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When does the idea become more important than the people?

One of my favourite rabbinic stories is set right after the story of Noah's Ark - in this week's Torah reading.

When humanity chose to build up God-wards, in the tower of Babel - what was their sin?  The rabbis teach that as they went up and up, the bricks became worth more to their enterprise than human lives.

When a human would fall, they wouldn't lament.  But when an expensive brick, which took days and immense effort to carry up to the top fell, the people sat down, wept and said: "Woe is us! When will another one come in its stead?!"

SWESRS is starting in its strategic planning initiatives to grow and make our community an even more welcoming hub of meaningful Reform Jewish life.  I have been informed that since last May, over 165 members of the community have volunteered in our community - and I am hearing over and over again that what makes SWESRS special is that it puts relationships and people first.

I hope that the rabbinic lesson here enriches our work in the synagogue and beyond - as we remember that each individual is special, has something to contribute, and cannot be replaced.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Jordan