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Rabbi Glenn Ettman

Dear Friends,

The book of Exodus teaches us: “Va’asuli Mikdash” - Make for me a sacred space, “V’shachanti b’tocham” - so that I may dwell within THEM. Until recently, I have always been perplexed by the fact that there is no subject-predicate agreement in the sentence. It should read ‘make a sacred space that I may dwell within it’ but the sentence does not. As we know, the Torah text has neither any superfluous words nor mistakes, so there is a deeper meaning in this sentence. It has only been over the past many months that I have truly come to understand this statement. God is calling us to create community and sacred space. And this call is screaming to us to continue to do so. There has been no greater moment to realize the true power of our community and how, even though our physical space has been closed, our spiritual space and communal commitment remain strong. But it can be even stronger.

Welcome to Or Ami!  In whatever form or fashion, you have come to this community, I welcome you with open arms, a listening ear, and a welcoming spirit.  I have heard many times recently that people crave community. Or Ami is committed to creating community.  It has been our mission for the past 75 years and will continue to be as we move forward. 

Now I need your help. I challenge you to find at least three friends and encourage them to commit to continuing to create this holy and sacred community of Or Ami. It is one thing to say you are a part of the Jewish community and to be involved, but it is another to be engaged. Let us all engage in our community. Being engaged celebrates how you have been inspired by our Or Ami. Being engaged reminds you how you have been held up by our community when times have gotten hard. Being engaged is the way we support this community with more than just words. Being engaged reminds us that we can create sacred spaces by coming together and being together. Let us accept the challenge of coming together in greater ways. 

Renewing or registering your membership is a statement of your commitment to joining a community of meaning and spirit by working together to build a more loving center of Jewish life in Lafayette Hill. Getting your friends to commit with you strengthens this center of Jewish life even more. We have come to know over the challenges of the past months that our community is not just about our building, but about finding our ways towards one another. 

When we come together we are strengthened even more. If you crave community, let us engage to create community. 

And so my prayer and challenge for you are this: May we consider the lasting impact that your commitment has on the larger Jewish community. May you join your friends and show the strength of this center of Jewish life in Lafayette Hill. And may we have the courage to commit, engage, and create the holy spaces so that God will continue to be with us. I hope you will join me. And I look forward to getting to know you and your family better. 

Rabbi Glenn Ettman 

 

Sun, November 28 2021 24 Kislev 5782