I am not what you would call a Torah Jew.
Not even a little, nor by any stretch of the imagination.
I do not live my life by the letter of the law.
(And I am neither bragging nor apologizing when I tell you this)
And still, I love a good story, and am touched and inspired by the stories in the Torah.
They move me:
I relate to the oppressed, for we were the younger brother, the older mother, the slaves in Egypt.
I relate to broken-hearted, for we were the slighted wife, and the barren wife, the father who lost his favorite son, the woman who looked back and turned to a pillar of salt.
I relate to the dreamers – for we were dreamers.
I relate to the explorers – for we left our parents house “to the land that I will show you”
I relate to the freedom fighters – for we delivered our people from bondage.
I relate to the strugglers – for we, too, hit the rock in the desert.
And I relate to the survivors for here we are.
Tomorrow evening begins Shavuot, when we Jews celebrate receiving Torah, and today, I celebrate our Peoplehood – for through it all – through exile and holocaust, through persecution, mass migration, and great strife from enemies without and yes, within – we have stayed together as a People … even when we struggle under our big tent, at least we struggle together: Those of us who follow the letter of the law literally and in every waking moment, and those of us who follow it’s spirit and just love a awesome story.
Chag Shavuot Samaech.
And may the One who makes peace in the high heavens make peace on earth for all humankind.