According to the Talmud, when the angels were about to burst into song on seeing the Egyptian forces drowning, God rebuked them, saying, “How dare you sing for joy when my creatures were dying.” The Israelites, on the other hand, were allowed to sing. But what about Moses? How did he feel on seeing his adoptive countrymen drown? We know nothing of the years Moses spent growing up in the Egyptian court, but, given that a princess adopted him as her own son, presumably he was educated as a prince, surrounded by the Egyptian elite. Did he shed a tear when the first-born were struck, from the first-born of Pharaoh to the first-born of the prisoner in the dungeon? Did he shed another when the army was drowned? After all, he must have known that not all Egyptians were evil and wished the Israelites harm. It is thought that his adoptive mother was named Bithiah, which means daughter of God. Shifrah and Puah, the two midwifes who flouted Pharaoh’s order to kill the Israelite baby boys, according to some sources, were also Egyptian. Did Moses think upon such individuals, those who are rich not in wealth or power, but in integrity, courage and goodness, whose souls are kept pure, though surrounded by despotism, corruption and evil? These individuals lived in Egypt, as they live today in similar regimes around the globe. How little has the world changed!
Moses spends forty years pleading for the Israelites before God, asking over and over again for mercy, as he was shown mercy by an Egyptian princess. Perhaps we should bear this in mind as we read Bo, with its shocking tenth plague, balanced by the long-last liberation of the children of Israel.
Come along this Saturday at 10:30 and read the story of the final plagues and the exit from Egypt, join in song and prayer, as Pat Lipert leads us forth.
Two distinguished and accomplished visitors from the Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue in Cambridge led our end of the year Shabbat Va-y’chi services on the 30th of December: Mike Frankl and Fiona Karet Frankl. Both Mike and Fiona celebrated the Shabbat, along with their two delightful friends and bearded collie, Archie, after travelling from Looe in windy weather to be with us. A large turnout with visitors as far away as the USA and Germany, joined the KK regulars for a lively Shabbat of songs, prayers and much fellowship at the Kiddush which followed.
We were treated to new tunes and insightful commentary by Fiona and a fine lecture by Mike on the Jewish connection with the Hyksos in Egypt during the time of Joseph and Jacob.
Many thanks to Fiona and Mike for a fine end of the year Shabbat.
I have just added the latest additon of the newsletter: Kol Kehillat Kernow to the Newsletter page. Sorry, it’s a little later than usual.
To view the full version, you’ll need to be a Kehillat Kernow member. Please apply to become a friend of the community if you don’t have access.
Jeremy Jacobson, Chairman of Kehillat Kernow, led our members through a fine summary of all that we have accomplished in the past year. We really do ‘punch above our weight,’ thanks to so many (but not enough!) of our hard-working members. So many worthwhile events are organised throughout the year in addition to our liturgical and pastoral duties as a synagogue. Council members were duly re-elected, and plans for new events for 2017-18 are well underway. Following the meeting a light luncheon was held and much time was spent in the Library which will figure largely in the coming year.
You can expect announcements from Jeremy shortly. In the meantime, check out here the photos from the meeting on our web-site.
If you missed the book, food and film festival on Saturday, 18th of November at Malpas Village Hall celebrating The Lady in Gold, Klimt’s masterpiece, and the title of Anne-Marie O’Connor’s book, you lost out on something very special. Not only was the film excellent (how can Helen Mirren not be first-rate?), but the poignant conversation after about Austrian life before and after the Nazi invasion, brought home so many truths about the terrible loss of Austrian Jewry. Needless to say, our ‘Golden’ food menu was sumptuous and meticulously prepared. Some photos of this fine event can be seen here on our web-site.