This weekend is the Shabbat of Comfort where we read the famous words: “Be comforted my people, Be comforted says God.” Comfort is such an important value in life. People find friends and join organizations at which they are comfortable. They go places where they are comfortable as opposed to those beyond their comfort zone.
When I was on Heritage Retreats, a summer program designed to turn secular college students into baalei teshuva, I mentioned that I wanted to become a Conservative rabbi. I was told that Conservative was “beyond the fold” and that I should at least go for Modern Orthodox. The rabbis said “Why Conservative? You are fully observant!” My response was that i am more comfortable in an egalitarian environment. Their response was “Comfort is not a halachic value!” I replied, “Comfort is a value in how I live my life on a day-to-day basis.” Needless to say, I decided to attend a Conservative rabbinical school.
May this Shabbat bring about comfort in the lives of each and every one of us. May we live our lives in accordance with practices that we personally find comfortable rather than those that others say we “should” do.