3/4 March 2023, 11 Adar 5783

The Jews had light, happiness, joy and honour. (Esther 8:16)

Purim is a festival of the diaspora and we are nothing if not that. Here we are celebrating our own longevity, 70 years’ presence of a Jewish community here in our city of Finchley (Shushan!) So this Sunday we will taste a little of that light and happiness we are so good at creating here.

Our musicians will give us a concert capturing the last seven decades – an Anglo Jewish cream tea with hamantaschen of course. Those turning 70 this year will tell the story of Esther [and Vashti!), our children will sing and we will celebrate having sustained a liberal Jewish community, sometimes against the odds, right here in N12 – and yet we are here and hope to be at least for another 70 years.

This week’s Torah portion Tetzaveh affirms all of this when it begins with the instruction to keep a light burning always – in the sanctuary – a ner tamid.

And that is what we’ve been too.

An everlasting statue for all generations from the Children of Israel. (Exodus 27:21).

Purim for me this year has a new meaning, a chidush, (newness) that I am rather enjoying and very much looking forward to.

I hope to see you for this rather special afternoon on Sunday.

Shabbat Shalom,