The clapping starts in New York City every evening at 7pm.
It begins with a few claps and slowly crescendos into a cacophonous thunder of applause.
Similar arrangements can be heard in places across the world with people assembling on their balconies, standing in their doorways, hanging out their windows, and climbing on their rooftops to applaud emergency service providers and essential workers.
Community hopping has never been so easy - from Synagogues to yoga classes and concerts to cooking classes. Every Zoom link is a portal to a world with its own ethos, values and norms. Environmentalists attract other nature lovers. Intellectuals gather around texts. Musicians create and appreciate music. We are attracted to these worlds because in them we hope to find unity with like-minded individuals.
Often, core values attract likeminded people to form an Edah.
But once you find your brethren, are you immediately an Edah? What are ways that you can nourish your collective identity?
In Corona Times, gathering in an Edah is often virtual. While the group is likely gathering to delve into something of common interest, there is still a need to cultivate the community.
Rabbi Sacks’ suggests that a Tsibbur is a community more in name than in reality. It is defined by numbers more than identity. There are certain tasks that can only be done with the presence and assistance of others (i.e. Minyan, a prayer quorum) and therefore a Tsibbur gathers to achieve them.
In a Tsibbur, people are tied together by threads of circumstance.
Where do you encounter Tsibbur and how powerful is the connection for you?
Rabbi Sacks’ third type of community is a Kehillah. It is the type of community where its members are different from one another, but they work together for a common purpose and shared vision. A Kehilla is a community that combines the best elements of both an Edah and Tsibbur.
At M², we have the privilege of working with Jewish educators from all walks of life. We may have different orientations and ways of approaching our work, but we are united in our common purpose to create meaningful Jewish educational experiences for learners. If we – the readers of this Spark – were to write a collective manifesto, what would it say? How could it reflect our differences while identifying our shared goal? Let’s try it.
There are different types of community that we are each a part of at any given moment, based on choice, circumstance, or action. Some are intimate and exclusive while others are comprised of people you’ll never meet. They all have their benefits, but each can leave us looking for something more.