Torah Tidbits

The Art of Being and of Belonging
Shabbat Parashat Kedoshim
Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh
April 26, 2014 – 26 Nisan 5774    Tasclich 5774

The Art of Being and of Belonging

Is “belonging” a thing of the past?  Apparently, not!

This evening we will be celebrating New Member Shabbat at Rodef Sholom Temple.   I hope you will join us as we gather together to celebrate and to welcome Shabbat and our new members!

Why choose to become members of a shul when we could simply be Jewish on our own?

Those of us who choose to “belong” might intuit the fact that “being” Jewish is immeasureably enhanced by “belonging” to Jewish community and, in particular, to a synagogue.

Each of us has unique talents, strengths, and weaknesses.   By choosing to come together and to belong to community, we have the opportunity to enhance our abilities, to multiply our powers, and, at the same time, to make up for our individual weaknesses!  What better reason to join and to belong?!

Our weekly Torah portion, Kedoshim [Holy], encapsulates the heart of Jewish tradition.

Laying before us the outline of ethical and spiritual practices designed to keep us on our toes – to remind us of the joys of living a life of purpose and of caring – Parashat Kedoshim addresses us in the plural.  This is the Torah’s way of reminding us that, if we focus on higher goals, we have a better chance of accomplishing them if we are part of a community of like-minded individuals.

As a community, we can maximize the potential of each and every individual who chooses to join with us.  As a community, we can become a kehilla kedosha – a holy community.   While there is always room to improve, the vision of Torah is that as a community, and in community, we strive to embody the values of Torah.  If we keep that in mind, then, together, we can turn that vision into a reality!

This Shabbat we will recite the prayer for the new Jewish month of Iyar.  Rosh Chodesh Iyar will be on Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday of this coming week!  May it be a month of peace, of blessing and of joy for us, for all the people Israel, and for all people everywhere!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror