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Doug Benson, Congregant Story 5779

My first connection to PTS was song— our collective joyful noise.

Marci and I relocated from Dallas, Texas in 2003, without a local social network. We wanted our young boys to grow up with a connection to Judaism, Sunday school, Bar Mitzvah, maybe candles on the occasional Friday. You know: the standard. Jews on the Peninsula are spread thin—too little butter across too much rye. So we went synagogue shopping.

I came alone one Friday and went home impressed. Cantor Barry wasn’t just a song leader: he was a Capital-C Cantor, and a really good guitarist. I saw him pull the congregation along into his vision. It felt different—almost Sephardic—and the music really spoke to me.

Now, as a general rule, God and I pretty much leave each other alone. My first connection to PTS was song— our collective joyful noise. But 15 years in, other social connections bind us to PTS: so many of you in the congregation, and the clergy.

We came here in our 30’s. Time has shoved us into our 50’s. Kids grow. Careers rise and fall. Health is a dark, dirt road to drive on. This year, we dropped AAA; we joined AARP.  PTS gave us an anchor to buffer all of the change.

And even though God and I are still not particularly close—I don’t even follow God on Facebook—I enjoy coming to Friday services. It’s meditation, but with wine and cheese! And PTS social events—there’s usually wine at those. And beer and philosophy with Torah On Tap. Come to think of it, maybe it’s not the music.

Maybe I just like drinking with Jews.