An Empty, Scary Building
The last few days, I volunteered to open and close the synagogue so that the non-Jewish staff could spend time with their families for the holiday.
Yesterday morning, when I arrived at 7:30am to open it before the 8am service. I was struck, and a little freaked out, by the sounds of the empty building. This building is GIGANTIC and, at that point, empty. While the winds outside howled, it pummeled the building making moaning sounds.
It was scary. I’ll admit. Reflecting on it today though, I realized why it was so scary.
It was empty.
A space built, designed, and normally full of people is not meant to be empty. It is meant to be filled with people building community. It is a beit knesset, a house of gathering, (the Hebrew word for Synagogue, which is originally a Greek word.)
What a powerful symbol.
We need community and community needs us.