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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 2/16/18

We all know that Facebook presents us the opportunity to share happy occasions in our lives: birthdays and anniversaries; vacations and special events. Sometimes we get carried away when we post on Facebook, oversharing about an intimate gathering or a spectacular meal we just enjoyed. But have you ever heard of a rabbi going on Facebook to brag about the sanctuary in his synagogue?

Along with over 1,000 other colleagues, I participate in the Facebook members group of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Two days ago, someone posted an urgent request. This rabbi and his board were locked in a bitter debate over what color to paint the walls of their sanctuary. They were scheduled to meet soon and he wanted feedback about the color of the walls of our respective sanctuaries.

Most colleagues responded with brief descriptions of their sanctuary walls. But when I started to write, I waxed effusive. I wrote that in our sanctuary we have “light warm color for walls and carpet the color of sand. Plus 18 pendant lights, Jerusalem stone flanking the ark, and a gorgeous one-of-a-kind Ner Tamid. Members and guests are still complimenting the intimate, meditative worship environment.”

I do not usually brag. But when it comes to the beauty of our sanctuary, I cannot help myself.

It has been four years since we officially rededicated our sanctuary and social hall and I say without any exaggeration that there is not a day that goes by that I do not appreciate their aesthetic beauty, their warmth and inspiration, and their ability to uplift our hearts, minds, and souls.

This week’s Torah portion contains the verse, “Build Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among you.” (Exodus 25.8) How fortunate we are for the vision of our Beautification Committee and the generosity of our members who created our inspiring sanctuary for God’s spirit to dwell among us.

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