27/28 March 2020, 2/3 Nisan 5780

Message from Rabbi Rebecca

At some point in the 1650s, the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal jotted down one of the most counter-intuitive aphorisms of all time:

‘The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he cannot stay quietly in his room.’

Oh my goodness how this resonates this week.

I don’t usually find myself agreeing with Piers Morgan but his plea this week made me smile, it was along the lines; Britain you haven’t been asked to go fight in the trenches, you’ve been asked to go home and watch telly…

Why is this so hard for us?

It is strange.Those who have had an ambivalent relationship to technology are now wholly dependent on it. Those of us who rely on the charismatic visceral nature of face to face encounters are now having to create something different and create it pretty swiftly.

Dora is just coming out of Corona Virus symptoms we think, so we are all self isolating. I am leading a Shiva tonight via Zoom. A new but not unpleasant experience. Services this Shabbat will be virtual for us all. I am constantly, with Zoe, thinking of ways to bring us together even through Pesach, to separate Shabbat from other days, and to clear out chametz, all whilst we are alone in our kitchens and living rooms.

For those who wake with anxiety and fears, perhaps try to look ahead just next week rather than beyond and into the future. I think in my own spiritual practice and indeed life’s work there is something for me about surrendering control, and goodness is this one great lesson in that!

Be in touch if you need me. I am on phone and email constantly.

Shabbat Shalom