Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Looking Back and Forwards

A moment to look back – a lifetime to look forward


This has been a wonderful week to be part of the community. The tremendous success of our Torah Hadashah celebration on Sunday was a highlight of my time at New London. Two hundred members, from tots to nonagenarians shared in the completion of the sefer torah, there was infectious klezmer music, a flawless and beautiful first reading, in the name of Ronnie Kosmin by his daughter Joanne, and the premier performance of Julian Dawes’ piece, Shema. Even the scribe, who had come from Israel to deliver the scroll to us remarked how committed everyone seemed to the project, how excited everyone in the community was to receive this new Sefer. In amongst so much good done by so many it might appear invidious to pick out any highlights, but I do want to applaud, particularly, the members of the Cheder, lead by Susannah Alexander, for their two terrific performances, funny, touching and wonderfully well sung. Photographs and videos will shortly be arriving on a web-site near you.


And then we journeyed on to Shavuot. The Tikkun Leyl was wonderfully attended – my thanks to all who booked following last Friday’s e-mail (though our wonderful caterer Jon Kaye would like us to stress how much earlier bookings make it possible to cater on the scale we are now accustomed to).


If Torah Hadashah was the marking of the gift of a tangible physical Torah, Shavuout is the marking of the gift of Torah in its broadest, poetic sense. We have been gifted tremendous gifts, this last week. And now the obligation follows in their wake. We are called upon to tend and care for our most precious gifts, to hold fast to them and in so doing bulwark not only our inheritance, but also our future.


My grateful thanks, again, to all the Kosmin family, to everyone who took part in Torah Hadashah and our Shavuot celebrations and Shabbat Shalom


Rabbi Jeremy


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