With the introduction of the nazir, an individual who dedicates him or herself to God, the weekly Torah portion identifies a role for religious lay leaders committing themselves to serve in holiness. Aaron and his sons and the rest of the priestly class have a unique role, but the text is teaching that with the appropriate kavanah (meaning ‘intention’) we can all serve. Today in Temple life that means that volunteering, no matter how mundane the task may seem — from stuffing envelopes and working in the library to cooking for those in need; from shopping for an oneg to serving on or chairing a committee; from leading services or giving a d’var torah to visiting the homebound — everything we do at Temple has the potential for holiness. There are many ways to help bring God’s presence into our world for anyone who wants to give of themselves in this way.
And when we recognize, acknowledge and thank everyone who contributes to making our Temple community the welcoming, uplifting and spiritual place we all know it to be, then we succeed in bringing even more holiness into our world.
Rabbi Sandra Bellush