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Rabbi Aft's weekly message -

03/04/2016 02:54:57 PM


Dear Friends,

I recently sent this d'var Torah to the board and wanted to share it with all of you.  I look forward to the discussion about the board's recommendations for the refurbishment of the sanctuary which will occur on March 14 at 7:30pm.


Recently at a Torah Study group on Shabbat morning (you should join us sometime at 8:45 am for our study sessions!!!). we talked about Parshat Terumah.  In an article written by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks a few years ago, he writes the following:


"Everything we read in Shemot (Exodus) tells us that, as is so often the case among people long deprived of freedom, they were passive and they were easily moved to complain.  The two often go together.  They expected someone else, Moses or G-d Himself, to provide them with food and water, lead then to safety, and take them to the promised land.  At every setback, they complained...."


Rabbi Sacks goes on to describe the miracle at the Red Sea and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai when we received the 10 Commandments.  Our people continued to complain and even made a Golden Calf.


Then a change occurs...G-d tells Moses to speak to the people and ask them to give a meaningful offering so that they can build something together.  They build a symbolic home for G-d's presence.  The people are given a chance to come together for a common cause, everyone contributes generously, and perhaps most miraculously....NO ONE COMPLAINS!!!


Thought Moses' building project, everyone becomes a builder and the people turn into a cohesive group.


As we move closer to our own sanctuary renovation and create our space to symbolically house G-d's presence ( although we know that G-d presence is everywhere!), I hope that we also will become a cohesive people who will recognize the significance of us being sacred builders.  I hope that whatever way you all decide to go forward with the renovation and raising of money, that everyone will feel as if their gift matters and that all will be encouraged to participate in meaningful ways.


May we all go from strength to strength as we go forward with our renovation.  

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Bruce Aft

Congregation Adat Reyim


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