Rabbi David Paskin
You've Got a Friend
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The Animal Farm is coming to Gan Sinai on Wednesday, October 26th
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From Rabbi David
One of my favorite images in the entire Torah comes from this week's Torah portion, the very first, in which Adam is walking around the Garden of Eden with God. It is such a familiar and intimate portrait of a relationship between friends - just walking together through the park. In this case, though, one of the friends is God.
I tell most families that come to tour Gan Sinai about our t'fillah (prayer) time on Tuesday mornings. It is absolutely my favorite time of the week. I love praying with children. A big part of why I love praying with children is this image of walking through the garden in this week's Torah portion. I want children to know that God can be one of their best friends; that they can tell God anything and count on God to be there when they need support, help or just a shoulder to cry on.
We spend so much time exalting God in the heavens that we forget how important it is to keep God close to us; to just go for a walk with God from time to time and to allow ourselves to have a relationship with God in which we can feel God's closeness and sense God's friendship.
As children are developing their sense of self and other, I think it is vitally important that we teach them that not everything can be seen or touched. Somethings like love, trust, friendship and, yes, God exist outside of the physical senses. To experience these we must open our hearts and allow ourselves to feel. To me, this is what prayer is all about - feeling God's presence and thereby "knowing" that you've got a friend.