Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Terumah 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
MINYAN ASSURANCE NEEDED – PLEASE HELP – DON’T ASSUME!
Gene Gorrin has a Yahrzeit beginning this Thursday evening, your help is needed to assure a minyan on 2/23 @ 7:45 PM & 2/24 @ 6:45 AM
ROSH HODESH ADAR!!!!
Please note that for Rosh Hodesh Adar the morning minyan will begin at 6:45 AM on Thursday & Friday, February 23rd & 24th
IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
February 25, 2012 – 2 Adar 5772
Annual: Exodus 25:1 – 27:19 (Etz Hayim p. 485; Hertz p. 326)
Triennial: Exodus 26:1 – 26:30 (Etz Hayim p. 491; Hertz p. 330)
Haftarah: I Kings 5:26 – 6:13 (Etz Hayim p. 500; Hertz p. 336)
Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser
“Then set up the Tabernacle according to the manner of it that you were shown on the mountain.” (Exodus 26:30)
“‘Set up the Tabernacle.’ That is, have your experts do so. Or perhaps it meant that Moses himself was to set up the Tabernacle the first time – with the help of others, for it took many hands to set up the Tabernacle.” (Ibn Ezra)
“The design for the tabernacle came from above, but the wherewithal came from below, freely tendered without a trace of compulsion. The creation of sacred space required the consent of those to be served by it. Holiness cannot be fabricated and foisted in the face of massive dissent. The key to drawing God into the midst of a faith community is the personal engagement of its members. The popular voluntarism that enabled Moses to erect Israel’s mobile sanctuary is the operative paradigm for the American Jewish community.” (Rabbi Ismar Schorsch)
“God showed Moses either ‘blueprints,’ pictures, or a model of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is not to be a product of human creativity but must conform exactly to divine specifications (‘One cannot approach God except [by the ways that] He commands [Judah Halevi, Kuzari].’” (Jewish Study Bible/Oxford)
“Although I cannot build a tabernacle with a cover of pure gold and a table of acacia wood, I will try to make my home a tabernacle, suffused with God’s light. I will try to make my life a tabernacle as I try to open myself to God’s blessings every moment.” (Richard Ellis)
Questions for Discussion
Does Ibn Ezra mean that the image of the Tabernacle revealed to Moses was so complex that it required many people working together to assemble it? Or does he mean to say that the process of cooperation, teamwork, and community participation was an integral aspect of God’s revelatory message? How would such a teaching find application in our own experience of Jewish life and community?
In analyzing the Tabernacle, Chancellor Schorsch asserts, “Holiness cannot be fabricated” but relies on our willing engagement. What steps can (or do) we take to achieve holiness, to transform our congregations into “kehilot kodesh” – holy communities – and our synagogues (and homes) into truly sacred centers? How else is the Tabernacle an apt symbol for the American Jewish community?
In what aspects of Jewish life is it accurate to say that we, too, must rely on God’s “blueprint” – on divine commands – and when is personal expression and individual creativity indispensable? Notwithstanding the Kuzari’s comment, how does the description of the Tabernacle provide a balanced and nuanced model for this question?
Both the menorah (see Rabbi Friedman’s statement, above) and the Tabernacle (a la Richard Ellis) have been used as models for personal spiritual refinement and individual experience of God. How do these symbols differ? Which aspects of these models of the individual’s religious quest do you find personally compelling?
Your thoughts as always are welcome…
A. Sunday, February 26, 2012:
1. 9 AM:
a. Religious School
c. Yoga in the Ballroom
2. 7:45 PM: evening minyan
A. Thursday, February 23rd, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
B. Friday, February 24th, 8 PM: Shabbat Shalem
C. Saturday, February 25th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Jason Rubin
D. Thursday, March 1st, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – NJ Marriage Equality???? – Barnes & Noble, Rt. 22 W, Springfield
E. Friday, March 2nd, 6:30 PM: SHABBATis4U service in honor of Kitah Bet & Hey – Shabbat dinner to follow – RSVP needed: email@example.com – NO LATE SERVICE
F. Sunday, March 4th, 12 Noon – 2 PM: Purim Carnival
G. Wednesday, March 7th, 7 PM: Megillah Readings – Sanctuary & Chapel
H. Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM: morning minyan & Purim continues – Megillah Reading in the Chapel
I. Saturday, March 10th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Matthew Nadel
J. Thursday, March 15th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
NEXT CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
1. Depart EWR: December 18, 2012
2. Return to EWR: January 1, 2013
3. The itinerary & application is available: www.israeltours.com/rmallach2012.php
4. INFORMATION MEETING – note date change – SUNDAY, March 11TH – 12:30 PM – IN THE BOARD ROOM – come learn more from our tour company – all questions answered
For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/
You can also visit my website at http://ridinrebbe.com/