Thursday, 19 July 2012

How Many Jews Does it Take to Change a Lightbuld - Destruction and 'Bedek HaBait'

Q: How many New London Synagogue members does it take to change a light bulb?

A: The problem isn’t the bulb, the real challenge is turning the Synagogue around.


As a community we’ve become too used to paying professionals to change bulbs. But when we do the work ourselves we feel a special sense of ownership over the place we help repair – that’s the same kind of ownership I would want all our members to feel about the Synagogue. Last year a heroic team of volunteers painted the Kiddush Hall, it looks terrific. Last Sunday a team of painters and other odd-jobbers painted the kitchen, cleared out books and undertook what the Bible calls, ‘Bedek HaBayit’ – maintenance. I would love to say that last week’s volunteers, brilliantly led by Angela Gluck, felt a renewed sense of connection to the Shul. Many, instead, simply felt ‘where is everyone else?!’ And we still have a nasty green corridor and a couple of classrooms to spruce up.


That’s why we are holding Yom HaBait again, Sunday week, 29th July. The symbolism is (I hope) irresistible. It’s the day we commemorate the destruction of the precursor of all Synagogues, the Temple. We will be marking destruction from 9:15am, with our Shacharit service, and then there will be a chance to rebuild (other less physical opportunities to help with Yom HaBait are also available) and we will also be showing a documentary about the attacks on the Israeli athletes at the Munich Games. You are welcome for any part of the day, even for an hour of your time, your support is needed and much appreciated. Please e-mail for more information or to confirm you can come and lend a hand.


Shabbat shalom,


Rabbi Jeremy

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