First Bar Mitzvah in Our New Temple!
June 16, 2018 – 3 Tammuz 5778
Happy Father’s Day Weekend!
What a joy to be celebrating our first congregational bar mitzvah in our new Temple!
I hope you will join us at services this Friday night and Shabbat morning as we celebrate the bar mitzvah of Carson Frank. Mazal Tov to Carson and to his entire family!
Significantly, our Temple is called Rodef Sholom [Pursuing Peace]. And, in the lettering over the entrance to our Sanctuary, we see the Hebrew words: “Ohev Sholom; Rodef Sholom [Loving Peace; Pursuing Peace].”
In the Mishnah (Avot 1:12) we read Hillel’s teaching:
“Be one of Aaron’s disciples – “…Ohev Sholom v’ Rodef Sholom…” loving peace and pursuing peace, loving human beings, and inviting them into the world of Torah.
In this week’s Torah portion, Korach, we read about how our people rebelled against God (yet again), and about how they were punished by a widespread plague. What saved our people from being completely wiped out? The Torah tells us that when Aaron, the High Priest, saw what was happening, he ran forward and stood on the dividing line between the living and the dead. Aaron placed his life on the line as he stood there. And, the Torah tells us that thanks to Aaron’s personal dedication, the plague stopped.
It is such an interesting teaching. It is Aaron, the High Priest, who loves peace, pursues peace, loves human beings, and brings them closer to Torah, and who also puts his personal life on the line for the sake of our continued survival as a people whose name we recall when we call ourselves: “Rodef Sholom Temple.”
Aaron reminds us that each one of us can determine the future of our Temple, and of our people, and of our congregation. Each one of us, by our personal involvement, can affect the course of history for ourselves and for the generations to come!
As we celebrate our first bar mitzvah in our new Temple, may we remember the teaching of Aaron, the High Priest, and may our Rodef Sholom Temple family be rewarded with the blessings of many more simchas in our time and in future generations as well!
Wishing you and your loved ones Shabbat Shalom and a very Happy Father’s Day!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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