Monday, February 23, 2015

Shabbat Zachor; T'tzaveh

Exodus 27:20−30:10

Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Creating Sacred Space

Our congregation, Beit Tikvah, rents space from a wonderful community. The sanctuary of First Christian Church/Disciples of Christ offers a peaceful haven to both of our religious communities and to other groups as well. Its distinctive shape can be seen by all those driving up Roland Avenue, towards Lake.

Glance up towards the west as you approach the end of the boulevard, and you see an uncommonly-shaped building. The sanctuary itself also offers a relatively uncommon vista. There is no stained glass, no organ pipes. There is nothing imposing in the architecture, but rather, a great deal that is inviting. Softly colored wood. Pews arrayed in circular ranks, three quarters of the way around the space. Simple furnishings. Very little overtly religious symbolism.

The sanctuary is very easily transformed into Congregation Beit Tikvah's space prior to our Friday night services, or on holidays. Our ark is easily wheeled in from its resting place in a discreet corner of the social hall. A few details - including a beautiful six-pointed cloth for the reading table - and our sacred space is ready.

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