It’s Wonderful to Be Welcomed

On Saturday, I had my second Shabbat service with Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun (BTBJ) and when I entered the Zoom chat, it was only me and Susan. We wished each other a “Shabbat Shalom” and I mentioned that I was new. Susan gave me a warm welcome and asked if I joined any of the women’s groups yet. I said I hadn’t, I just joined last weekend, but I want to check them out. Burt then joined in and Susan introduced me. When more people joined and we finally had enough for a Minyan, Rabbi welcomed me and the rest of the congregation did too.

It wasn’t as big as last Saturday because they didn’t have the Hebrew schools perform. Last week was the Songs portion of the Torah, today was about the Ten Commandments. The discussions were more intimate and the Rabbi asked us about another time in the Torah where the importance of names and character came into play.

I thought of Cain and Abel right away, but someone answered first. Rabbi wasn’t thinking about that one, we discussed it, and then he asked again. I raised my hand and called on me. I replied, “Jacob and Esau. When Jacob tricked blind Isaac into thinking he was Esau so he could get the blessing.”

Guess what! The Rabbi said, “You’re right, Jessica! It wasn’t what I was thinking of, but you are right! Jacob, Esau, and Isaac is another instance. Some scholars think that Isaac wasn’t truly blind and knew it was Jacob all along, but blessed him anyway.” He was impressed with all of our answers and he discussed what he was thinking about. I felt so happy and proud of myself.

At the end of the two hours, Rabbi blessed us all and everyone said they were happy that I have joined them and can’t wait to see me again. I found my Synagogue and I found my home. 

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “It’s Wonderful to Be Welcomed”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    More often than not, I leave here verklempt, deeply touched by your stories of love and acceptance. I am delighted to know that you took part in a second Shabbat service and that Susan, the Rabbi and other members of the congregation welcomed you so warmly. I admire you for having the courage to raise your hand and submit an answer to the Rabbi’s question and proud of you for knowing your stuff and providing a correct response. There is no greater feeling than that of finding a home, and it appears you have. That makes me happy.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!


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