This past Shabbat, I had two moments that made my heart sing with joy.
As we were standing up for the last stanza of Lecha Dodi (we greet the sabbath bride by opening the back door to the sanctuary), Myles (a child in the community) ran to open the Ark doors, not the back door to the prayer space. His choice, even by accident sent the message that is where we should greet Shabbat, the place that holds the words where we are commanded to keep Shabbat ... I was taken aback.
The second moment was when Myles opened the Ark for Aleynu and Leah (a 3 year old) immediately went to take one of the paper Torahs out. No hesitation. No looking at her Mama to make sure it was okay. Savannah, Myles' younger sister (almost 2) also wanted one and started to cry until Myles took another paper Torah out of the ark and handed it to her.
The look on her face read, "This is Mine!" I hope she fights for the Torah as strongly as she did at that moment.
Leah, simply stood there, holding the Torah like you would a baby. She was gentle, protective. May she always view the words of the Torah as needing to be protected and loved.
Myles, after looking at me for confirmation, took another paper Torah out of the Ark so he could hold God's Words close as well. May he always know who is safe to turn to, when he is in doubt.
I teared up and felt such joy that these children have such a love for Torah and Judaism and such affection and more to the point, such familiarity that they would reach into the Ark and take what is rightfully theirs.
I could not be more proud.