Building a Bridge of Free Will and Good Will
Reprinted from July 13, 2016
The word is out. By now you know all about our new Terumah membership model for young families at Holy Blossom Temple. (If you don’t, please click here.) It’s based on mutual trust between the generations. It isn’t a freebee or a gimmick. It isn’t a seasonal sale. We believe congregational life is valuable and to be treasured, so we have carefully designed a model that celebrates what Holy Blossom can provide for young families and what young families can provide for Holy Blossom. This new initiative honours what Holy Blossom Temple is today and what the next generation will make of it. The Terumah model highlights the best of what sacred communities do for one another – we stretch to provide for one another. It is a bridge from here to there, built out of free will and goodwill.
Gifts of the Heart
The word Terumah comes from the first building campaign of Jewish history. While travelling in the wilderness, the Children of Israel wanted to build a House of God, to feel God’s nearness. Moses instructed them: “Take from among you gifts to the Eternal God, every one whose heart so moves him shall bring them.” People were so inspired, that they brought “gold and silver and copper, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, fine linen, ram skins, dolphin skins, and acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for anointing oil and aromatic incense, lapis lazuli and other precious stones for setting.” So much so, that Moses eventually declared: “Let no man or woman make further effort toward gifts for the sanctuary.” It is written: “Their efforts had been more than enough for all the tasks to be done.” (Exodus 36)
This bold initiative for young families is a measured risk. We will be successful if everyone – long-time members and newcomers – participates generously with their contributions and enthusiastically by drawing friends, neighbours, and relatives into the Holy Blossom community.
Gifts of Deed
But that’s not all we learn from the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Moses always called upon the people to give of their skills. “Let every skilled person whom God has endowed with skill, everyone who excels in ability undertake the task and carry it out.” Artisans and craftsmen, architects and designers, women at the loom and men at the workbench – each one did her and his part in creating the masterpiece for all to enjoy.
Everyone has a talent that can be creatively applied to enrich the lives of our congregation. What’s yours? Tell us this fall via the membership portal and one good thing will lead to another.
Call to Action
Please contact Rachel “Sas” Saslove ([email protected]) with the names of young families who are looking for a synagogue to call home. We will reach out to them personally and welcome them in. Together we are building a strong and beautiful bridge to a vibrant future.