February 8, 2019
3 Adar 5779
n our Torah portion this week, Parashat Terumah, the Israelites are commanded by God to build a mikdash, a sanctuary. The mikdash was supposed to be a home for God that the Israelites could carry with them wherever they went, so that God’s presence would always dwell amongst them. Our Parashah reads like an instruction manual. We are provided with lists of materials and measurements. The Israelites are told exactly what to do and how to do it, so that they would always be able to be in touch with God.
In a lot of ways, that is exactly what we are trying to do today. Our mission is to build a sanctuary, a temple, where God’s presence can be felt. We want to build a synagogue and community where everyone will feel connected to God, Judaism and tradition. But for us, there is no instruction manual telling us exactly how we are supposed to do that.
We live in a world where feeling God’s presence can mean so many different things to so many different people. God’s presence can take on many different shapes and sizes. That is why I believe that when we create our mikdash, we are providing pathways and avenues to empower others to feel connected to God. Whether it’s through ritual, education, trips to Israel, social justice, or community activism, it is my hope and prayer that through relationships with our community, we can all feel God’s presence. Like the Israelites in the desert, may we all continue to work together to build a mikdash, in which God can dwell within each of us.
To read an archive of Rabbi Dorsch’s D’var Torah click here.