Rabbi Barry Baron, Colgate University Chaplain led the Shabbat evening service at Falmouth University Chaplaincy yesterday. It was so uplifting and joyful that all of us, including five students, felt close and happy. We shared wonderful food and conversation during the kiddush meal.
When we were going to leave the Chaplaincy, the following conversation took place:
Us: Thanks very much, R. Barry for a lovely evening service.
R. Barry: Good! Glad you enjoyed it and I enjoyed it, too.
Us: We hope G-d enjoyed it, too.
R. Barry: If the Lord didn’t, then He doesn’t have taste.
The first of the three Torah readings for Yom Kippur was taken from the Book of Exodus, or Names (Shemot). It started with Moses asking God to reveal His ways. His request includes the words “Also, You have said: ‘I have known you by name, and you have indeed gained My favour’”. A little later, God confirms Moses’ claim by saying, ‘I will also do this thing that you ask, for you have truly gained My favour and I have known you by name.’ There followed the mysterious, mystical description of God’s appearance to Moses. God announced his presence thus: “Adonai passed before him and proclaims ‘Adonai, Adonai, a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness’.”
How fascinating and moving is this! God knows Moses by name; God knows us by name, every one of us and He reveals His name so that we know him, every one of us.
We broke the Day of Atonement in good spirits with plenty of delicious food.
Either on the beach or in a garden in Cornwall we always enjoy enthusiastic conversations and stunning views. This year it was the turn of Trengwainton Garden, a beautiful National Trust property near Penzance. Though there wasn’t glorious sunshine at the end of July, many of us from near and far came together to share a picnic and relaxing walk. What could be better!