18/19 October 2019, 19/20 Tishrei 5780

Breath of all breaths, said Kohelet, all is breath….there is nothing new under the sun. (Breath is often translated as vanities or futility.)

We have been studying Ecclesiastes, that strange book that offers a rather cyclical or sanguine view of life (depending on who you are). My teacher Rabbi Jonathan Magonet used to say this work was either written by a melancholic teenager or a wise old bird.

We read Kohelet for Sukkot, straight after Yom Kippur when we are raw and open to everything. We know that everything is fragile and temporal. This festival of eating, learning, sleeping (sometimes) in our Sukkah gives us a visceral reminder of all of this. Our beautiful, modest and natural Sukkah also is a call to arms to fight for better housing for those who don’t have firm, reliable and proper homes. Tuesday Night Shelter in our synagogue as we meandered into our sukkah was a stark reminder. Today, through the rabbinic Social Action group TZELEM, rabbis have called on our government to build better social housing using our sukkot as reminders.

Shabbat Shalom and do remember our fabulous whole community UNSCROLLING for Simchat Torah this coming Sunday at 6.30 pm.


Thank you to Eden Silver-Myer, Ania Levy, Zoe and Hilary Luder for designing and building our sukkah this year.