How often do I really notice our beautiful ner tamid---the eternal light that burns over the ark in our sanctuary? After all, by definition, it’s always there—quietly, safely and unobtrusively lighting the way. In this week’s parsha Tetzaveh, Moses is instructed: “Aaron shall set up this light to burn continuously in the sanctuary. It will serve as a light for God for all generations.”
Historically, of course, there have been many reasons why Jews have been prohibited from worshiping in their sanctuaries, under the glow of the ner tamid. For us, it’s been Covid. Fortunately, we’re now able to return to in-person gatherings. When I attended Shabbat services at Beth Emet last Friday evening, for the first time in ages, I felt a ‘welcome-home’ peacefulness as I gazed at our bima, with the sculpturally evocative ner tamid overhead. The light has been burning throughout the pandemic, reminding me of a front porch light that stays on, always, awaiting anyone who’d like to enter.
As more of our programs resume in-person (stay tuned for details on Purim festivities for all ages!), I hope we’ll all find our way back to our sacred spaces and gather together again.