Messages from Rabbi Russo

May 22, 2015 ~ 4 Sivan 5775

May 22, 2015 ~ 4 Sivan 5775
Torah is on my mind as we prepare to enter into Shabbat and Shavuot immediately afterwards.  Living Torah - eitz chayim - is dynamic as we live with Torah values and hold the stories of the Torah as our stories.  The avenues towards living Torah are endless. 

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner tells a story of when he brought preschool students into the sanctuary. He showed them all the highlights on the bima and tells of the time he brought a nursery school class into the synagogue sanctuary for a tour. He showed them all the highlights on the bima before standing them in front of the Ark.
"What do you think is in there?" he asked them.
"Nothing!" one child answered, "It's empty."
"A new car!" another shouted.
"An old, old Torah!" responded another.
"I know! I know" one child insisted, "It's a mirror!"

Each child was right because he or she each highlighted different approaches to Torah. When we feel disconnected from Judaism and Torah, then the Ark is empty for us.  When we miss the sanctity of Torah and focus on materialism, we see the shiny new car.  If we push Torah away as something old and distant, we miss the relevance of living Torah. But when we see ourselves within Torah then we can fully live Torah.

There are so many avenues into a life of Torah, and it looks different for each one of us. Let's strive to see ourselves within Torah so that we can live its values and learn from its wisdom.  

If you are around this weekend, I hope you will join us for services and/or our Tikun Leil Shavuot on Saturday night beginning at 9 pm. This is just one of many ways that we can live Torah together.
Shabbat Shalom.