23/24 July 2021, 14/15 Av 5781

I don’t know about you but a particular tiredness has set in for me. I’m certain this will be cured by some time in nature and a little bit of river swimming, as we head to Wales for a few days tomorrow.

But I like to think acknowledging exhaustion and when we’ve run out of steam allows a certain awareness of our lives. It has been busy. It’s ok to be tired.

Va’Etchanan this week’s Torah portion includes not just the second version of the Ten Commandments but also the Shema, that piece of Torah that has become our preeminent prayer:

Hear O Israel the Eternal is Your God, The Eternal is One.

I like to focus on the instruction to “Hear”, not just passive listening but active hearing of what is being said, what is happening around us and what are the voices we pay attention to inside ourselves.

Last year’s first lockdown saw a dramatic decrease in traffic, both on the road and in the air and we heard all sorts of things we hadn’t for a very long while. Life has now returned to its previous noisiness, and I am hoping to hear less and more when we head to the River Wye.

Will I be able to respond to the Shema‘s call and be renewed by what I hear. I hope so.

And I hope to see you over the Summer when things, for a while, will be quieter and calmer.

Shabbat Shalom