A few weeks ago I attended our synagogue’s Kabbalat Shabbat service. This once-a-month service has an earlier start time than our traditional service and is followed by a congregational potluck dinner. This shorter service is ideal for many; our youngest children who aren’t ready to be out past bedtime, teens who want to go out with friends later in the evening and adult members who don’t want to be out past their bedtimes (come on, be honest, 9:30pm feels late after a full week of work!). Our Kabbalat Shabbat is also a wonderful fit for an adult member of our congregation with developmental disabilities.
I have been thinking about writing this story for some time now. Sharing this man’s story would seem logical and meaningful on this blog. But quite honestly, it’s pretty unremarkable.
I mean, he’s a really nice guy, but so are a lot of our members.
He lives in a local group home and another member of our congregation picks him up each month, but he’s not the only congregant who needs a ride.
Nonetheless, I’ve kept an eye out for something remarkable to share. I’ve watched his level of comfort increase, but that’s true of all of us as we spend more & more time somewhere. The melodies of the prayers have become more familiar to him, but that’s also true for each of us over time. I’ve also noticed how other congregants have come to recognize him, but that, too, is characteristic of people in general.
So I have been trying, for sake of this blog, to find the right angle.
I’ve been looking for that aha moment to share. But he’s been a member of our congregation for the better part of four years now, and I have yet to find just the right hook to demonstrate the value of inclusion. I’m sorry, it’s just a pretty unremarkable story.
And that’s the point.