Torah Tidbits

Blessing and Joy IMG_20160614_174443605

Shabbat Parashat B’ha’a’lot’kha

June 25, 2016 – 19 Sivan 5776

Dear Friends,

How can we help with our Rodef Sholom Temple move? There are many ways!

Some of us are helping with the physical challenges that the move to an interim space involves. Some of us are helping by being a presence at our services and minyanim on Friday nights, on Shabbat mornings, and on Monday and Thursday mornings. Some of us help by virtue of our membership. Some of us help by inviting guests to visit Rodef Sholom Temple. And the list goes on….Some of us connect on a regular basis. Some of us connect more sporadically. Every contact is a blessing and a joy!

In this week’s parsha, B’ha’a’lot’kha, we read: “I formally assign the Levites…to perform the service for the Israelites in the Tent of Meeting…so that no plague may afflict the Israelites for coming too near the sanctuary” (Numbers 8:19).

Our Sages asked: Why would there be any sort of plague associated with coming too near the sanctuary? Why wouldn’t all contacts be for a blessing?

Commenting on the words: “so that no plague,” a chasidic master once said: “May all their visits to the sanctuary be for reasons of joy, not for calamity.” (see Etz Hayim, p. 818)

When it takes a calamity to re-connect us to Jewish life and community, we are missing out on the inherent blessing and joy of being part of Jewish community.

At Rodef Sholom Temple, we are here to help in times of stress, in times of calamity, in times of loss. But, at the heart of our move is our commitment to being here in order to sustain and to nourish a sense of joy and of blessing on a daily basis.

If we identify with that sentiment, we can all help our move by virtue of our continued presence and support. Now, more than ever, every contact is a blessing and a joy!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror