31 July/1 August 2020, 10/11 Av 5780

From Rabbi Rebecca

This week I wanted to share a thank you letter to you. Never in a million years would I have anticipated this birthday would be accompanied by such generosity from my synagogue.

Truly I was rendered speechless when a group of FPS folk gathered at my garden gate in the rain last Shabbat afternoon and presented this extraordinary cake and the plethora of gifts you gathered for me. You even listen to my sermons; these tiny models of books are all pages I quote from.

We are having great joy unpacking our new garden sofa, around a fire pit (how did you know we had been longing for such things?) New garden lights are being hung and I see no reason why we couldn’t squeeze in here for a Shabbat service one balmy day, or at least Havdalah.  You donated in my name to a beloved collective philanthropy project that helps and supports women and girls in London. You even gave me two nights away, (mid week of course) in a hotel in deepest darkest Somerset with a beautiful restored garden. I have much to be grateful for, but these loving gifts have totally humbled me. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Rafael made a toast at our (small!) birthday dinner and ended saying “You must be an ok rabbi, Mummy, because your congregation has done such nice things for you.” Last Shabbat Dean sang Bob Dylan’s Forever Young “May you always do for others; And let others do for you.” And goodness how you have. Thank you for your kindness, and thoughtfulness;  accompanying me as I mark this milestone, a half a century, as I keep being reminded! Yaaloz libi the psalmist wrote, my heart leaps for joy. (Psalm 28:7)

Shabbat Shalom