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Community is The Binding Agent

Many of the healthy snacks I make at home tend to fall apart until I perfect the recipe. Healthy snacks, especially on a grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free diet, require a delicate balance. The importance of binding agents in baking often leaves me pondering how to perfect the science of creating snacks that hold together.

Just as binding agents are crucial in cooking, they are also essential in forming a strong community. At KI, so much binds us together – our heritage, acts of kindness, art, music, classes, worship and more. However, it is important to delve deeper and discover what will unite us for generations to come.

The Hebrew concept of “binding” carries various meanings, including “being held captive” and also “a bond that creates holiness.” In this week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel, the idea of binding is seen as individuals contributing their talents, skills, and resources to construct the Tabernacle. This collaborative effort was essential in creating a sacred space, the Mishkan.

Just as the materials brought together to build the Tabernacle worked in harmony to uphold the Mishkan, our community thrives when we come together with skills, dedication, and resources. The stronger our bonds to our heritage, God, and the Mishkan, the more secure our connection becomes.

While ties and binds may not always be visible, they are deeply felt. The language of a Jewish wedding often speaks of the binding of lives through love and holiness. Our concern for those still held hostage in Israel reflects our deep connection to our people. We pray for their safe return, as our own peace is intertwined with theirs.

Though I wish I could translate my spiritual beliefs about unbreakable ties in community into my cooking, I know that our community’s ties are what truly bind and build KI into a place of love, community, and peace. Just as the Mishkan was built through collective effort, our unity and dedication strengthen our bonds to each other and to the world around us.