Today is Palm Sunday, part of the Christian celebration of Easter. On Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ was welcomed into Jerusalem, riding on the back of a humble donkey, cheered by thousands of people who covered the dusty road in palm branches and waved palm leaves in celebration. Today, Christians around the world will reenact this celebration by singing “Hosanna!” and waving palm branches.
To me, one of the most moving parts of any celebration, particularly any religious celebration, is a sense of unity. Even if you are alone, you are not alone in your celebration. Every celebration is, in some way, a celebration of community. Whether you are at home with your own family lighting Shabbat candles, or sitting in a steadily darkening Tenebrae service with a dozen other congregants, or in a temple full of hundreds of other worshippers raising your voices in a unison chant, there is an entire community celebrating with you. Somewhere in the world, there are other families lighting Shabbat candles, other congregations dimming the lights to celebrate Tenebrae, and other believers chanting the same ancient prayers. Even when you celebrate alone, you never celebrate alone.