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07/05/2018 10:47:48 AM


Rabbi Sam Shabman

With Hamilton’s tour recently in Atlanta, my Facebook Newsfeed filled with dozens of people at the show. As a result, the Hamilton playlist has made it back to the top of my listening list.

As I drove up to Lake Lanier yesterday, on the 4th of July, the words from the song Dear Theodosia struck a chord with me:

You will come of age with our young nation
We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you
If we lay a strong enough foundation
We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you
And you’ll blow us all away
Someday, someday
Yeah, you’ll blow us all away

Independence day reminds us of the foundation of our country. And yes, it starts with our country, but it goes deeper than that. It charges us to ask ourselves the following questions:

What foundations are we establishing for ourselves and our families? Where are we planting our roots? For what purpose?

There is so much for which we stand in pride despite the discord and disunity that currently pervades our society. As I watched the tremendous American Flag fly over the start of the Peachtree Road Race yesterday, I felt such pride, blessing, and gratitude.

I insisted that I would participate in the Peachtree Road Race no matter what. After all, I did not want to ruin my perfect Peachtree Road Race record.  For me, in just a few short years, the Peachtree has become tradition and ritual; and tradition and ritual form an essential part of the core that makes us who and what we are. I love what the Peachtree stands for community, unity, challenge, and fun.  They are the stories we tell, the pictures we share and the memories we look back on that makes us who we are. They build our foundation continuously:  the best part about ritual is that it evolves with the passing of time, ensuring its eternal relevance. I never thought that the Peachtree Road Race would become part of my evolving tradition.

What are the rituals and traditions that serve as the backbone for our lives, our personal stories, and our Jewish identity?

Shabbat Shalom!

Sat, July 20 2019 17 Tammuz 5779