20 February 2015
Putting together children’s toys, as I’ve done countless times for children and grandchildren, seems simple enough. Why bother with the instructions? Three hours later, I’m often lost, frustrated and of course have the proverbial “extra bolt” left over. The directions are right there, but we often think we can navigate our way without them.
This week’s parasha – Terumah – contains extraordinarily detailed instructions on the construction of the mishkan, the dwelling for God. “Make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them,” said God. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner says about this phrase and what he calls the ‘religious enterprise’ of building sanctuaries, “You have to do something so that God, who is not there, can be.” Why would the Children of Israel be commanded to create a tangible dwelling for an omnipresent Being? The answer, perhaps, is that the physical dwelling/building/Temple/
The directions for building the mishkan were provided by God, and were followed to the letter, unlike what I’ve often done with my kids’ ill-constructed games. The Torah also contains instructions, some clearer than others. And it’s our responsibility to study and try to understand them. The world we work hard to construct daily, in spite of the roadblocks often in the way, should seek to follow these instructions carefully.
Steven A. Rakitt, Chief Executive Officer
Here are four ways to Make It Yours this week:
- Spend a Sunday learning at The Community Education Day on Arab Citizens of Israel at the DCJCC this February 22
- Register for The Network Event, a memorable evening of networking with business leaders and a special presentation by ESPN’s Mike Greenberg ofMike and Mike on Thursday, February 26.
- Delight your Jewish taste buds with a Pre-Purim Palooza unlike any other and nosh on a bottomless buffet of hamantaschen, falafel, pita, hummus and more on Monday, March 2.
- Join other interfaith families for a meaningful Shabbat experience atCapital Camps’ Interfaith Families Retreat from March 20 to 22.