I arrived at VBS as a new convert to Judaism,
long on “book learning,” but short on practical Jewish life experience.
VBS is where I am learning to be a Jew – day by day.
Exemplifying the concept of “Love the Stranger,” the rabbis and
congregation welcomed me warmly, shepherding me into the flow of Jewish
life: making a place for me at Shabbat services, encouraging me to
become an adult bat mitzvah, inviting me into the choir to learn Jewish
melodies --freygish and Aloni, and including me at their Seder tables. Here I am learning to live the language of mitzvot: honoring the
Sabbath, studying Torah with our gifted rabbis, supporting Eretz Israel
in war and peace, embracing kashrut, celebrating simchas and mourning
loss in union with the community – gradually weaving together the many
threads that are the fabric of the order and beauty of Jewish being. And, at VBS, I am inspired to take Isaiah’s words as my daily
challenge: “ ‘You are my witnesses,’ says the Lord. ” To be sure, one’s
conscience is not allowed to slumber here. And it is the birthplace of
Jewish World Watch whose work is very important to me, Fortunate was the day I found my way here -- fortunate, indeed! Rav todot, VBS. ---Marcy Raine