22 March 2017
This week’s Torah portion stands in stark contrast to last week’s story, in which we witnessed the Israelites’ greatest act of disloyalty to God: building and worshipping a Golden Calf. In the double parashot of Vayakhel-Pekudei, we read of the great devotion and loving commitment by each person (kol ish) in building the tabernacle according to God’s instructions.
The root of the verb va-yakhel is the source of the noun kehilla – community. In reading of the contributions of countless individuals in fashioning the Tabernacle, we get a sense of communal vision through shared ownership. Each person brought his and her individual expertise to the project; all sharing and working toward a common goal. Community-building –- like the building of the Mishkan –- requires individual expertise AND a shared vision. It goes both ways: while we must each have a commitment to the values of the community, the community must always appreciate the value of each individual.
On April 2nd, our community will gather for Federation’s 6th annual Sara and Samuel Lessans Good Deeds Day. We are expecting 8,000 volunteers at 143 projects throughout our community, joining more than half a million volunteers around the world. Good Deeds Day offers each of us the opportunity to put our skills, passion and willingness to work in the pursuit of bettering our community. By coming together on Good Deeds Day, we leverage our individual efforts and support those who need us most. Sign up at gooddeedsdaygw.org, and bring your family and friends. Help us build an even stronger community, one good deed at a time.