Dvar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar, February 1, 2014
Our topic today is the miskhan, the portable sanctuary assembled and disassembled and moved around the desert while B’nai Yisrael wander in the wilderness. Today we read a detailed description of its creation from soliciting the materials to the particulars of construction both of the structure itself and of the ritual items to be housed there. Despite their detail, It would be imprudent to try to use these descriptions to recreate the mishkan, the instructions are wholly insufficient. Yet the usually concise Torah devotes much time and space to this topic. Far more than is practical or, at least according to some, interesting. In study of Torah, both traditional and critical, such extensive description is treated as a measure of importance. Clearly, the Torah thinks the mishkan is important.
To mark the anniversary of 9-11 we decided to attend the memorial ceremony at the firefighter’s memorial at w100th st.
It was quite moving. There were firefighters in attendance from all over the world including: Los Angeles, Belgium, New South Wales, Los Vegas, Canada, even Mirimar, FL. They read the names of all 343 firefighters who died on 9/11/01 pausing for moments of silence to mark the collapse of each tower and the crash of flight 93. It was very nicely done.
Here were a few photos that I took:
Saluting during the national anthem
Following along as the list of 343 firefighters was read
Listening to Amazing Grace being sung…
Afterwards we went back to see the memorial:
Some people left notes or gifts
including a wreath from the London Fire Brigade
There were lots of flowers
(click to view bigger)
Others were coming too, to see what was left, to contemplate or to take pictures…