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Giving Back

02/04/2022 11:31:59 AM


Rabbi Bruce Aft

Dear Friends,

It was an influential quote in my lifetime...I was a six year old child and it made a significant impression on me.  I often wonder if I have just heard about it, or whether I really remember the actual quote.  In any event, I want to share it with you.

John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Why am I writing about that today?  In this week's Torah portion, "Terumah" we are asked to bring a meaningful offering for the building of the portable Tabernacle.   We were incredibly generous and it was our first opportunity to give back to a world where G-d had been taking care of us.  G-d had helped us leave slavery, cross the Red Sea, and given us the 10 Commandments.

As we built our community back then and as we build community today, our tradition and President Kennedy's quote teach us that we build stronger communities when we bring our unique gifts to our world.  We all have much to give and sometimes we get used to others doing things for us.

As we strengthen our congregational communities and the larger communities in which we live, I hope this portion and the Presidential quote will be a call to action.

Rabbi Hillel said, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me, If I am only for myself, what am I?  If not now, when?"

We can make a difference and ALL OF US have much to give.  

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Bruce Aft

Sun, June 4 2023 15 Sivan 5783