How do we build a House of God? How do we achieve the spiritual mandate that God placed upon the community when asking of them to build the Mishkan, the dwelling place of God? Anybody who serves a community as its spiritual leader understands that the nature of my question has little to do with the architectural plans of the building, rather it addresses the religious and spiritual atmosphere we are challenged to create within the four walls that we call our "House of God."
In April of last year, I received the following letter from the city of Graz, Austria, where I was born.
"On November 9th, 2000, the newly erected synagogue in Graz will be returned to the Jewish community. The return of the synagogue is a visual appeal for forgiveness for the atrocities and unjust criminal actions that were dealt our Jewish fellow citizens in the year 1938. This new House of God for the Jewish Community in Graz, which now stands at the very same spot where the former synagogue stood, should be a symbol for new respect for human rights and human kindness here in our city."