Oscar Wilde said that, ‘Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.’ Then again, he also said that, ‘anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ So, in the face of this cognitive dissonance, allow me to apologise right now for any creative shortcomings.
The weather, and indeed the wider grandeur of nature, feature regularly in these letters. Today will be no exception, because it’s been one of those peculiar but wonderful summer days when we experience every kind of weather in the space of an hour. Bright warm sunshine has been followed by tumultuous thunderstorms, torrential rain, high winds and hail. And then repeated.
But I suppose the weather has also set the narrative for the lockdown, which was preceded by the wettest February on record, and accompanied by the sunniest spring ever. Since the official start of summer last Monday, we have experienced high winds, torrential rain and storms.
I don’t, however, recall the weather being a topic for discussion at our Leil Tikkun Shavuot service last month, an event we shared with our friends at NHC and which was led by Rabbis Gershon and Roddy. We were delighted also to welcome friends from Suffolk and Lincoln Liberal Jewish communities. Gershon shared with us his love of the Book of Ruth, and spoke most eloquently about the depiction of strong women protagonists in the Hebrew Bible. His timing was also immaculate as he finished just in time to allow us to participate in the applause for NHS and other key workers at 8pm. Roddy followed this with a further thought-provoking discussion on the Book of Ruth.
Looking forward to the week ahead, we have our monthly Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services on Friday and Saturday respectively. The Zoom links including Torah and Haftorah readings have been distributed already.
We are delighted that Adam is now back home from hospital after so bravely fighting coronavirus. We share Annie and Jo’s joy and send Adam every best wish for a continued speedy recovery. Refuah shlemah.
And as we all find our way through these difficult days, I hope you find our weekly Friday night contributions bring some joy and optimism into your homes. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that we have now established a lasting tradition? Let’s keep this going, even after the current crisis has passed. Thank you to all who have contributed so far and/or have promised to contribute in the future.
And a final memo to self: I must try to be more imaginative.
My best wishes to you all.