Thought for the Week

Tuesday, October 12

At a recent meeting, Rabbi Rachel described the period of the High Holy Days, up to Simchat Torah, as “rabbinic autumn manoeuvres”. I confess that was a new one on me, but I thought it captured perfectly the military feat of organisation, precision and sheer stamina that it represents for our rabbis, and of course for all those who help and support them, organising mitzvot, setting up spaces for worship – real and virtual – singing and making music with them, taking parts of services …

But it is the rabbis who take the strain of leading us, and however exact the organising has to be, for them it’s personal. They know as a person every name on the list read out at Yizkor; they have to judge the mood of the communities after 18 months of Covid and judge how best to lead us from mourning and sadness to hope and renewal. We owe them huge thanks and admiration, and our ongoing support.

And what do we need after autumn manoeuvres? A nice cup of tea, of course, and there plenty around this week. Gillian Walnes-Perry will treat us to the history of afternoon tea on Tuesday afternoon. And while tea and Torah hasn’t got quite as long a history, you can help maintain the tradition by joining one of our rabbis on Wednesday morning.

Sunday afternoon’s event entitled “Japan to Lithuania during World War II” promises to tell the engrossing but harrowing story of Zorach Wahrhaftig, who persuaded Dutch and Japanese diplomats in Lithuania to issue travel documents to thousands of Jews.

And earlier I mentioned renewal. For Mosaic of course, a vital part of our communal renewal is our new building in Stanmore Hill. If you couldn’t make last Sunday’s update, “More than half way there”, do catch up with the recording, on the Mosaic website or directly here.

Have a good week

Jeff Highfield

October 12, 2021