Last week I stumbled upon the oldest synagogue in Europe, Solanova in Trani, Puglia. Most exciting as we found ourselves on VIA SINAGOGA and followed it till we arrived at the gates with the Magen David. This year one of our newer members went to the Beth Din and wrote an amazing essay about the history of Jews in Italy.
We are all curious when it comes to Judaism's presence in other lands and the connections we feel with it. Our new Beit Midrash Series on ROOTS deals with exactly this. Learning is something we love at FPS.
Shavuot comes this Saturday night and with it we have our evening of learning, we have invited members of FPS to lead sessions on Judaism from their perspective; Sara Dibb on Biblical Images in Art, Robert Bud on Whether Science and Religion are Bed Fellows. , Our Emeritus Rabbi Frank Hellner on the Shavuot Controversy, our Kabbalat Torah first year group on their commitment to Judaism in conversation with the Book of Ruth. See the programme below.
Shavuot's alternative name is The Time of the Giving of The Torah. It is a neat circle we have managed this year by holding our annual Confirmation/Kabbalat Torah service on Shavuot. Our 15 year olds "Receive Torah" on the anniversary (so we hold onto) of Receiving Torah at Sinai. This year's group all grew up at FPS. some were even born into the community, one young man is a 4th generation member!
I can think of no better way to honour our community than this. Song of Songs Rabbah tells the midrash of the Israelites needing to offer God sureties in return for receiving the Torah and its covenant. God rejects ancestors and indeed parents as guarantees; but happily accepts their children 'these are good sureties ...'
I like to think our children are the same for us.
Join us this weekend. Bring your own cheesecake for our communal tasting and some interesting bread and cheese for shared supper on Saturday evening.
Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and Hag Shavuot Sameach,