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Points of View
Lessons Learned
My Point of View, Apr 30, 2004
© Rabbi Jack Moline

Among the greatest privileges for a Jew is to write a Torah scroll. Few of us amass the skills and the piety to devote the necessary time to actually write a scroll. Occasionally, we have the opportunity to be partners with a scribe and a synagogue to participate in completing a Torah scroll. But all of us have the ability to write the lessons of Torah on the parchment of our lives.

The ink with which we inscribe our personal scrolls is experience. Sometimes the experience is sought out an academic course or an apprenticeship. Sometimes the experience can be anticipated those in our Armed Forces know that the lessons of service are often formative and indelible. Sometimes the experience is serendipitous a chance encounter or a road less traveled results in an important life lesson.

I invite you to share with me and with the congregation such personal lessons of Torah. As usual, we will publish a reflection booklet for the High Holy Days (only five months away!) enhanced by the writings of our members. As you know from years past, the stories and poems that have been shared are remarkable for their diversity and sensitivity. Whether emotionally moving or humorous, the offerings of our members are always inspirational.

Please limit your writing to 200 words or less not quite a page. (We may need to edit for space or syntax.) You will help us by submitting your writings as attachments to e-mail in Word, but we will also accept hard copy from those who do things the traditional way. Please send them to jjackson@agudasachim-va.org (I will be on sabbatical) with the subject line "For High Holy Day booklet." Jade will acknowledge receipt, but I won't read or begin to edit them until August. As a result, you have a long deadline August 19 but if you write something now, you won't forget!

While our individual experiences do not have the same divine quality as revelation, there is nonetheless something revelatory in the encounters we have. And when they become a part of our own oral tradition, through the telling and the reading, they add to the body of Torah broadly described. Please be a part of this uplifting project.


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