Messages from Rabbi Russo

March 6, 2015 ~ 15 Adar 5775

We had such a wonderful time celebrating Purim with many community members on Wednesday evening.  It was a joy to sing and make groggers with young children, to listen to the Megillah with excellent chanters, and to sing Beatles Purim songs with the band.  We really do have a special community.  I hope many of you will join us on Sunday for our Purim carnival from 12 - 2 pm.   We also have some great events coming up for Passover, so check out the announcements to see what you would like to join.  If you have extra seats at your Passover seder please let the office know and if you are looking for a seder to attend let us know.  We are happy to ensure that everyone has a seder both nights of Passover. 

In Parashat Ki Tisa, God appoints Bezalel to oversee the construction of the mishkan.  The Torah reads that  "God endowed him with a divine spirit of skill, insight, and knowledge in every kind of craft" (Exodus 31:3).  According to Midrash Sifrei (1:10), skill refers to what he hears from others and learns, insight is his intellectual capacity to understand things based on what he learned, and his knowledge comes directly from God.  According to this description, he is a leader who learns from everyone around him and has the awareness to see its power.  The description could have ended here.  Yet what follows is the recognition and inclusion of everyone else in the construction of the Tent of Meeting.  A few lines later we read, "And in the hearts of all the people with wise hearts, God granted skills to make everything that God commanded" (Exodus 31:6).  Each and every one of us has a skill in something.  We bring our talents together and build community.  Whether it is the ability to put on a Purim carnival, a Purim spiel, reading from the Megillah, or dancing in the aisles of the synagogue - just to name a few examples - it is the culmination of all of our skills that makes us a community.  We are so blessed by what each and everyone of us gives to our incredible community.  

Shabbat Shalom.