“It (the Torah) is a ‘tree of life’ to those who uphold it, and those who support it are happy.”
The wooden rollers that hold the Torah scroll are called, “trees of life.” In prayer, the Torah itself is referred to as the “Tree of Life.”
The families that stretch through the lives of our Temple make up our Temple Tree of Life. We are the rollers of the Temple. We support it! The Torah is the focus of our wonderful services, the focus of the Torah Study groups, the focus of our Temple family that pulls us together as a family. We are brought together by Torah again and again.
Our Temple is rich in so many ways. The one that is most important is you. You make our Temple what it is today. You come and celebrate, you bring your children, your families and you bring your friends. We need to invite others to come and visit. If we bring our friends and families who are not Jewish to our life celebrations, our musical presentations and our services, we are celebrating the “Torah.”
Recently we experienced the presentation of the “Bloch Sacred Service,” a choral celebration of inspiration. The beautiful voices came from our Temple Choir and Simpson College under the direction of Cathy Lesser Mansfield and accompanied by Bobby Stinnett. The audience was filled with Temple members, guests from our larger Jewish community and friends. At the center of the musical celebration was the Torah, in the music and in the Sanctuary. When the inspirational music ended people stayed, talked and enjoyed each other and the vocalists. Something else interesting happened in the Sanctuary. Joyce Swartz took her guests up to the Torah and she shared the significance of the Torah with her guests. Joyce is a wonderful Temple docent. She has shared our story many times with others. Each time this
happens many minds and hearts are opened.
We want to continue sharing our Temple and our Temple story for years to come. In order to do that we must keep our Temple strong. Do you know what it takes to keep our Temple running? It takes all of us. It takes time and money. You probably know what your utilities run per month in cost. Do you know what the costs are for the Temple? In March 2013, our Mid American Energy bill was $2,305; our water and sewer was $172; trash pickup was $125 and snow removal was $570. That’s a total of $3,172.00. These are the bare essentials of just keeping our Temple available for services, meetings, programming and life cycle events.
I wish the Temple could run on good wishes and good intentions, but just as all of us are required to pay our monthly bills, the Temple must do so, too. Unlike bills we are late paying at home, the Temple does not charge late fees or interest. We are preparing to send out the last statements for the fiscal year 2012-2013. The Temple is counting on you. We are preparing our budget for 2013-2014. It will be another tight year in order for us to be responsible about our financial situation. If we can collect all of our dues and fees present and past, we will have a balanced budget. The Temple budget is based on our dues.
Money is a topic none of us like (unless we win the lottery). We are all counting on each other to continue the wonderful programming and the building we are proud to be in and show off to family and friends.
Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers and work that is happening at the Temple and in our community. There will be many opportunities with the Food Fair approaching; please volunteer and share in a lot of fun.
Thank you for being part of our “Tree of Life” story. May our “Tree of Life” in the Temple go on for years to come.
Shalom, Sharon Goldford