The book of Exodus begins, “And these are the names of the Children of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob” (Exodus1,1). A list of the eleven sons who lived in Canaan with Jacob ensues, plus Joseph, who was waiting for them in Egypt.
The commentator Gur Aryeh teaches that these twelve sons, progenitors of the tribes of Israel, correspond to the twelve principle constellations in the night sky. Just as each constellation is made up of many stars, Gur Aryeh notes, so is each tribe composed of many individuals. Moreover, just as each constellation, to be complete, needs all of its constituent stars, so do the people Israel, to be complete, need each individual Jew. We all matter. Regardless of background, observance level, level of knowledge, and even level of interest, each one of us is one holy part of a holy whole.
This applies to any social unit -- a family, nation, team, and yes, congregation. We at EHNTJC need each other to be complete. Each one of us brings a unique perspective, personality, and talent. Without each member – without you – our congregation would not be the same; it would be incomplete.
The congregation is a constellation. We need each other – each one of us a star – to shine as we are meant to shine.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill