6/7 November 2020, 19/20 Cheshvan 5781

What a strange and difficult week this has been. We still don’t know if the attack in Vienna was aimed at the synagogue but there are now four confirmed deaths in the capital of civilians that night. Our hearts break for them and their families, just as in Nice. Today begins our second lockdown and as I write the results from the U.S elections are far from clear but what is clear is that conflict will be definite. It all feels grim.

Perhaps there is a way for us to keep positive, ready to be surprised and open. I note in our Torah reading this Shabbat Parashat Vayera, Sarah comments on the surprising news of her pregnancy and subsequent birth of Isaac:

And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children, for I have borne a son to his old age!”

Rashi reads Sarah’s words mi millel as an expression of praise, esteem and surprise. I’m touched by them. Can we hold that openness during these strange days? Much has happened of late to cause us concern. P’tach libi says the prayer at the end of the Amidah. Open My Heart.

This Shabbat before Remembrance Day we welcome Ron Shelley from AJEX to speak to us and capture a moment of remembering. As we, as a community, honour our ex-servicemen and women, who this year will not be marching to the Cenotaph.

Shabbat Shalom