When I came into synagogue one Shabbat day, admittedly a little late, a friend rushed over and told me about another synagogue that needed me more.

I put my prayer book down as fast as I'd picked it up, and I was off to this special house of prayer, the house of prayer attended by dedicated mothers.

When I arrived, there were five precious Torah scrolls that needed special care, some with a soft white mantle, one bedecked in red velvet. The Torah scrolls varied in size, and one was so small I could hold it lightly in one hand. I caressed each one and held them tight. The honors of lifting the Torahs and tying the ribbons were all mine. With love and care I spun them around, giving each a turn to be held up high.

At my special synagogue things are a little different. For our prayers we marvel at the flowers and at the ants running by, and praise G‑d for each wondrous leaf and the clouds in the sky. The Shema is chanted word by word by the little scrolls themselves, proudly proclaiming the G‑d’s unity.

You see, at my synagogue there are no times for prayer; there are no lecterns or reader’s platform, We just have precious little souls, five gorgeous Jewish children—living Torah scrolls.

Over 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and at that moment, heaven and earth came together. And through living with the Torah, we have the ability to make that a permanent and apparent state. Just as the children of Israel were told to build the Sanctuary, a House for G‑d in the wilderness, we too must build a home for G‑d in our “wilderness”—for the command is eternal. It applies to the desert Sanctuary, to the Holy Temple, to our synagogues today, to ourselves and to our homes.

Our homes are a temple, the table is an altar, and we are the kohanim, the priests. We have the privilege of tending to this special temple, making it a real place in which G‑d can be known. The priests who served in the Holy Temple worked hard, cleaning, guarding, baking the show bread, roasting the sacrificial offerings, cutting the hair of the Nazirites, and of course washing their hands multiple times a day. Sound familiar?

At the same time, the clothing of the priests had to be immaculate—not too small, or too baggy, not a stain or a rip in sight. For such holy work, only the best was allowed.

The Torah tells us that priesthood is a present from G‑d. A gift given to a tribe of people who are by nature full of kindness, who bless the nation with love. Reuben, the firstborn of the 12 tribes, couldn't have the priesthood because he was too hasty. A priest must be energetic, but relate to the children of Israel with love and patience.

Being a priest is a hard task and takes much dedication, but at the same time it is a precious gift, an honor and a privilege.

Next time you wonder why you couldn't make it to synagogue, or why you have to dress your little Torah scroll five times, remember that you have your own synagogue, your own temple.

You are the entire minyan, you are the kohen. You are bringing heaven and earth together. Let’s work on our temples, make them a place where G‑d is truly at home.

May we merit to see the Holy Temple in Jerusalem rebuilt now!