19/20 June 2020, 27/28 Sivan 5780


As so often Torah echoes real life, or is the other way round?

Rav Lechem, you’ve taken too much says Korach an envious Levite to his leader Moses.

Of course Moses is a humble man but his elevation to supreme leader was swift and endorsed all the way by God.

Korach’s challenge is considered by most Torah commentators unilaterally as audacious jealousy, fuelled by egotism. Disagreements a la Korach are the worst and should never be copied. But this week in our study we agreed that envy, displacement and desire for a role is familiar and sometimes even understandable.

All the people are holy Moses insists. And that we appreciated.

There is no equivalence between characters at all! ( I can’t stress that enough) But I can’t help but notice the extraordinary action a Premier footballer directed this week in parliament. Government was forced to recognise wisdom and common sense coming from outside the corridors of Westminster. Marcus Rashford led a spectacular u-turn that means children from poor homes will receive lunch vouchers during this long summer, coming as it does after months of closed schools. It will make a huge difference to many families. Challenge is sometimes very, very good.

Commitment to read Torah in light of current events only serves to deepen my Jewish connections. I think this is especially now in these strange times, as we are isolated but connected; wanting so much to extract meaning from life around us. Judaism should be that.

On Tuesday we will have a Zoom event listening to those with experiences of loved ones cared for as they advocate for a Living Wage for Carers. Margot Katz, Mary Huttrer and Alison Pilpel will join Deb Hermer from 7-8.15pm.

This is in line with Citizens UK national campaign to provide the real Living Wage to Carers. Archbishop Sentamu said carers need PPE – Proper Pay, Proper Protection & Equality with the NHS.

Thursday 2nd July will see us completing an action with fellow Barnet Citizens ‘blessing’ a local Care Home as we lobby hard for this change. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu argued; “There comes a point where we need to stop pulling people out the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in ….”

Join us for a gentle and familiar FPS Shabbat with Shabbat Resouled and Shabbat morning tomorrow. Truly a pause in business and moment for stillness.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Rebecca