28/29 April 2023, 8 Iyyar 5783

Of the making of books there’s no end. So wrote the author of Ecclesiastes which we studied in our Torah group last term. We have now begun Song of Songs and are intrigued to get to know it.

A book or perhaps magazine intrinsic to our community has been SHOFAR. In my eleven years I have seen consistently impressive writing and editing. It has been always a critical mouthpiece for us and a reminder to all what happens chez nous at FPS. I love the idea that we as a congregation get to be noticed on members’ kitchen tables and in their living rooms.

Since Monica Rabinowitz ended her tenure at the helm we have been looking for a new editor who might enjoy this task with lots of support from us in the office and brilliant Lea Jagendorf our designer. Do join Tamara and me for Cafe Ivriah this week 10am to discuss Shofar and its future. I look forward to seeing you there.

There is a verse within this week’s double portion of Acharei Mot-Kedoshim that has always compelled me:

Do not curse the deaf or make a stumbling block before the blind. (Leviticus19)

Just enable, Leviticus is saying. Don’t sabotage, don’t make things difficult for people and impede their understanding. Be decent. Be a mensch. I love the simple profundity of these images. And they, alongside so much of Jewish text, remind me why I choose to be a religious Jew, pulling out such meaning continually.

As I promised last week, it is very much business as usual at Liberal Judaism despite the forward planning of a shared Progressive movement. That pulling out meaning for a Jewish life is the theme of this year’s Biennial weekend 19-21st May (please peruse publicity). The guest speakers of Rabbi Dr Larry and Dr Joel Hoffman are a draw in themselves, encouraging us to think keenly how we live our lives as jews in the wider and smaller worlds we occupy. It has never felt more relevant than now.

Be in touch if I can talk further with you. It is an excellent weekend away – I promise.

Shabbat Shalom,