My first memorable experience with Judaism began at a batz mitzvah. I watched as close friends and family, listened, and cried as my friend presented her knowledge of a particular passage after years of preparation.
I have always been moved by religion in general. At this point, I hadn't discovered my own faith, but was fascinated by what religion brought into peoples' lives: comfort, a guide, and a community.
I found that community for me was the most intriguing of the three, and allowed myself, come Jewish studies, to take a deeper look at what community means within Judaism.
When we began discussing community in class, I was immediately taken back to batz mitzvah's at temple. I was welcomed into a space that felt quite intimate to celebrate alongside family. It was at this point I knew that community was key to the Jewish tradition, more specifically a welcoming, but tight-knit, community.
Next time I visited the temple, it was a field trip for Jewish studies. A very nice woman showed us around and explained that in order for the temple to have enough funds to be built, everyone from the community donated a small portion. The names of the donators are now inscribed within the building.
I realized very quickly that community in Judaism meant support for one another. In fact, as we continued reading the Tanakh, it became clear that community was consistent in good times and in bad.