As we get older there are times when different parts of our brain do not seem to be working in unison with each other. At the end of my report in December’s edition of the Gate I referred to the Synagogue’s 75th anniversary, and stated that the Civic Service would take place on Saturday 3rd November. Not sure why I did that, because I was instrumental with others in deciding it would be the on the 10th. Oh! for the long lost days of my youth when life was so crystal clear. Even though my birthday is in February, it always seems to me to be a funny old month. It can be very cold or unseasonably mild. As daylight gets longer, thoughts focus on if winter is coming to an end, or will March be a harsh month. Whatever the case may be, come wind, snow, rain, or shine, SPS continues in its day by day duty to provide its members with some Yiddishkeit in their lives. Whether that might be adult education sessions, services, clubs, serving on committees, or volunteering to help out, SPS is the place to be by becoming involved in communal life.
Every year on Tu Bishvat the children of
Ruach plant a tree in the Synagogue
garden. A member suggested to me that we should plant one
in Hilda Schindler’s name. Everyone I spoke to agreed that would
be a wonderful thing to do, as she gave so much of her life to the
children of the Religion School. The tree planting will take place after the
Shabbat morning service on February 3rd. Everyone is welcome to attend
the service and stay for the poignant ceremony.
As I write this missive, the repercussions about President Trump’s decision
to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital are still reverberating around the
world. In last month’s Gate, Rabbi Yuval succinctly summed up how detractors are, but within the wider world there are probably millions of
people who only believe what they see and hear about the Jewish state
through biased news outlets and prejudiced social media.
I have a friend who is a devout, warm-hearted Christian steeped in
knowledge of the old and new testaments, who said to me that she thought
Tel Aviv was Israel’s capital. My response was very much the same as Rabbi
Yuval’s narrative, mentioning King David, Solomon, and the Torah, amongst
other Judaic links to the holy city. Eventually she apologised and conceded
how misguided she had been, and if the topic ever came up with her church
friends, she would persuasively steer them in the right direction. As the
saying goes, ignorance is bliss, however the world will have to get used the
fact that Jerusalem has always been sacred to Jews, and always will be. At
the conclusion of the Pesach Seder the following words resonate, “next year
in Jerusalem, next year in a world redeemed”. May that always be the case.