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Our Kehillah Kedoshah

02/04/2022 10:20:56 AM


Rabbi Benjamin Samuels

Exodus 25:8 reads:

ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם - And you shall make for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell amongst them.

This mitzvah to build a holy community comes from this week’s parashah. It emphasizes the idea that while Hashem may be everywhere, Hashem is only perceived as present to those who invite the Divine into their midst. It also teaches that Divine immanence is not an individual pursuit, but a communal effort. Build for Me a mikdash - a sanctuary, and I will make it my home on earth. Build for me a kehillah, and together we will make it kedoshah - holy. 

For the past four decades, generations of our members, rabbis, teachers, adults and children, have joined together to create our mikdash me’at - a mini-Temple. After chuban Beit haMikdash - the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Talmud (TB Megillah 29a) says a Shul functions as our mikdash me’at. Creating such a sanctuary requires the leadership, volunteership, and participation of all the members of a community. The parashah describes how every member of Israel was encouraged to make a heartfelt terumah - to donate their resources, time, skills and energy for the greater whole. We all have so much to contribute, says the Torah starting with our communal caring (nediv lev) and participation. Together, we can join heaven and earth. Parshat Terumah describes not a one-time historical event, but an ongoing project of the Jewish people through all the generations and across the entirety of our people. 

Thank you for being part of our kehillah kedoshah. Shabbat shalom, Rav Benjie

Tue, September 27 2022 2 Tishrei 5783