Dear TEE community,

The Torah tells us that when the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness they carried the tablets containing the words revealed to them on Sinai in an ark covered in gold. This sign of the Divine Presence later resided in the Holy of Holies within the Temple in Jerusalem. After the destruction of the Temple and the loss of the original tablets, the teachings of Sinai remained with Jewish communities throughout the world in the form of Torah scrolls housed in arks of various forms.

The Torah continues to symbolize our encounter with the sacred and, like our ancient ancestors, we carry it with us wherever we make our spiritual home. Under ordinary circumstances, moving our Torah scrolls would be the occasion for festivities including a procession, music, and dance. The continued pandemic makes such celebrations impossible but it is still important to mark this significant moment in the life of our community. For that reason, we will have a modified event, accompanying our Torah scrolls by car rather than on foot, and gathering outside to place them in our portable ark.

If you would like to join us for this procession, please drive to the St. Paul Blvd. building on Sunday at 10 am and enter the parking lot through the Titus Avenue entrance. Once our Torah scrolls are brought out of the building, we will drive with them to our (and their) new home at the JCC. Specific directions about driving and parking will be given out on Sunday morning.

As we take this final step in the process of moving to our new space, I want to express my profound gratitude to the Moving Team who worked so hard to make this happen. Chair Judy Greenstein did an amazing job of keeping everything organized and on schedule while Denise Lippa, Jon Rubin, Barbara Silverstein, Susan Vinocour, and Carl Wetzstein all put in a great amount of effort. Many thanks also to Charlene Sommers and Jule Rayburn for their part in making our move possible as well as all the volunteers who sorted and packed. As always, our Emanu-El members demonstrated their care for our community — like the Torah, a sign of the Divine Presence among us, wherever we go.

Be well / Zei gesunt / Sano,

Rabbi Drorah Setel