Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Shannah Tovah - Exit Through Gift Shop

The way out of the Giacometti exhibition at the Tate leads through the Gift Shop. Of course it does. There, in amongst the catalogues and postcards, was armature wire.

I had never really thought about armature wire before. It lurks beneath and provides a structure for all that gets laid above. And the artist shapes it to form the base for all they wish to express. It’s a perfect metaphor for this sacred time. This is our armature wire moment, our chance to shape and reshape what lies beneath. Do we want to build our lives as taller in the year to come, or do we position ourselves more dynamically? On what scale are we creating our year? Perhaps it’s the time to live more broadly, perhaps it’s a time to take more care of ourselves or those intimately connected to us. We sing of our lives, on Kol Nidrei, as if we were clay in the hands of the potter, but we have the power to shape our future - if we take it.

Sculpture isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s difficult to get the underlying shape right. Sometimes placing the clay on the scaffold leads to an undesired end result. But there’s wisdom in the understanding of the Kol Nidrei prayer that suggests the purpose of introducing Yom Kippur with a prayer which disregards ‘all vows’ is that this should free up our dreams, even our promises. We should wish for wonderful things, and if we can’t pull off all we wish for ... Kol Nidrei - it’s OK. So shape, reshape and form the armature wire.

It is an enormous privilege to work with so many lay and professional members and colleagues to share these days with you all. I look forward to it immensely. Do join us, perhaps make a particular effort to join us for Maariv services, tonight and tomorrow at 6:30pm, second days services and Tashlich. It’s a time to immerse. And may the year that comes bring sweetness and blessings to us all,

Shannah Tovah,

Rabbi Jeremy

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