There is a lot we can learn about community in this week's Torah reading, Parashat Shemini. We read about how the priests serve God and the community with the sacrificial system. The system of worship provides order and stability for the Israelites. Communities take care of one another. We all benefit from communal embrace at different times and in different ways.
The events of vandalism were deeply troubling yesterday, however, I felt hopeful when I saw the community rise up to support us. We received messages of support from Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Mayor Jen White, the Grace Episcopal Church, Supervisor Alex Gromack, the Rockland County Board of Rabbis, the Clarkstown police, and many others. Village residents called to offer their support. The response from our congregants and the community-at-large was strongly felt. I am entering Shabbat feeling blessed by the power of community. I encourage you to think about how you personally benefit from the various communities you belong to as we begin Shabbat.