Starting with T’rumah last week, the final sedrot of Sh’mot deal almost exclusively with the Tabernacle and all its furniture and furnishings. Some sages say that what is happening here is a mirror image of the Creation as described at the beginning of Bereshit. In the latter, God creates the world for us to live in. In the case of the Tabernacle, we create a space for God to dwell in. This is a beautiful idea. There is also a very practical aspect and possible foresight to the extraordinarily detailed instructions for the building and filling of the Tabernacle. The blueprint provided has enabled us, once the second Temple was destroyed, to build synagogues which incorporate aspects of the Tabernacle. There is also another piece of brilliance in the work passed on by Moses from God to the people. Accustomed to relentless years of forced labour, they now find themselves in the wilderness with not a great deal to do beyond the sporadic journeying from one place to another. There is not much point in building houses, nor in clearing and planting fields. Food falls literally from the skies. So much unaccustomed idleness in a strange and sometimes hostile environment could only add to the feeling of insecurity and discontent already bubbling under the surface. What better solution than for the people to be given a task, not this time for the glory of an oppressive regime, but for the glory of God? What is more, rather than toil in the back-breaking and spirit-numbing drudgery of making and carrying endless quantities of bricks, now the Israelites are asked to take part in the creative, fulfilling tasks of carving, sculpting, dyeing and weaving of beautiful, meaningful objects.  

Much of T’tzavveh is occupied with the design of the priestly vestments, which will reinforce the role of the priests as the link between God and the people, for the priests are both “Holy to God” and the focal point of all the tribes. 

Come along this Saturday at 10:30 and share in our creative thoughts, songs, prayers and conversation. Sharim Atilano will bring it all together. 

Holocaust Memorial Day Events in Cornwall

Several events were held during the weekend of January 25-28th throughout Cornwall to remember and honour the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.  Many members of Kehillat Kernow turned out to participate by visiting schools, giving commentaries, saying prayers and attending exhibitions. At Truro Cathedral, candle lighting ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, along with an exhibition about the catastrophic effects of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance mounted by the Cornwall Police Diversity Team and the Inter-faith Forum, took place. At the Peace Pole at the Dor Kemmyn Field at Penmount Crematorium in Truro, members of the Faith Forum conducted prayers for peace and remembrance of those innocent victims lost in the Holocaust. At the Redruth Baptist Church, spearheaded by Elder Andrew Chapple, the third year this church has conducted Holocaust Remembrance ceremonies, a special Anne Frank Exhibition was mounted along with candle lighting for the six million Jews annihilated by the Nazis and followed by prayers from the Baptist Community and the Jewish Community of Cornwall. In Plymouth, a HMD luncheon was held along with the religious and memorial programme to highlight those lost in the Holocaust and in the Rwandan genocide.

Pictures at the Baptist Church can be seen in the photo gallery by clicking here.

Pictures at the Truro Cathedral & Dor Kemyn can be seen in the photo gallery by clicking here.

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.

Jewish Community of Cornwall