Torah Tidits

Nomads: Then and Now…! headshot white 2015cropped

Shabbat Parashat B’Midbar

Confirmation and more….

June 11, 2016 – 5 Sivan 5776

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us for services this Friday night as we celebrate the Confirmation of Dana Fraley, Micah Hochman, Sam Kluger and Hallie Rubenstein. This will be the final Confirmation ceremony held at 318 Whealton Road in Hampton. And, as such, this will be a special moment for our entire Rodef Sholom Temple family. A very special Mazal Tov to our four Confirmands and to their families!

This week, our Torah portion, B’Midbar [In the Wilderness] opens the fourth book of the the five Books of Moses, the Book of Numbers, with a census taken as our people embarked on their 40 year “nomadic” journey to the Promised Land. Along the way, our people experienced ups and downs. Sometimes it was “smooth sailing.” Sometimes there were glitches along the way. What we can learn from the story of their nomadic journey is that our people did well when they had faith. They did well when they lifted each others’ spirits. They did well when they kept their eye on the communal goal of sticking together as they moved, step by step, toward the Promised Land.

This Friday night we conclude the counting of the Omer. Saturday night we usher in the Festival of Shavuot – the holiday marking the day our people received Torah on Mount Sinai.

As a congregation, we have been aware of the passage of time. As we counted each day of the Omer, we have also been counting down toward our move from 318 Whealton Road in Hampton, to our new location on the campus of the UJC in Newport News. We will be in temporary quarters until our new Rodef Sholom Temple building is completed. Our offices will be in a trailer on the JCC campus. Our prayers and most of our activities will be on the campus. Many of our regular religious school sessions will be in Temple Sinai’s facilities on Warwick Blvd.

For the next while…our congregation will be “nomadic,” in a manner of speaking. Just as our ancestors experiences some glitches in the Wilderness, we too will undoubtedly experience some glitches along our way.

But, if we keep in mind the three-fold message of B’Midbar – if we keep the faith; if we remember to lift each others’ spirits; and if we keep our eye on our communal goal of sticking together and moving forward, step by step – I am sure that we will forge new paths of spiritual growth and discover new levels of holiness in our individual lives and in our communal life as well.

I look forward to this Shabbat, our last Shabbat at 318 Whealton Road, with a degree of sadness but also with a clear sense of adventure and of excitement!

I look forward to our Shavuot services (on Sunday and on Monday morning), our last two Festival services at 318 Whealton Road; and I look forward with great anticipation to our Deconsecration and Dedication ceremonies as we move from 318 Whealton Road to 401 City Center Blvd., on Tuesday, June 14th!

Hope to see you this at as many of these services and events as possible, as we move ahead toward the realization of our congregational and communal goals, step by step!

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shavuot Sameach!

Rabbi Gilah Dror