Common Ground

Do I know you? Our beit knesset holds a meeting last night with a professional congregational consultant. We talk about who we are and what we want to create as a group. There is some discussion about our experiences during the war. One of the conversations is an eye-opener, as I discover that I have much in common with a member whom I have known only by face and name for years. It is one of those little moments of serendipity that always make me catch my breath.

What is it that makes us connect? Sometimes the cultural ties of common backgrounds and shared experiences create a bond. But what about all those people you detest, despite a strong common background? And what about the people you bond with despite a lack of any apparent commonality?

Cas in point: I came home to discover Gill watching some mindless movie featuring the Olsen twins. “Why are you watching that?” I gasp. Turns out that Gill has lived his life (so far) blissfully unaware of the media monster that is Mary-Kate and Ashley. He surely feels similar shock at my appalling ignorance of army slang, kibbutz traditions, and basic animal husbandry. Yet somehow this never seems to be a problem.

So again I ponder, what is it that makes people connect? I am curious to hear what you think. If we solve this mystery, world peace is just around the corner…

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