“What is a Congregation?” A Poem by Annabelle Hertziger-Tanzer

What is a Congregation?

A congregation is a harbor into which an anchor is cast
At a moment of inevitable silence
Before or after a storm.

A congregation is a seashell
Where one can hide
When the soul sinks down into the depths of the ocean.

A congregation is a song, a prayer, a dream
Where the spirit can sail forth, heavenward bound.

A congregation is a voice that calls out,
To reach up to the heavens
It tries again and again to cause us to make the decision
Between indifference and activity.
Between spiritual improvement and oblivion.
Between kindness and sinfulness.

A congregation is togetherness from within.

A congregation is the place from where we are commanded to enact the most simple
and most difficult of all things — loving the other.

By Annabelle Hertziger-Tanzer, Kehillat Har-El
Published in the Har-El Bulletin July-August 2004