25/26 June 2021, 15/16 Tammuz 5781

Mah tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, u’mishk’notecha Yisrael

These words of Balaam offered every Shabbat morning as we gather in prayer, in all synagogues, have become significant for us wherever we are.

And so they are sung to our synagogue buildings and communities. Indeed these words are what bind us at the start of every morning service.

Or as Talmud Sanhedrin suggests,

How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, those places of your spiritual gatherings, and all the places where God’s presence dwells among you…(Sanhedrin 105b).

Now we are returning to our four walls, back in the tent of FPS, the dwelling place of Hutton Grove. It’s this actual week that we read Balaam’s words and this (reluctant) blessing.

‘We’re ‘more than a building‘ we’ve reassured ourselves and each other these past sixteen months. And now we must turn to our building and think how to love it again. It’s a time for those who can, to attend, and for those who can’t let, we Zoom you into your home from on the Bimah, in the Ark, in our synagogue sanctuary.

Next month we plan to lay out an individual personal kiddush plate under every chair so those in the synagogue can eat kiddush alongside those at home. We are slowly tasting what real space and time community feels like again.

As we return, we must do so safely and with care for each other. The most important way is to book your place. It is so easy but without doing that we threaten the numbers we have allocated.

I must ask you to please help us be safe, prepared and confident that we are doing well for each other. Here is the link to make your booking. It couldn’t be simpler.

Each form can book only people from one household, so you may need to access more than one form if you are booking for other family members.

By coming to our ohel, our mishkan, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct which is the Torah we must abide by for the moment.

Shabbat Shalom to all.