The children of Israel seem destined to have their ups and downs, even as we approach the last few chapters of B’midbar. The years in the wilderness haven’t yet taught them to walk in God’s ways. After the triumphant and glorious declaration by Balaam of what the Israelites can become in the Promised Land, they find themselves mired in the orgiastic practices of Baal-peor as they succumb to the charms of the Moabite women. It is up to Pinchas to save the day after God’s anger against their mass idolatry results in an epidemic plague and orders from Ha Shem to spear the ringleaders. Pinchas’s heroic and dramatic act of expiation for the Israelites’ latest transgression, sometimes seen as a bit over-zealous, is rewarded: The plagues cease and his right to the priesthood are declared. Once that happens, it is back to administrative business, ensuring this next, more pious generation of conquistadores are accounted for and prepared for military service. The land of Israel is apportioned by lot and size of each tribe; Joshua is named as Moses’ successor and a religious calendar is declared.
The seriousness of vows and the power of keeping one’s word is the central theme of the final two parashot of this upcoming week’s Shabbat as the children of Israel make final preparations for entering the Promised Land. Will they be up to the task? Will they remain steadfast? Will they accept their responsibilities to realise the destiny God has planned for them? Insight into these most dramatic of times for the Israelites can be gained by listening to Liz as she leads this week’s service.
Please note that service reminders aim to build a bridge between the last Saturday service two weeks before and the one being announced. They will therefore often focus on the previous parashah rather than on the one in the title.
Chukkat, commandments which cannot be rationally understood but are accepted to show man’s love and trust in God, comes immediately after the completion of the tabernacle and the challenge in Korach to Aaron’s priesthood. The opening lines are concerned with the curious purification from contamination by a corpse ritual, involving the ‘porah adumah,’ the sacrifice of the Red Heifer. This is a transitional parashah as the children of Israel move farther away from Sinai into the wilderness of Zin, and closer to the Promised Land. Moses is denied access to the land of Israel as a result of his anger; Miriam and Aaron die. It is up to the next generations to make the covenant manifest as they make their way through Transjordan, encamp on the steppes of Moab, across the Jordan from Jericho.
This leads us into one of the most endearing passages in Torah with Parashah Balak, as Balaam and his talking donkey try to make their way towards the encamped Israelites to curse them rather than bless them. It is the source of ‘Mah Tovu’ which we sing at every service.
To find out more, come to this week’s service and listen to Adam who will explicate this wonderful passage.
Bagels and Batteries (not included)
The first film/nosh/cultural event of the season took place on Saturday, the 28th of January at Malpas Village Hall in Truro. If you weren’t there, you missed something very special.
About 17 KK members of all ages kibitzed together over coffee in the kitchen/dining room of this well-appointed venue where Adam and Melanie Feldman, who organised the event, handed out dough for making bagels. And what bagels! Most of us had never made a bagel before. Once enough bagels had been made to feed England, we went into the ‘movie house’ section of the hall to view Steven Speilberg’s ‘Batteries Not Included.” Just enough time for the bagel dough to rise and then be baked.
Heneini! We returned to the dining room and before us was a feast of freshly baked bagels, an avalanche of delicious fillings, salads and fruit. We ate with gusto!
Caption: Is that a bagel!-Exuberant young chefs obviously make fantastic bagels.
Pictures of this event can be seen on our photo gallery.
From January 25-28th, several venues were arranged in Cornwall to honour all those who died in the Holocaust in observance of Holocaust Memorial Day. School visits, services at the universities in Falmouth and Exeter, Truro Cathedral and Redruth Baptist Church were held with six of our members participating. Many of the events were organised by Cornwall County Council and the Diversity Team of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.
Memorial Service-An inter-faith gathering of over 80 people attended the Service to remember all those who died in the Holocaust at the Redruth Baptist Church. From left to right are: Andrew Chapple, Elder of RBC, Adam Feldman, Jeremy Jacobson, Gillian and Michael Saldivar (RBC). Pat Lipert led the service.
Thirty-nine members of the KK community came out to honour and celebrate the chairmanship of Harvey Kurzfield on Saturday, 3 December at Trevaski’s Farm.
The feelings of all those families present couldn’t have been more heart-felt. In fact, many of the younger members had been B’nei Mitzvot as a result of Harvey’s tutoring.
Chairman Jeremy Jacobson, who organised the event, lead a series of speeches highlighting the reasons why Harvey has been held in such high esteem and in genuine affection during his 16-year tenure as KK’s founding chairman. Jeremy’s thoughtful comparison of Harvey to the Patriarchs and to Moses in terms of his human qualities were poignantly presented. He was followed by Treasurer Leslie Lipert who recalled many of the touching moments he had experienced working with Harvey over the years. Pat Lipert read an Elizabethan sonnet addressing some of the highlights of Harvey’s life and Adam Feldman, co-Chairman, presented Harvey with a letter signed by all Council members granting Harvey lifetime Presidency of KK in an eloquent address. That was followed by the giving of a special Torah Mantle and Mappa designed and created by Anne Hearle. This new mantle with a dedication to Harvey on the front will be used for all our regular Torah services in the future.
The younger members of the community then delivered the Priestly Blessing, something Harvey usually does for them during regular Shabbat services. Harvey received his blessing under the Tallit.
The three-course meal, carefully planned by Jeremy with members of the restaurant, left everyone full and grateful to have been a part of such a special event. Many thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work in making sure this was a very special simchah.
Photos taken at Harvey’s Luncheon