From the Chair – August 2017
It was a while since Elliott was with us in early July. And it was lovely to see him again. I found his sermon about the current situation in Israel, quite illuminating. It was also good to welcome people from the Peterborough community and Brian Sass from Northwood and Pinner. Since Brian was with us in May, he has been to Prague to talk to young people about the history of the Jewish community there. Our Torah scroll comes from a synagogue in Prague, whose community was almost entirely slaughtered in the Holocaust. Brian has promised to write about his work in Prague for one of our future newsletters.
Some of us went to the Annual Martin Buber lecture recently. It was given by Alexandra Wright, the senior rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS) in St Johns Wood. I was particularly interested in her lecture as I grew up in the LJS in the 50s and 60s and also because the subject matter was musical. She looked at the words of JS Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions. There were some surprisingly anti-Jewish sentiments but she helped us to put this in the context of the time in which Bach lived (1685 – 1750). This topic couldn’t have been more apt for a talk hosted by the Council of Christians and Jews.
We had another service led by Elliott in August. After last month’s service, I discussed with him the possibility of opening up his sermon into a question and answer session. I’m not sure if Elliott will do this but he was certainly considering it. It is very community oriented. Elliott leads us wonderfully musically even if we don’t know the tune! On 3rd September we will be having a clean-up at the Old Meeting House in preparation for the High Holy Days.
As I write this, Stuart, my husband, has started to practise the Shofar in preparation for Rosh Hashana.