13/14 March 2020, 17/18 Adar 5780

Purim for FPS fell on International Women’s Day; we photographed all women and girls on the Bimah. Despite the hiatus in Liberal Judaism when Purim fell distinctly out of favour, we had a full house. Fairy tales and silliness are back in fashion. Thank you so much to Nina Hirsch for her brilliant Spiel for the children of Ivriah and their fabulous voices; and to Sheila and Josie for such entertaining reading of Megillah Esther. As well as the mocktail makers and feast providers.

Looking ahead to this Shabbat it’s Parashat Ki Tissa the debacle of the Golden Calf. Make us a god/gods to worship (32:1) ; Asher Kinchin -Smith 4th generation FPSnik will chant these words for us and remind us every generation gets impatient and can be guilty of making gods in our own image. This portion is a lesson in Moses’ patience, God’s intolerance and the realism of doubt. It’s an important part of Torah this week’s portion; Moses breaking the first set of tablets in a moment of rage as he sets eyes on the Golden Calf, and the broken tablets living in the Ark, in the mishkan alongside the second perfect set.

As Jews we’ve never been afraid of doubt or questions. Religion for adults means embracing complexity. So wrote Sarah Hurwitz, former Speech writer for both Michelle and Barak Obama, in London next week to promote her excellent book Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life–in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).

I’m going to hear her speak at JW3, do come with if you fancy.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom