Thursday, October 4, 2012

In the Shade of the Sukkah of Peace

In our regular prayers in the evenings, we make reference to God protecting us in his "sukkah of peace", a metaphorical term that draws upon the imagery of Sukkot, this week's holiday. Though unlike the sukkot built by humans, flimsy and temporary constructions (though the one the Men's Club put up is pretty good!)God's sukkah is meant to provide peace and wholeness to us. I have been thinking a great deal lately about the purpose of the synagogue. And one thing I feel that must be a part of what a synagogue does has to be helping to make improvements in the local community. I have spoken a few times now about this and want to mention it again. At Beth Meier, we do collect food for SOVA, the food pantry,and we are pretty good about that. We filled five barrels during the holidays and our regular barrel is filled a couple times of month. But I would like us to do more. I would like people in Studio City and the surrounding areas to know Beth Meier for having contributed something positive and meaningful to the community. And I would like the members of Beth Meier to feel good and proud about what their synagogue does. And most importantly, I want us to help spread the shade of God's sukkah of peace, by being God's agents and helping some number of those in need. An example of what I mean comes from another Conservative synagogue in Maryland. There they helped to build a playground in an underprivileged neighborhood and did it all in one day! I'm not saying we need to exactly that, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to know that because of our synagogue, something of that sort could happen for people? If you have ideas, and would like to really roll up your sleeves and be involved, please let me know. I wish you all a Chag Sameach, a Happy Sukkot, Rabbi Benson

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