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Parshat Ki Tissa

03/09/2023 11:19:18 AM


Hilary Druckman

Who we are today is intrinsically linked to the actions we take, decisions we make, and experiences of all the days leading up to now. In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Ki Tissa, Aaron and the Israelites make a decision that has an everlasting impact on the Jewish people. Moses is still on Mount Sinai, and the Jewish people are anxiously waiting for his return. They begin to lose faith, and decide to create a new god for themselves - a tangible one, in the form of a Golden Calf. When Moses finally does return from Mount Sinai, he sees them worshiping an idol and angrily smashes the Two Tablets he received from God.
There are many instances where broken pieces of something important - positive and negative - are preserved at both a national and personal level. I think of the Berlin Wall, Rosetta Stone, or even necklaces I have held on to. Interestingly, the broken tablets are never again mentioned, but what might’ve happened to this important artifact, written by God?
We find an answer in Menahot 99 - the tablets of the Covenant, and the broken pieces of the tablets, are both placed in the Ark. Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin adds that, “We always travel with our past. It is very hard to give up - as well it should be.” (JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary)
Reading these commentaries resonated with me as I prepare for my move from Georgia to the personally unknown territory of Louisville, KY. While I’ll no longer have the privilege of acting as the Programming and Membership Engagement Director at OVS, I know there’s so much I’ll still be taking with me. On the one hand, I’ve learned so many practical skills from making cold calls to preparing items for Building Blocks, I’ve definitely expanded my toolbox of knowledge. But so, so much more than that, I know what I’ll be taking with me is the everlasting impact the people at OVS have had on my heart, my soul - my neshamah.
From my very first Zoom interview, I was awestruck by the compassion and care of the members here. When I walk into an event, I’m always welcomed by an outpouring of smiles, hugs, and conversations. The OVS community is bursting with strong, genuine connections. It’s not a surface level hello, but a true “how are you?” I come here and see my extended family. I look forward to baking Burekas with the Sisterhood, packing bags for Backpack Buddies with my friends, and celebrating the holidays with children’s laughter all around. When you come to OVS, I guarantee your life will become brighter, more vivid, and imbued with value.
In addition to the incredible community I spend time with at OVS events, it’s the unbelievable team with whom I've had the honor to work that I’ll “carry with me.” Nicole, Matty, and Dee greet me with warmth, always listening to me and helping me through. Adam and the Rabbi are not just “bosses” – they are role models. Wherever I go from here, I’ll be taking OVS with me. I’ve redefined what it can mean to be a part of a Jewish community. I’ll carry with me the love, empathy, and kindness of all those whom I’ve been blessed to know here. Thank you all for having this everlasting impact on my life.

Mon, March 27 2023 5 Nisan 5783