This past week in our TK/Kindergarten class, our students were learning about how each member of the community makes a difference. They constructed mail satchels and handed out letters to different individuals in the community who help make Wornick special. After observing them hand out letters, I joked with a colleague how much I love education that reminds me of Mr. Rogers. I find the worldview of seeing the value of every individual in our community so powerful in a society where meal and grocery delivery, online check deposits, and tele-health visits are increasingly the norm.
In this week’s Torah portion, Pekudei, we read about the completion of the construction of the Tabernacle. The two individuals who are responsible for the completion are Betzalel and Ahliav. Betzalel came from the upper echelons of society. He is the descendant of Caleb and Miriam, closely connected to Moses but also to the strong tribe of Judah. Ahliav, on the other hand, came from the Tribe of Dan. Dan was considered to be one of the lowest tribes. The tribe that collected things that other tribes left behind. Together these two individuals, one from the top of society and one from the bottom, consecrated the most sacred place in the Jewish community.
In this same Torah portion, we are also reminded of the Mitzvah of the “Half Shekel.” The Israelites were each required to contribute a half shekel. It didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, every single person was required to give equally. The mitzvah was structured as a half shekel, so that Israelites would understand that they are incomplete without their other half.
Our annual gala, coming up in just over a month, is also centered around this theme. We are honoring a wide range of community members who have sustained our school in every way, both past and present. Our theme for this year is B’Yachad, or Together. Our hope is to take a moment to recognize that every member of our community plays a vital role in sustaining it. After more than two years of not having an in-person gala, I am so looking forward to celebrating our entire community together.