11/12 March 2022, 8/9 Adar (II) 5782

The horror of this war continues. This week on International Women’s Day Rabbi Julia Gris joined us Liberal rabbis at our monthly conference. To hear what she is holding and managing, and what she and her daughter have lost is heartbreaking. As is the stories of countless others. Mike Freer MP joined us last Shabbat when our own Paul Anticoni spoke to us about his organisation WJR are helping the situation on the ground. Mike promised that our borders will open enough to allow Ukrainian refugees sanctuary here. Family, yes, but he anticipates a scheme for Faith institution to offer sponsorship and provide homing and care. I have had an overwhelming inbox, so many of you offering to help and house folk fleeing. Let’s keep writing those letters to your MPs and direct tzedakah to the agencies that are helping.

Managing our lives whilst being continually aware, vigilant and empathetic is important. The balance is there for us.

This week’s Parasha is VAYIKRA the first portion of Leviticus, meaning and [God] called. The Torah calls us to understand our own sense of calling, impulse and motivation. What our Judaism calls us to be and do. I think of Rabbi Lionel Blue’s prayer in old age, “Stick around, I need you”.

Our synagogue and our Judaism helps us make sense of the world as well as our own lives. From Monday is ‘British Sign Language Week’. I like this reminder of life being fuller, more varied and including more. We are investing time in learning and also connecting with Jewish Deaf Association. See Zoe’s blog piece. We are committed to ensuring our Inclusive services become embedded into our synagogue life.

Shabbat Shalom