27/28 January 2023, 6 Sh’vat 5783

There is a lot here in this week’s portion as we encounter the last three plagues: locusts, darkness and, the most awful, death of the first born. It’s complicated; this story as the separateness of the Hebrews guarantees their safety.

Their subsequent release we recall annually, not just when we read the Torah narratives but when we sit around our Seder tables and sing “Dayenu” — this would have been enough.

I think of this as we prepare to kick off our 70th year and the pride and gratitude we’ll offer for those who founded our congregation.

If they’d met and tried something temporarily perhaps it would have been enough- dayenu

If they’d created a community but never built a home, maybe it would have been enough-dayenu

If they’d built a synagogue but never employed a rabbi maybe it would have felt enough-dayenu

But here we are with a building we love that we will renew and refurbish.

And here I am the fourth rabbi to lead and serve this congregation following my three distinguished predecessors. If you have been part of the FPS story for 70 years, 7 years or even 7 months, then this is your story to celebrate.

Be with us this Shabbat morning for stories, song, prayer and of course a very good kiddush catered as it is by Vice President Laura Lassman.

Memory is so engaging for us. Parashat Bo tells us to remember the Passover story-

And you shall explain to your child on that day, it is because of what the Eternal did for me when I went free from Egypt.(Exodus 13:8)

So we will be doing similarly with the story of FPS. Which if not a story of liberation certainly has been a story of finding a home, a synagogue enthused with progressive values and with the invitation to improve one’s life through this Jewish congregation.

Shabbat Shalom to you all