Stand up and be counted. In this parashah, a census is taken. To be counted, you must give half a shekel. From this, we learn that while all must contribute to the community, each and every one of us is also individually important, both alone and as a member of the Jewish people.
This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Yitro, is named for the Midianite Priest, Jethro, and depicts his first encounter with Moses in the desert. The two forge a relationship despite their different faiths and ethnicities, and Moses ends up marrying his daughter, Tziporah.
Constructing the Miskhan brings us to ask - how can we build our communities? What do we need besides a synagogue space in order to engender a communal environment? Even something as simple as seating makes all the difference.
Three ways to listen: