Sept 2014-b Board Installation – (Berland)
Clergy, board members, friends –
Community. It’s fitting that tonight’s parsha, Ki Tavo –literally, “when you enter” (the land), is the one that coincides with the installation of both our Temple Board of Trustees and our JTV Board. After 400 years of enslavement and 40 years wandering in the wilderness – four hundred and forty years of exile, deprivation and rootlessness – the Israelites, our people, are on the verge, at last, of returning home. They are instructed to celebrate the enormous blessings they have received – and to be generous to the Levites, who will oversee the place of worship, and to the “stranger in [their] midst,” to the fatherless and the widow” – to all who are in need. The downtrodden host that left Egypt with only the things they could carry on their backs and hold in their arms, has, at last, been delivered into a land of milk and honey, a place of enormous bounty. But they must never forget their origins and their history, or their obligations to others. Celebrate, yes. But then give back. And give forward.
So from a mass of oppressed, dehumanized slaves; to a nomadic but stiff-necked people; to, at last, a nation, a real, rooted community. They must rejoice for the blessings they’ve received, but each must also do his or her part to support the community, their community and to care for those in need.
And that is what you, our trustees, and you, our JTV board members, do, day in and day out, year after year.
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