Our new mission statement states: “Kindling the passion to connect to each other, to the sacred, and to the world.” I pose this question to you: How do you define sacred? And how do you connect with it?
There are many ways to define sacred — both as a noun and as an adjective.
- If we use it as a noun, we could use these definitions: a “divinity that is inclusive, allowing each of us to define the term for ourselves in a way that aligns with who we are and the relationship we have to a higher power — that which is bigger than ourselves.”
We could say that it is something that is always there, always available, and that resonates with us. We can also say that the sacred is something within us, that the “divine is us and we are the divine, or that as our liturgy says we are “created in G-d’s image” (b’tzelem Elohim).
- If we use it as an adjective, it could mean something that is spiritual or holy. In Hebrew, the word holy is “kadosh” which comes from the word “kedushah” which literally means to set aside. If the word sacred is used in this context, it could refer to setting aside time or setting aside a space. That which is sacred can also mean sanctifying time for your own version of sacred moments.
With the many ways to define “sacred”, it is up to you to decide what meaning works for you.
After defining sacred for yourself, then ask yourself how you connect with it.
For many of us, while we struggle to maintain day to day modern life, we become disconnected. We are hyper-focused on the mundane, on the material world. We are more concerned with how we look, with our bodies, with our homes, our cars, our bills, our jobs, our possessions. And this takes away from our ability to connect to the sacred. So how do we connect?
What can Temple do to kindle that passion to help you connect?
There are many ways to help you connect to that which is sacred. There is meditation as a way to train your attention and awareness in order to be mentally clear and emotionally calm. There is prayer, where our liturgy brings meaning into our lives. For me, personally, there is music, which allows the universal language to penetrate my soul. There is service to others, whether that means interacting with your family, friends or helping to serve the under-served members of the community. And finally there is space — creating the space for the sacred.
It will take time to be able to answer these questions and certainly many of us have an ample amount of personal time right now. So we, at Temple, are here to help you. We are here to help you understand what is sacred. We are here to be the sanctuary for you as you set aside time to discover what sacred means for you.
Hopefully, we can return to our building to physically help you connect. Until then we can be your virtual mishkan, your virtual tabernacle, to help you connect to the sacred, to each other, and to the world.