Rabbi Einhorn’s SynaBlog is a new innovative blog that shares tips, tactics, strategies and best practices that enable Shul growth and promote Shul vitality.
We believe that the calendar is imbued with flashpoints of inspiration. Particular moments and days are better equipped to enable certain energies emerge. Best practice would then dictate that a growing shul should pay attention to the cadence and peaks of the Jewish Year.
This month is Elul. Our tradition has mined the Hebrew word א-ל-ו-ל for acronyms that bear significance at this juncture. I’d like to share with you – 5 acronyms from the word אלול that carry a deep message for our shul’s development.
Acronym #1 – אני לדודי ודודי לי – I am to My beloved and My beloved is to Me.
This is a passage from Shir HaShirim and the message is that Judaism represents a reciprocal love affair between G-d and His people. You want an addictive message to share in your synagogue pews? G-d loves you! How many times do we speak like this? Not often. But it’s worth it. Nothing is more empowering than knowing that we are loved by the One above. There is no greater motivator than love and certainly no greater motivator than to know we have Divine love. It’s so romantic and so powerful.
Acronym #2 – אנה לידו ושמתי לך – This verse is in the context of arei miklat – the city of refuge. When a person shall kill by accident, he is given a place to run to; a safe haven. Security and safety. At a later point we are going to have to share best practices on shul security. But meanwhile, the simple knowledge that our congregants need to feel safe – is essential! This is especially true when it comes to our children. Parents want to know that there is no safer place on Earth for their children than the synagogue.
Stay tuned next week for the next three acronyms!