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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach




Pirkei Avot 3:6

רַבִּי חֲלַפְתָּא בֶן דּוֹסָא אִישׁ כְּפַר חֲנַנְיָה אוֹמֵר, עֲשָׂרָה שֶׁיּוֹשְׁבִין וְעוֹסְקִין בַּתּוֹרָה, שְׁכִינָה שְׁרוּיָה בֵינֵיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים פב) אֱלֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת אֵל. וּמִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ חֲמִשָּׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (עמוס ט) וַאֲגֻדָּתוֹ עַל אֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ. וּמִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ שְׁלשָׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים פב) בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁפֹּט. וּמִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ שְׁנַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג) אָז נִדְבְּרוּ יִרְאֵי ה’ אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ וַיַּקְשֵׁב ה’ וַיִּשְׁמָע וְגוֹ’. וּמִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ אֶחָד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כ) בְּכָל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַזְכִּיר אֶת שְׁמִי אָבֹא אֵלֶיךָ וּבֵרַכְתִּיךָ

Rabbi Halafta of Kefar Hanania said: when ten sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Shechinah abides among them, as it is said: “G-d stands in the congregation of G-d” (Psalm 82:1). How do we know that the same is true even of five? As it is said: “This band of His He has established on earth” (Amos 9:6). How do we know that the same is true even of three? As it is said: “In the midst of the judges He judges” (Psalm 82:1) How do we know that the same is true even of two? As it is said: “Then they that fear the Lord spoke one with another, and the L-rd hearkened, and heard” (Malachi 3:16). How do we know that the same is true even of one? As it is said: “In every place where I cause my name to be mentioned I will come unto you and bless you (singular)” (Exodus 20:21).

Ibn Ezra on Exodus 20:21:2

[IN EVERY PLACE WHERE I CAUSE MY NAME TO BE MENTIONED.] Its meaning and interpretation is, in every place where I will set a memorial for My name, that is, in every place where My glory dwells such as Shilo and Nob where the ark stood. If you come to the aforementioned place for the sake of My name to visit Me, I too will come unto you and bless you.

This time, I want to keep the writing personal.

Praying and studying in larger groups is wonderful, and I am happy for the chances made available through the internet today. It’s great when there are physical gatherings where people can learn and pray together. Nonetheless, being Noahide is frequently an isolated practice, with friends and relatives dismissing it as a strange life choice.

How grateful I am to be able to pray at the Western Wall when I have the time and chance. For me, feeling the holiness of the area allows me to experience G-d’s closeness more than any other place. Although concentrated prayer is more difficult for me there than it is at home. There are many sounds around me which call for my attention, as well as people walking back and forth that distract me, but that spot is unlike any other.

I generally manage to concentrate much better at home, in my own secure haven. Some days are more successful than others. Even if the day looks like it will be hectic, thoughts might readily drift to the day’s duties. You may have days when you feel entirely alone, or days when you are depressed because things are not going as planned. Those days when you feel like you’re alone in the world with yourself are the strongest days to feel His Presence.

How deep the experience would be, to feel His Presence, if I had the ability to be alone in the world without myself.

By Angelique Sijbolts

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