Each week, my synagogue's four pulpit rabbis, with the collective wisdom of their vast Judaic knowledge, present outstanding divrei Torah (commentaries on the Torah portions). The word " rabbi," after all, means teacher, and my rabbis fulfill that role as they " translate" Torah for me in a way that is intelligent and contemporary, yet gives me insight into its history and the minds of the people presented in the text.

My rabbi, David Stern, never tires of reminding us that Jews aren't an ethnic group. "Look around you," he says, "and you'll see people of all races, from all backgrounds, and Jews-by-choice." Each time I hear David say that, my Jewish identity deepens.

This year, at Simchat Torah, I will dance with the Torah, along with those I love in my congregation, and in some mysterious sense that alludes my understanding, I will, as David says, be one with the people there, united in our love of Torah.

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