Respect for Tradition

 

What has become of your grandfather’s tallit?  What’s your favorite tune for L’cha Dodi? Which holiday do you most enjoy spending with your children?

Tradition is not merely “the way our ancestors of yore” did things.  It is the way our parents and grandparents taught us to do things. Respect for tradition is not something we owe to the dim past, but that which animates our present: filling us with memories and connections to those we love.

Viewed this way, we view tradition not as stodgy but as very dynamic.  And it means we must be continually engaged in the process of reevaluating that which we do, in order that those elements that are essential can continue to speak to us across the decades.  In that way, respect for tradition means a continual willingness to embrace change.

As a more than one hundred year old community, the members of Beth Israel understand that everything we do must be grounded in tradition.  But the purpose of that grounding is not to weigh us down, but to allow us to soar by making our innovations an authentic expression not only of who we are, but from where we come.

At Beth Israel, we understand that respecting tradition means keeping it pulsating with new life.