The Torah tells us that the Ark of the Covenant was composed of a box of gold on the inside and a box of gold on the outside. The question that the rabbis ask is, “Why make a box of gold for the inside of the Ark if no one will ever see it?” They answer that the Ark in many ways represents the ideal character of the Jew, whose outer appearance should reflect the true inner nature of his or her soul, and vice versa. The gold on the outside should not be a mere façade, but rather a true reflection of a heart and soul of gold. Therefore, the Ark of the Covenant was completely encased in gold – on the inside as well as the outside.
Our congregation is a living representation of this rabbinic teaching. Engraved in the cornerstone of our synagogue is a verse from Psalms 89, which reads, “Olam Chesed Yibaneh – Building a World of Kindness.” The many golden opportunities we offer to enjoy Torah learning, inspiring services, and programming for all ages are a reflection of the spiritual energy that emanates from the good deeds and fine character of our congregants. Thanks to our active Chesed Committee, Kiddush Teams, Youth Services, etc., a strong spirit of volunteering for the good of the community binds together the walls of our shul. As a result, our hallways are illuminated with the glow of warm smiles, open arms, and genuine kindness exhibited by our members on a daily basis.
When you have prayed, studied, or celebrated with us, you will surely appreciate the bonds of Torah and chesed that permeate our congregational family. It is care and concern for each other’s spiritual, physical, and emotional wellbeing that forms the essential core of Congregation Torat Emet.
Rabbi Howard Zack