21/22 May 2021, 10/11 Sivan 5781

This is a week of heightened tension and awareness both for what is happening in Gaza and Israel but also here, naturally and the consequences that spill over into UK diaspora life.

Zoe and I wrote to our students on university campus, to support them navigating the events and the need to express and articulate themselves.

It’s interesting that this week we return to our building, open its doors, and I hope, will rededicate our house as a community home. Yes we are so much more than a building as these past 15 months have demonstrated but our building needs our love and attention too.

It will be a Chanukah Ha’Bayit of sorts, a [re]dedication of our our home.

This week’s portion of Nasso tells of the life of the Nazir, the one (male or female) who is set apart for God, dedicated to the service of the community. Samson is our most renowned Nazirite, with his long hair and strength. Hidden at the end of the description of this person is the Priestly blessing given to Moses and Aaron for the people. This has become so integral to Jewish life, to Shabbat, to the comfort of generations at signification milestones as well as regular Friday nights.

I can’t think of a week we need this more;

May God bless you and keep you; May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May God reach out to you in tenderness and give you peace.

Shabbat Shalom