From the narrow I called, I was answered from the Expanse

Last Tuesday was the last session of Rav Siach, the interdenominational conversation group I have been a part of this year. Throughout the last year we have met on Tuesday nights and discussed with each other a variety of issues. Mainly though, we got to know one another, networked, discussed and grew as individuals. At the closing session we discussed the notion of calling from a narrow place and receiving the expanse.
Is it necessary to call out from a narrow place, from one’s own narrow place? Does one need the expanse? During this conversation I found myself wondering where I was? Am I in a narrow place? Is this narrow place within my movement? within my social group? is it me alone?
and then, what is the expanse? Is it the movement? Is it my peers? Is it world wide Jewry?
Big heavy questions to be asking myself so late at night. I didn’t come to any conclusions, other than I needed some sleep. What I thought about was the place I call from, and to whom am I calling? I don’t think that there is one answer. Some days, I am in a very narrow space, and the entire world is the expanse. Other days, I am in that narrow space with my colleagues and the Jewish world at large is that expanse. What I thought about is that throughout this incredible experience I have learned how to define myself better. And, It is o.k. to call out to the expanse, because it will answer. Rav Siach, rabbinic conversation, much conversation, we certainly did both with each other.
But, I think the work now is to have that Rabbinic Conversation with myself. I must reflect on this experience, reflect with my colleagues, and continue the conversation. This program was a great start, but if I don’t now call out from my space and receive an answer from the expanse, the conversation has ended. I will miss my Tuesday night conversations, and I will hold dear the uniqueness of our group. There we were in Jerusalem, in a city and a state that has so much inner strife, and we were dealing with the divisive issues, in our own little space, we began the conversation so many have run from, now, we must continue it!

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