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The true blessing of our dwelling place

07/03/2019 01:22:41 PM

Jul3

Ellie Goldman

Later this month, we read the Torah portion of Balak, which includes the story of Baalam, who was sent by the enemies of the Israelites to find them in the desert and curse them. Baalam travels by donkey determined to find the Israelites and shower them with hateful words of destruction, but it was not meant to be.
When Baalam looks into the valley and sees the people gathered there, he opens his mouth and speaks not a curse, but a blessing: “How beautiful are your tents oh Jacob, your dwelling places oh Israel.” The tents themselves were not impressive, but what Baalam sees is the beauty of the community and their care for one another.
This summer, our “tent” is getting a makeover, and when it is complete, we will appreciate the splendor of the sacred space. And then, on the evening of Erev Rosh Hashanah, our congregation will fill it up for the first time with prayer and song, joy and love, gratitude and hope, and care for one another.
Only then will our tent and dwelling space be truly blessed as the Israelites were blessed by Balaam in the desert of Sinai.
Ellie Goldman is the Executive Director of Temple Shalom.

Sun, November 17 2019 19 Cheshvan 5780