Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

President's Message November 2011

Spirituality

What is spirituality? Without looking in the dictionary, my definition is it is something that connects you to something larger than yourself. Where do you find it? Some people find it in a synagogue or a church. Others find it fishing in a stream. Some find it scuba diving or parachuting from a perfectly good airplane. There are many ways to experience spirituality.

I had the opportunity to spend a few hours this past weekend with a friend of mine on the top of a mountain outside of Woodstock, New York, at a drum circle. There were about 20 of us in the chilly night air with only a bonfire around us. Cell phones had no service. There were not 432 Facebook friends who I barely know there. It was a night that reminded me of how things were years ago. If you wanted to speak with someone, you had to do it face to face. It reminded me of how things that are simple are many times the best. I didnít have a TV or computer begging me to watch it or click something or respond to a telemarketer that I didnít want to call me in the first place.

What was special was the music we made. With nothing but djembe drums, we made some absolutely great music. It was not recorded, so did it really happen, if I canít watch it on YouTube? I hadnít played my drums for a few months, so the chance to get out and just play was truly incredible. All of the drummers were better than me, but I think I was able to fit in, and create some rhythms of my own that fit in well with the beat. As my friend and I were leaving, we were coming to the edge of the woods and looked up at the trees and saw about 30 flickering blue lights in the leaves. This lasted about 25 seconds and then they were gone. Neither one of us had any idea what we saw, but we knew it was something mystical.

When you look at the world with awe and wonder and it will continue to surprise and excite you.

Shalom,
Howie

 

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Last updated: November 23, 2011