One of the hallmark practices of spiritual intentionality in B’Chavana has been the “spiritual journey.” As described below, it has played an important role both for personal spiritual growth and for the strengthening of our community.
I share these descriptions with you because I will be reaching out to you to share your journey for a first time, if you haven’t yet, or for a second time, if you have. If you would like to volunteer for a particular date please feel free to let me know whether or not I’ve already called.
A very important element of building our B’Chavana community has been the sharing of “spiritual journeys” over the years. On Shabbat mornings, individual members have taken three-five minutes to describe to the community where they began and how they’ve arrived at where they are today, spiritually speaking.
The presentation can include whatever information you would like. People often share their religious upbringing and the impressions it made upon them, for good and for bad. They have shared key events in their lives, which could range from bar mitzvah to visiting Israel to losing a parent to converting to Judaism. They have spoken both about what they believe and what they don’t believe. Those beliefs have ranged from the “traditional” to “radical” to honest expressions of doubt and confusion.
All of this has proven to be an essential element of building our community. We have gained insight into one another. We value the experiences and beliefs that we share in common and we respect the differences that add to the variety that is B’Chavana. This practice is an intentional way of affirming the value and importance of each member of B’Chavana.
Many who have presented have later spoken of the value of the exercise for their own spiritual growth, beyond what it has meant for our community. Having to think through the question of how they got to where they are today often helps people to clarify where they are at . . . and where they might like to go next.
Now that B’Chavana has been a community for several years and many people have shared their spiritual journey, we have the opportunity to reflect and share what our journey has been like since becoming a part of the community. I’m inviting people, once again, to give us insight into who they are and what’s been important to them as spiritual people in three-five minute presentations.
As an individual exercise, this can provide another chance to reflect intentionally on the spiritual path that we have chosen. We can measure growth, and the role that the B’Chavana community has played in that growth. For those who have kept the text that they shared the first time, it’s an opportunity to return to that for added insight.
For us as a community, this provides another opportunity for insight into one another as well as affirmation of those things we hold in common and those things that might be unique to one person. We are strengthened by doing this. It also offers us the chance to reflect on what B’Chavana has provided us in our spiritual journeys and what it might yet offer.
I look forward to reinvigorating this wonderful element of our B’Chavana spirituality.