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 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
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,
From generation to generation.