For Our Star (A Prayer of Rededication)

When we moved into our new synagogue building in 2004, Temple Beth Hatfiloh said a bittersweet goodbye to our original building, built and dedicated in 1938. We sold that building to support our future plans, but with one condition: should the building ever be demolished or remodeled, we would retain the rights to the stained glass Star of David window and the dedicatory corner stones.

Earlier this year, the current owners of the building, K Records, called me to say that due to some building repairs they would be removing the Star of David and that we can come to retrieve it. It would be coming home! Time and the elements had taken their toll; it was in need of repair and restoration.. Overwhelming support allowed us to move forward quickly with the project. Now we have installed the Star in our current building, having rededicated it to the memory of Ben Bean, one of our founding members who passed away last year. (Here is a story on the dedication on a local blog, Janine’s Little Hollywood.)

This is a prayer I composed in honor of the occasion:

 

Eloheynu v’elohey avoteynu v’imoteynu

Our God and God of our Ancestors,

You call us together to join in sacred community

And to create sacred space.

To build a sanctuary

That you may dwell among us

And that we may strengthen our connections

Embody our traditions

Consolidate our power

Enrich our tapestry

Raise our voices.

 

And we understand

That a way to honor the sacred

Is not just through mitzvah

But hiddur mitzvah

To do our sacred work in a way that is joyous

And beautiful

And pleasing to the senses.

 

So to honor the divine

And our community

We make our sacred space beautiful

We adorn it with art

And symbols of our tradition

Symbols that unite us

In shared values

And a common story

Milestones of our history

And guideposts of our future.

 

Our God and God of our ancestors

Today we rededicate this Magen David, Star of David

Created with love for this community

Now reunited after a brief separation.

 

May this Star continue to be our link to the past

While serving as a guide to our future.

May the spirit of those who created it

Inspire our lives

May their hopes and dreams of a vibrant Jewish home

Become our hopes and dreams.

May their dedication to community and tradition

Become our dedication.

And may their prayers for continuity and commitment

Become our prayers.

 

May this beautiful star

Inspire us

To live into our lives,

To work for justice,

To explore our heritage,

To build community,

To laugh and cry,

To eat and drink,

To sing and pray,

To learn and teach,

Together

L’dor va’dor

From generation to generation.

Amen.

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