Mikkeitz

Let’s face it, Joseph was a bit of a pain as a young lad. Snitching on your brothers, especially when they are bigger, older and more numerous than you, is not wise. To follow such behaviour  by telling them your dreams in which all eleven brothers, plus your father and mother in one dream, seemed to be bowing down before you, related, what’s more, without so much as a self-deprecating intro or summing-up, these are not things which are likely to endear you to them, or to anyone, for that matter. Small surprise that Joseph was not greatly loved by his older siblings. By the time he is sold into slavery, however, a profound change is working away inside him. Thus, when Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him, he refuses her solicitations. The reasons he gives, to his great credit, have nothing to do with concern for his own wellbeing and everything to do with loyalty, gratitude and righteousness. To give in to the importunate lady would be a sin against his master and against God. Falsely accused and condemned, Joseph quickly rises to prominence again, this time as a kind of prison warder, and he seems more concerned with the welfare of his fellow prisoners than with enforcing a harsh regime. Noticing, one morning, that two of them are unhappy, he tries to help. After the fortunate chief wine steward and unfortunate chief baker tell him that they each had a dream they don’t understand, in complete contrast to the boy who had declared his own dreams as though they were a mark of his own greatness, he prefaces his explanation with the words, “Interpretations are God’s business.” 

Which brings us to Mikkeitz. Summoned into the Pharaoh’s presence and asked to interpret his troubling dreams, Joseph again attributes any insight he might have to God: “It is not in my power. But God may provide an answer concerning Pharaoh’s fortune.” 

Joseph’s own moral development prefigures that of his brothers later in the story, as they repent and make amends for their previous cruelty towards him. Among the brothers, Judah shines out for his sincerity and courage, qualities which have themselves been heralded in the previous sedra in the episode of his daughter-in-law Tamar. 

There is much to ponder here and to help us do this most unponderously Adam Feldman will be leading us at this Saturday’s service, beginning at 10:30.

Books…Books…Glorious Books!

The 1st of December got off to a rousing start with the sprit of Tzedekah in full swing. The annual Book Swap and Cake extravaganza at The Kurzfields took place.  This charity event which raises money for the Cornwall Hospices began many years ago to honour the memory of one of our dear members, Kate Fagin (z’l). Many people from our community and members of the greater Cornwall community were present to find many new good reads and to offer some of their own in exchange A raffle was also held. The splendid tea, coffee and myriad array of sweet goodies only added to the day and donations were generous and very gratefully received. Thank you Jacqueline and Harvey for all your hard work to make this yearly event so very special.

Jacqueline has asked me to let you know that they made £594 at the Book Swap. Jacqueline says, “Thank you to all who came and made the afternoon so enjoyable.”

To see pictures click here.

Film Food Night-Ushpizin

Happy Beginnings, Happy Endings

Saturday November 3rd was our evening for food and film. Despite the rain outside,  the sun shone inside Malpas Village Hall.  We came, we ate, we watched and  we enjoyed. The Israeli food fest was only equalled by the charming Israeli film, Ushpizin.  Ushpizin means ‘visitors’ (hopefully Tsaddiks, but not in this case), who are welcomed, housed and fed inside your Succah during the 8-day festival of Sukkot.  Despite the poverty of the childless couple, their fervent  prayers are answered and in many ways, “nes gadol hayyat sham.”

We began in joy with an abundance of fine dishes prepared by our members, all with an Israeli theme. Each time we meet, we are all overwhelmed with the amazing array of culinary treats laid out before us. As Gloria Jacobson said, “When is there ever a Kehillat Kernow event that is ever under-catered!”

The film after added to our naches, filled with sadness, hope, joy and a very happy ending. The baddies turned good; the couple were blessed with a son, their lives, like ours, were filled gratitude and the knowledge that despite all, life is very good when you look towards the light.

To see the pictures taken on the night clik here.

Cornwall Jews and Muslims talk story

Over forty members of Kehilat Kernow and members of the Islamic Community Centre gathered together at Carnon Downs on Sunday, 7th October, for a session of story-telling representing their traditions. Members of Christian communities and members of the Faith Forum also attended.

Jeremy Jacobson, Chairman of KK, introduced the afternoon social event along with Dr. Dureid Rifai, head of the Islamic Community Centre.

The afternoon event highlighted the various traditions we all bring to our communities and how much all of us have in common.

A series of stories told by Jeremy, Harvey Kurzfield, (with help from two members of our community and a member of the Islamic community), Rachel Brown, Isaac Feldman, Ahmed, Miranda  (Atilano) Brown, Dr. Rifai, and David Hearle followed.

The afternoon exchange culminated with a sweet and savoury buffet prepared by both communities.

Click here for pictures.

New Booklet on the life of Lemon Hart

A new publication on the life of Lemon Hart, one of Cornish Jewry’s most famous ancestors who lived in Cornwall in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, has now been published by the Penlee Gallery and Museum Penzance.

Written by local amateur historian, Keith Pearce, an expert on the history of Cornish Jewry, the biographical booklet contains much new information not previously published before on Lemon Hart and his family. Hart, most famous for his rum which still bears his name, has been the subject of much colourful mythology related to slave ownership, slave ships and plantations, and that he supplied the British \Naval ships with their ‘tot’ ofrum.  This publication  attempts to separate fact from fiction so that a more accurate picture of Hart can be established.

The booklet is available through Penlee House, local, national and online booksellers for £5.00.

Jewish Community of Cornwall