24/25 November 2023, 12 Kislev 5784

It is a serious thing
Just to be alive on this fresh morning
In the broken world.

– Mary Oliver

Moments when I feel my humanity, my deep sense of being human has a profound effect. Last Shabbat, welcoming Kaya Comer-Schwartz was unexpectedly life affirming as she spoke of her Austrian Jewish and Zimbabwean roots. She described those roots and values as ‘being of service’ and those strands led her into politics and living a life of connection and collaboration.

In the afternoon, we made Christmas presents for the families who attend the Rainbow Centre. Such gestures mean a great deal to them.

Representing Liberal Judaism at the Cenotaph on Sunday, I watched with pride as our own FPS folk marched. It was very moving to stand there under the blue, blue sky above Whitehall and to reflect on the past eighty years of such ceremonies and British Jewish collaboration.

Such moments which affirm the gift of life are exactly what I believe Jacob meant when he awoke from his dream in this week’s Torah portion:

And Jacob awakened from his sleep, and he said, “Indeed, God is in this place, and I, I did not know it.              טזוַיִּיקַ֣ץ יַֽעֲקֹב֘ מִשְּׁנָתוֹ֒ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אָכֵן֙ יֵ֣שׁ

:יְהֹוָ֔ה בַּמָּק֖וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְאָֽנֹכִ֖י לֹ֥א יָדָֽעְתִּי

All the experiences I mentioned above have had that same effect on me and I am profoundly grateful.

Shabbat shalom,