Presented by Kymn Goodman, a dynamic woman and active member of Or Shalom Jewish Renewal Synagogue, Vancouver

Nov 11th stands out as a truly memorable occasion for those who braved the high winds and yet another power outage to attend Shabbos  at the Gabriola United Church.

Coming through the doors into the United Church Hall a magical transformation took place. The  Interior glowed with tea lights and the food tables rapidly filled up with the most wonderful assortment of goodies with such names as potato latkes, knishes, carrot kugel, tzimmes cholent (stew) and mandelbrot. There was lox, nuts and cheeses too plus fruit …all vegetarian and very delicious. I know I was surprised at how much honey was used in the recipes. I heard many people talking about the fun they had had looking up Jewish dishes and preparing them though getting to the hall meant some inventive cooking techniques –  BBQ  ovens or cast iron stew pots which simmered on the woodstove all day!

As Kymn called us to celebrate Shabbot, partake of the challah, and receive God’s blessing, 35 of us responded to her invitation to create a “holy space” and led by John’s quiet playing of the  “song for  peace”,we entered Shabbos. We were invited to bring with us those we loved or remembered, today being Remembrance Day, and to believe  that those who were in need of healing or comfort or who sort  a spiritual connection, a new discovery or wonderment would find this in the holiness of Shabbat.

The room grew still as this profound sense of love and community invaded our being. We offered up the  prayers of thanks being mindful to count our many blessings.  Each of us moved through the silence to perform the ritual hand washing which was to prepare us to come to the table. John played a soft accompaniment on his guitar to this part of the celebration.

After a very happy and sociable supper in which we had an abundance of food and laughter Kymn spoke of her experiences in the Or Shalom synagogue in Vancouver. She had returned to Judaism at a late point in her life and fully appreciated the opportunity to participate in open discussions on current and pertinent issues concerning spirituality and modern living. Here members weren’t bound by rigid rules but rather were helped to see how they could walk their spiritual path being true to their faith and also living and working in the present modern society.  Kymn finished up her presentation singing one of her compositions for us. We were left refreshed and filled with gratitude for having shared Shabbos together.

Kymn Goodman grew up in Montreal to culturally Jewish parents and enjoyed the delicious dishes and celebrations of the Holidays of Judaism. She felt a connection to the long, long line of Jewish ancestors,  In 1990 Kymn joined Or Shalom Synagogue, a Jewish Renewal Spiritual Congregation in Vancouver, and discovered deeper joy and spirit in Judaism,  and the Torah, the wise book of how to live a good life. The Holidays became the Holy Days, and everywhere there were prayers in music.

Kymn still attends Or Shalom regularly and participates in leading services. She has composed several of the prayers and chants that are sung there and at other congregations.

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