Robert Frost defined home as the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in. True but not enough. For beyond a place of unconditional acceptance, our home must provide us with nourishment. According to Jewish tradition, the world, like human beings, possessed a navel – a point at which the world was connected to heaven and through which the earth could draw sustenance. The navel of the world was located in a home, God’s home, the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was our spiritual home and through the sacrificial service and Torah study that took place as the community gathered we were able to draw sacredness into our lives and to nourish our souls.
As the spiritual life of our people moved beyond the Temple, our tradition began identifying other places as home and as central to our existence. The beit midrash was the home for studying, the beit tefillah the home for praying and the beit knesset the home for gathering.
Adat Ari El has been a home for many of us. Through moments of learning, prayer and simply being able to gather together, Adat Ari El has become our home, our metaphoric navel – the spot at which we connect and our souls are nourished on Judaism in a Jewish environment. It is here we learn to how to raise up our souls, our families and the world around us. It is here that we touch the divine and find our sense of who were are and what we can become.
And it is here we join with us to support them as they support us.