A key moment in our prayer service is the Shema. It is our personal and community declaration that we have one God and that our God is One. My synagogue community is small with only a couple dozen people attending Shabbat services on a weekly basis, and maybe 200 people when there’s a Bar or Bat Mitzvah happening. In small congregations like mine and small Jewish communities spread all over North America it can sometimes be hard to feel a greater spiritual connection to Judaism.
This past weekend I spent Shabbat at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention in downtown Toronto.
Kabbalat Shabbat services was attended by over 3500 Jews from all across North America. Talk about a lot of Jews in one room. The most amazing feeling was being able to join in prayer with over 3000 people, and standing all together as we recited the Shema, “Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one!” It was such a wonderful experience surrounded by so many people joined together by prayer.