One of the many stories that we are told in this week's Torah portion is the Tower of Babel. In an attempt to physically reach the heavens, the people try and build a tower, reaching all the way up to God. This angered God, who confused their languages so that the construction workers could not understand one another, preventing them from being able to complete their construction project.
One of the reasons that I think God might have been so angry at the people for building the tower, was because they misunderstood an essential piece of what it means to be close to God. There are most definitely some physical places and spaces where we may feel closer to God than others (I hope that Tifereth Israel is one of them), but what the people building the tower failed to realize is that God can be found everywhere. We don't need to build big beautiful and expensive towers up to the heavens to reach God; we can feel God's presence wherever we are, in our minds, and in our hearts.
Our relationship with God, as a community, as families, and as individuals, is always changing. One of the important lessons we can take away from the Tower of Babel is that it really doesn't matter how high we build, how far we go, as close as we feel to God, or the many important relationships we have in our lives. We can always build a little higher, and go even further. God can always be found; we just have to look in the right places.
Shir Chadash Shabbat: 6:15 p.m.
Shabbat Morning Services: 9:30 a.m. Sydney Levenson will become a Bat Mitzvah