One Big Community
Photo Caption: HBHA's final Cross Country meet of the season, and the final race for our 4 senior team members, Anna C., Ilana F., Abby K., and Nina S. We are proud of them for their dedication and hard work, which showed in yesterday's meet!
Yesterday, I attended HBHA's home Cross Country meet, and it was great to see our kids compete against so many other schools. Our students were fantastic. It was also wonderful to be outside on a beautiful day, among other families. It was a reminder that in the midst of all the change and instability of 2020, life goes on.
One thing that startled me was seeing someone I didn’t recognize wearing a shirt with the words Hyman Brand/Midland on it. I wondered, “Have I somehow missed that we have a second ‘Midland’ Campus? Is this man perhaps the Head of School at the other Hyman Brand? If so, shouldn’t I introduce myself to him?”
Instead, I asked around and discovered that Midland is a small school. They do not have enough runners to make up their own team, so they run with HBHA in order to compete in meets.
Thinking about it, I realized that while Hyman Brand is a community in and of itself, no community stands alone. We are all part of overlapping communities. I am part of the HBHA community, the Beth Shalom community, the Radiant Yoga community, the Pardes Educators community, the Jewish community, and many more! Each member of our community is in turn part of dozens of other communities, spreading out through the country and the world.
It was one of those simple but deep thoughts that created an internal shift. We are all part of each other's lives, and these connections span across the globe. Perhaps I needed to feel this as we approach a very turbulent election: We are all connected, we are members of one grand, shared, human community. It has been so easy to see other people in this country as “they.” But there is no “they,” only “we.”
This week, as we begin our Torah anew, I want all of us to view strangers - not as adversaries we are competing against - rather as people created in G-d’s image: people who, given a different shirt, would fit right into our community. Being on different teams - or in different communities - doesn’t make us enemies. It makes us part of a larger community, made up of people who find passion, pride and excitement in the same things we do.