15/16 July 2022, 16 Tamuz 5782

Tuesday night was our first Council meeting post AGM, with a new team, as it were. We were squashed round the table in the small hall. Which in itself was a joy and then over iced water and lemon drizzle cake we welcomed a new cohort of trustees to the task of managing and leading our precious congregation. We discussed what was being inherited. This week’s Torah portion Parashat Pinchas focuses in on the idea of legacy and inheritance with the daughters of Zelophechad who ask for inheritance from their father, in the absence of sons. Before they ask for anything they just step forward and up.

The daughters of Zelophehad … came forward.

Sometimes just stepping up and forward is an act of courage, generosity and faith. The impact of this portion and its narrative moment is the promise of legacy and continuity for those who haven’t had, haven’t asked and haven’t been given. Yet.

And the Eternal spoke to Moses, saying: (7) ’The daughters of Zelophehad speak correctly: you should indeed give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s family;

And this change of tradition was established here – And it shall be for the children of Israel a statute of decision making, as the Eternal commanded Moses.

Whilst this piece of Numbers spoke to female inheritance and passing on of name and family; it resonates hugely about change, about inclusion and about enabling Torah speak to us.

I want to ensure you know who has stepped up to this role and the responsibility of carrying the progress and care of our congregation.

Led by our able Chair Tamara Joseph, Hon Sec Paula Kinchin-Smith, Treasurer Roy Balint-Kurti and Vice Chair Beverly Kafka. And Council members Sam King, James Levy, Sharon Michael, Lesley Urbach, Gordon Greenfield with Annabel Robin visiting and considering and Margot Katz offering some strategic thinking to Council.

Looking round the table we were delighted to be together as we discussed the need for excellence and care in what we deliver to our congregants. We talked of the pillars we rest upon here at FPS; Tamara reminded us of the gentleness that lies in the understanding we are all B’Tzelem Elohim -in the image of God. And our shared objectives and pride was around that table with each other. I like the quotation ascribed to Rabbi Ben Zion Klatzko:

“Judaism is not a religion, it’s a relationship.”

L’chaim to that.
Shabbat Shalom, Rebecca