trying week. Between the agony of my toothache, and the joy of my son starting high school, it’s been a little stressful. I am looking forward to the weekend. Not so much because it is a few days off, but because I am going to go to temple for Shabbat.
Shabbat eases my mind, calms my soul, and reminds me to breathe. When I go to Friday night services my entire weekend takes on a different vibe. For me, being in shul, surrounded by my faith, listening to the sermon of my Rabbi, and allowing the music to embrace me, feels good.
In my opinion, if services do not leave you feeling fulfilled and at peace, then maybe you are not at the right temple. So many of us go to a temple that we grew up at, or is close to home. As adults who are aware of the parts of Judaism we connect to, we owe it to ourselves to temple shop.
In Los Angeles we have a lot of choices. I have gone to a lot of temples to check them out and found a few that are really great. I have been to some where it took all my strength to not fall asleep. Some Rabbi’s inspired me to learn and think, while others made me want to bail in the middle of services.
Faith is important to me. I don’t think you need to go to a house of worship to have a belief in God. Regardless of what religion you practice, he listens. Where you pray does not determine if your prayers are answered. I don’t go to temple to be with God because he is with me wherever I am. Faith is personal and the right temple gets that.
I go to temple to learn. A sermon can inspire me to be think, feel, reflect and feel gratitude. My life, while blessed, is complicated. I have a lot of things going on, both good and bad, and sometimes I lose site of today because I am too busy worrying about tomorrow.
Temple puts things into perspective. I am happy there. It gives me the strength to fight through my messes, and the ability to enjoy my blessings. If you are not inspired to embrace faith at your temple, then find a new one. The right temple will enhance your experience and make it easier to keep the faith
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