Our civilization at its core is run on principles and values. In the rush of daily life, they can be overlooked or forgotten. Being reminded of them is well worth it to individuals and society in general. They allow society to see things in a wider context and hopefully avoid sacrificing them by, for instance, confusing means with ends. I found a good example of this in my recent tour of Washington DC.
In about a month we will be celebrating Shavuot, the holiday marking the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Among other things, what is noteworthy is that it is not celebrated as the holiday of the receiving of the Torah, although we have a midrash - a rabbinic explanatory story saying that the soul of every person who would ever be or become Jewish was present at Sinai and received the Torah.
As one of the major Jewish holidays, Passover marks an important moment to celebrate together as a community . On Friday night March 30, 2018 about 40 persons gathered to do just that: they read, listened, talked, reflected ... and of course ate and drank! Young and young-at-heart, regulars, first-time visitors and passers-by alike, people from diverse geographic and religious backgrounds, all found each other and revelled in each other's company.