Dear Hinenu community,
When I was a child, I learned about a group of people that without them, the entire world, all of existence would collapse. They're called the Lamed Vavnikim, a group of people who's name translates roughly to the "36'ers." These 36 humans are first discussed in the Talmud, and they're fundamental to the continued presence of human life on this planet, in every generation.
But--and here's the kicker, we have no idea who they are. And here's the double kicker--they don't even know who they are. Could the person sitting next to you on the bus be a Lamed Vavnik? Could you even be one?
I love this teaching about the 36 anonymous beings that hold aloft the world because it tells us of the ultimate cosmic importance of every human being. That we cannot know who holds this role as one of the 36, and so instead we treat every being like the entire future of the world hangs on their well being. The Lamed Vavnikim teach us that we all matter to the whole, that all of us can only exists when each of us are counted.
This is what becoming a member at Hinenu represents to me--the unique importance of each of the members of our community, and the profound power that we have when we come together as a group.
In our first week of membership we welcomed our first 20 members. Become a member today and help us get to 36 this week!
Since our very beginning it has been clear we are making something special together-- meeting 1-1 in cafes all over the city, cramming together on hot porches in the August heat, or studying Torah about bodies, desire, and fear at Red Emma's.
I am humbled every day to serve this community as your rabbi, to be graduating from rabbinical school this Sunday and knowing that our community in Baltimore is my calling and work on the other side of that diploma. That as much as I have been dreaming of this shul, so have all of you working and waiting to see our community take shape.
Which is why it is so exciting to watch our first membership drive launch, and formally cement our commitments to one another. In the past week, 20 people have joined as founding members to nurture and shape this fierce community committed to expansive and welcoming Jewish space, creative and passionate ritual, and interdependent community.
Our voluntary dues structure reminds us that every person matters to the well being of this community, regardless of financial contribution. Knowing that there is an abundance in our community, we ask members to pay what they can to support the financial future of Hinenu. I look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead with your support.
Bivracha, with blessing,