God – God’s Role in My Life
The Saturday night before NFTY-GER Hagigah Elections, we spiraled around the glowing Havdalah candle, the sweet spices, and the golden grape juice. This Havdalah, I was no longer in the cushy center, getting the V.I.P. treatment. No, I was quite far in the back, in fact, I was the very last person to spiral into NFTY-GER Havdalah, my favorite part of each event. Quite upset that I was last in line, I put on a pout and grabbed Ashleigh’s hand as she guided me into the room. I was greeted by some heyyy-yoooos as i circled about, passing my friends in the inner circle, dreading having to sit down and see how far away I was from the candle, the spices, and the grape juice. While tunes were sung and heyys were yoooed, I sat criss cross applesauce feeling bad for myself for being the last one in the line of over one hundred GERites. That all stopped when our region burst out in song. Lo yisa goy, el goy cherev, lo yil’medu, od milchamah. “Let Nations,” the community roared, “not lift up their sword,” we passionately harmonized, “and let them study, no war” we mightily exclaimed. I closed my eyes, and listened. Listened to a group of teens with only religion in common, rejoice in song and praise God as one. During that NFTY-GER Havdalah, God was present. God was present in the sweat that stuck our hands together, God was in the harmonies that even the most tone-deaf singers could belt out, and God was in the hand motions that made each song that was sang have a special, secretive meaning to it. In my life, God is the reason I want to be Jewish. God is the reason that I spend my days at temple, being a madricha, coming to services, leading services, giving the occasional sermon, embracing Jewish poetry, going to NFTY events, working to make others happy and comfortable in Jewish settings, and being a member of RTSY. For me, God is community, God is comfort and God is my home.