18/19 January 2019, 12/13 Adar 5779

This past week has been a trying one for FPS. We have buried two beloved members, who were both regular and important presences for so many of us; David Kahan who lived a long and good life, and Howard Hamerton, who also did so, but was cut in his prime and died a young man with a youthful family.

We are the poorer for their loss but I noticed comfortingly, how many of our community came out to be witness to their lives and death and burial. As I turn to Tu B’Shevat this week, the New Year for Trees, I am challenged to find inspiration and meaning in trees now we are no longer an agricultural community. Peter Wohlleben, the German arborist who wrote The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World suggests:

“If a tree falls in the forest there are other trees listening.” 

That’s how we were this week. He also shared this fascinating fact:

“So, in the case of trees, being old doesn’t mean being weak, bowed, and fragile. Quite the opposite, it means being full of energy and highly productive. This means elders are markedly more productive than young whippersnappers, and when it comes to climate change, they are important allies for human beings.” 

Come join us, if you can, for this Shabbat and our creative Tu B’Shevat Seder that will look particularly at trees, nature and how it impacts our lives as humans.

Our Listening Week begins at the very start of February please look out for the posters and reminders. Hearing each other and what our concerns are for the London in which we live is part of being a congregation.

Warm wishes for Shabbat.
Rabbi Rebecca

*The photo is of Katherine Klinger’s woodlands on the day we visited for Lag B’Omer two years ago.