Like so much in life, cold is both a fact and a perception. Some people feel the cold more than others; some like it cold, others like it hot! A fridge or freezer that doesn’t keep food items cold is not much use, and we’ve recently learned more than we ever expected to want to know about a vaccine that needs to be stored at -70 degrees!
Our Torah portion tomorrow morning has drama associated with the weather – thunder and lightning and dense clouds concealing the top of the mountain. In this setting, the Israelites prepared for the giving of Torah – a source of warmth over many generations, and in the cold light of day still a profound and uplifting set of teachings and stories.
Cold can cause freezing, and our synagogue community does not want to be frozen. Instead we seek to keep moving, adapting, evolving, generating warmth (we’re not aiming for heat!). This evening, we seek to experiment with a more reflective service – fewer words of liturgy allowing, we hope, deeper meditation and prayer. Please see the details below. Tomorrow, we continue our study service innovation, something our congregants have told us they enjoy – bring your warm drink to shul with you!
This evening and tomorrow, we can be glad that we don’t have to go out in the cold to attend services at which we provide a warm welcome to as many of our new members as can join us. One of the benefits of the Covid crisis is that the winter weather has far less impact on our attendance numbers – something for us to appreciate. Our aim is to be a warm community – not the kind of warm that makes people sleepy, but the kind that helps people feel valued for who they are, that appreciates everyone’s presence and contribution. If we can help each other – all our members – to have that warm feeling in your hearts, then I hope you feel a little better insulated until the warmer days come.
Rabbi Richard Jacobi