Shabbat Greetings from Pamela Barkley – August 10

What was the best thing that happened to you this past week? What was the worst?

One of the things my family likes to do on Shabbat is a game we call “high/low”. After we light the candles, we each say what our “high” moment was during the week and what our “lowest” moment was. It is often fascinating to hear what my children say. There are so many times when something I didn’t even know mattered to them, pops up as a high or a low.

Looking at this past week, I personally can name many highs – visiting my kids and the TBA kids at Camp Eisner, getting good news about a friend’s medical condition and finally being able to turn around on pointe in my ballet class. And of course I can name many lows as well. But this week, I find myself thinking more about the communal highs and lows then the personal ones. We had the absolute tragedy of the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. The word “low” doesn’t even come close to accurately portraying the frustration and sadness around us.

And then, there were also communal highs — Like our girl Aly Raisman winning an Olympics individual Gold Medal on the floor exercise. You notice I said “our” girl. That’s because Aly is a member of our tribe. Yes this young girl is a member of the 2012 USA Gymnastics team, but she is also a member of our team simply because she is Jewish. Her success, as seen on the cover of the NY Post on Wednesday, proudly advertised her as a “Star of David”.  I don’t even read the Post, but I had to buy this one. Her incredible success – to Havah Nagilah floor music no less – was a fantastic communal moment.

I hope you will take a moment this Shabbat to ask your family, or even just yourself, what was your high? What was you low? Were there communal highs and lows too?  And here’s to hoping the week ahead is filled with lots of joy!

Author: Melissa