Thoughts & Teachings

Cheryl Abrams

One of the things I treasure most about Judaism is how it links us to our ancestors, our community, and our future. When I sit in synagogue I often think about the fact that from hundreds of years ago to today, Jew's all over the world are reading from the Torah, as we do here at Chizuk Amuno. As a young child, I recall watching my grandfather frequently chant from the Torah on Shabbat. As a teenager, I remember my mother learning how to read trope and then having the honor of reading Haftorah at our synagogue on several occasions. So when my son Aaron was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah two years ago, I decided that I would learn how to read Torah. My mother and I, each wrapped in our own father's Tallitot, reading from the Torah as my son became a Bar Mitzvah was a sacred moment in my life. On that day, I felt a strong bond to our heritage, to my family's past and to our future. I look forward to my younger son Noah becoming a Bar Mitzvah as well as the opportunity to have my mother, Aaron, Noah and I all read from the Torah on that special day. With the New Year approaching, I am taking the time to think about the next step on my personal Jewish journey. Something I've wanted to do for a while has been to become more fluent and comfortable with the various prayers and liturgy. I want to know and understand what I am praying about, what the meaning of the prayer is, and how to reach a new level of kavanah. When I do reach this next milestone in my Jewish journey, and I'm in synagogue with prayer book in hand, I'm sure my mind will wander and warm my heart at the thought that our ancestors recited the same prayers as I am reciting as well as look forward to my sons' continuing our traditions. L'Shanah Tovah!