February 4-5, 2022 Shabbat Terumah
4 Adar I 5782
How do we build a place for the Holy One? Our Torah portion this week tells the story of how our ancestors built the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle during the time they wandered in the desert. The Divine instruction seems to describe the nuts and bolts of construction, but a deeper message emerges: “Let them make Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). If this was merely about the physical aspects of construction, then we might expect the text to read: “…that I may dwell in it.” Instead, we learn that if we work together to build the spiritual aspects holiness, the Divine will dwell not in the physical place itself but within us.
The Sanctuary is not just a room with walls and a bima and an ark. Rabbi Amy Schwartzman writes that simply building and decorating a Sanctuary doesn’t guarantee what will happen inside that Sanctuary. The Torah is teaching us that the Divine will dwell within and among us only as a result of what we do when we are with other people in any space. If we build kedusha (holiness) and chesed (kindness), if we help create ahava (love) and tzedek (righteousness), then we can turn an everyday gathering into something sacred. When we transform our gatherings into sanctuaries, we’ll guarantee the Presence of the Divine.
“Mi she-nichnas Adar marbim b’simcha—when Adar arrives, joy increases.”
This is the month of Adar, and the rabbis said that this month we have to find joy 😊
Finding joy might be a challenge for some this year, as it was last year. Try calling a friend, writing a letter, drawing a picture, praying, taking a walk outside and noticing wonders in nature, or making time for meditation. Maybe start planning your Purim costume (Purim falls this year on March 17). Best of all, try bringing joy to someone else, and you might discover that joy has found you, too!
Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 (no gathering in the Synagogue)
Friday at 4:15 PM: Shabbat Birthday Service with Rabbi Sherman & Cantor Shikler
Blessings in Dining Room following the service
Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room
Let me know if you would like to check out a Siddur (prayer book) for Friday night or Saturday morning. I will bring it to you personally before Shabbat and you may keep it in your apartment.
Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 5:07 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:04 PM
Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Sherman